Tackling the silent killer that is high blood pressure

In the Leinster Express’ new medical column, Dr Ashfaq Ahmad of the Kilminchy Medical Centre dispenses invaluable advice on a host of conditions and ailments.

Dr Ashfaq Ahmad


Dr Ashfaq Ahmad

All households in Laois should write to the Health Minister to save the hospital

Dr Ashfaq Ahmad, who will be dispensing medical advice in the Leinster Express' new column.

There are many reasons to have a high blood pressure reading and it may return to normal.

High blood pressure that does not go away needs to be treated with medication, as high blood pressure can lead to strokes, kidney problems and heart problems.

A normal BP is 120/80.

The first number is the pressure when your heart beats to push blood around your body (systolic), and the second is the pressure when your heart is resting (diastolic).

You should see your doctor soon to recheck your blood pressure, and in addition you should also:

1.       Not add salt to food and avoid salty food.

2.       Relax… avoid stress as much as possible.

3.       Try to lose weight if you are overweight.

4.       Stop smoking and reduced intake of dietary saturated fat and cholesterol.

5.       Maintain adequate intake of calcium and magnesium.

6.       Reduce your dietary intake of salt below 50 mmol per day. A fish oil supplement, potassium calcium, may reduce BP.

Return to your own doctor right away if any of the following occur:

·         Blurry vision or any changes in your eyesight.

·         Bad headache or a headache that is getting worse.

·         Trouble speaking.

·         Trouble breathing or shortness of breath.

·         Chest pain or chest discomfort.

·         Confusion, drowsiness or any change in alertness.

·         Dizziness or fainting.

·         Any weakness or numbness in your arms or legs.


If anything else worries you, contact your doctor within 24 hours.