High Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is a measure of the force of the blood on the walls of the arteries. If you have high blood pressure, the heart must work harder to pump blood around the body against this extra pressure, which can then increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Many people with high blood pressure have no symptoms so it is important to have blood pressure checked regularly. Blood pressure readings on any given day can be affected by many factors, so a true diagnosis of high blood pressure requires at least three readings on separate occasions. Some factors that can affect your BP reading include:
- putting the cuff over clothing, rather than a bare arm
- using a cuff that is too small- relevant for people in higher body weights
- having a full bladder
- talking when taking the reading
- failing to support your arm at heart level
- crossed legs or dangling unsupported legs
- feeling stressed in your appointment- known as ‘white coat hypertension’
- smoking, exercise or coffee within 30 minutes of your reading
In addition, experiencing weight stigma over time may be a cause of high blood pressure due to chronic elevations in levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
How our dietitians can help with high blood pressure
- ensuring adequate intake of specific foods and nutrients shown to support the health of blood vessels
- helping advocate against weight loss and dieting interventions commonly prescribed by medical professionals which are harmful, unethical, and non-evidence-based
- helping advocate for the same treatment options as would be recommended for people in thinner bodies
- recommending safe and evidence-based options for dietary supplementation and alcohol intake
- helping explore options for joyful movement
- helping explore options for stress management and avenues for further support
Our Dietitians take a holistic and gentle approach to nutrition for chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure. We understand that health is complex and is influenced by many factors, some out of your control. We are non-judgmental, and our recommendations are evidence-based and we take a weight-neutral approach.