Knowing your numbers could save your life

The numbers are staggering.

Almost 855,000 Queenslanders have high blood pressure and many don’t even know it.

high blood pressureThroughout May and June, the Stroke Foundation is hosting Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check, offering free blood pressure checks across the country.

Stroke Foundation Queensland State Manager Libby Dunstan says around 4.1 million Australians were living with un-controlled high blood pressure, putting themselves at serious and unnecessary risk of stroke.

“The best way to protect yourself from stroke is by knowing your blood pressure and managing your stroke risk.”

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young has weighed in as well and says it’s very important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.

“Blood pressure that is too high or low can cause health problems, and might be a symptom of other health conditions.”

“People with hypertension, or high blood pressure, don’t display any symptoms but if left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, diabetes, eye disease, erectile dysfunction and other conditions.”

“Some people will need to take medication to keep their blood pressure at a healthy level. Others can manage high blood pressure by reducing stress, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, moderating alcohol intake and eating a balanced diet including less salt.”

Dr Young says low blood pressure can also be an issue because of the symptoms it causes.

“People with low blood pressure, or hypotension, can experience symptoms including light-headedness, dizziness, blurred vision, fainting and weakness.”

“In most cases, low blood pressure doesn’t need to be treated and is only a problem if there is a lack of oxygenated blood pumping to the organs, especially the brain.”

Dr Young said adults should have their blood pressure checked by their doctor at least every two years.