Skip to main content

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Information on this website is subject to change at short notice due to the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Please click here for information and advice about the current COVID-19 outbreak and how to get help from your council, as well as other sources of information and support. You can also offer to volunteer.

Blood pressure

Easy read button One or more sections on this page provide access to easy-read information - look out for this logo.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure (sometimes called hypertension) occurs when the pressure of the blood being pumped around your body becomes too high. Having high blood pressure for a long time can cause damage to the organs and the arteries that carry blood around your body. It also increases the risk of heart disease and strokes, and in older people can be a cause of vascular dementia.

About 30% of people in the UK have high blood pressure. It's more common in people who are overweight, who have a close family member who has high blood pressure, who drink a lot of alcohol, who suffer from stress, or who don't eat a balanced diet. It's also more common in people from an Afro-Caribbean background. 

High blood pressure doesn't have any obvious symptoms, though some people might experience more frequent headaches. Most people don't know they have high blood pressure until they are checked by a doctor or nurse. 

Treatments for high blood pressure

Nobody really knows what exactly causes high blood pressure, but most doctors believe that the risk of high blood pressure can be reduced by some simple lifestyle changes, including changing your diet, getting regular exercise, and cutting down on drinking and smoking

If your blood pressure is very high, or if it stays high even though you are eating healthily and looking after yourself, your doctor can prescribe some medications to help to lower your blood pressure.  

Low blood pressure

Low blood pressure, also known as hypotension, is where blood pressure in your arteries is abnormally low.

Naturally low blood pressure is unlikely to cause any symptoms and is normally nothing to worry about. However, if your blood pressure drops too low, it can restrict the amount of blood flowing to your brain and other vital organs, which can cause, unsteadiness, dizziness, light-headedness or fainting.

One You Westminster and One You Kensington and Chelsea aim to help you get back to a healthier you, supporting you to make simple changes towards a longer and happier life. Providing stop smoking and cardiovascular services, Man vs Fat football clubs, as well as One You clubs enabling you to come together through healthy activities and helping you make healthy lifestyle choices.
Find out more about the service by calling on 020 3434 2500.

The NHS website has information about the causes, symptoms and treatments of high blood pressure, and what you can do to lower the risk of developing high blood pressure.
And they also provide information on low blood pressure.

Blood Pressure UK is a charity which supports people who have high blood pressure, or who are worried about their blood pressure. 

The British Heart Foundation provides information on blood pressure.

If you want to keep an eye on your blood pressure at home, you can buy a home monitor. There are a number of models available and they're designed to be easy to use and give accurate results. 
Both Which and Blood Pressure UK provide information to help you to choose the best monitor for you. 

The Nutritionist Resource website has information about a number of nutritional topics including blood pressure. They also have a list of nutritionists who work in your local area (note these nutritionists will charge for their services).

Easy read button

The Easy Health website has gathered together various easy-read leaflets and videos which will help people with learning disabilities to understand more about Hypertension or blood pressure.