Ask an expert

21 Jul 2005

Blood pressure

Last November my doctor picked up slightly high cholesterol and my BP averaged 140/90. After a little while I went back and my BP came down to average 135/85.

I've changed my lifestyle quite considerably, given up fast food, increased exercise (when I have time) and cut down on smoking my hubbly, but I went for a health check for a life insurance policy today and my BP was 160/100.

I was shocked. I regularly check it and it's rarely higher than 135/85.

What could be the matter? Was I nervous? I'm nearly due for my 6-month check up with my doc and I don't want my doctor to think I've been careless.
Answer 400 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Nic,

It’s not a question of having been careless, and I’m sure your doctor will no think that of you. If you have quit ALL smoking, are exercising and have lost weight, and are eating correctly, then you have done all the right things.

The vast majority of patients with hypertension have what is called “essential” or “idiopathic” hypertension. That means that there is no discoverable cause for it. It just happens despite the patient’s best efforts. This is probably what you have.

Go back to your doctor, and get yourself onto an acceptable treatment regime : you may have to change medications a few times until you find one which agrees with you. Then, you will need monthly monitoring. After six months of adequate treatment, re-assess your situation. Most hypertensives need to remain on treatment for life, but may gradually be able to reduce their medication to a minimum. Whilst your BP may not be that high, it is ideal to treat, and you will be protecting yourself from the silent killer of hypertension.

Good luck.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.