High blood pressure: Dr Chris reveals bizarre technique to help lower your reading
High blood pressure causes 75,000 deaths a year, as left untreated it can lead to serious health complications like heart attack and stroke. A big problem people face, and why the condition can go untreated, is symptoms don’t always show. The best way to check if you have high blood pressure is to have your reading regularly checked. For those looking to prevent the condition and to control their reading, experts recommend making changes to what you eat and to be more active.
But TV Dr Chris took to This Morning to reveal another way blood pressure can be lowered.
Citing a past study, Dr Chris said: “Pet owners, cat owners in particular, were found to have lower blood pressure levels than non pet owners.
“Cat owners reduced their risk of heart disease and stroke by nearly 30 per cent.”
The cats were shown to be able to do this by reducing cortisol levels – an anxiety and stress hormone.
The findings, presented at a stroke conference in America, looked at 4,435 adults aged between 30 and 75 – about half of whom owned a cat.
Dr Chris further advised that people aged over 40 should have their blood pressure checked once a year.
Your GP and pharmacist can measure your blood pressure for you.
You can also buy your own blood pressure monitor to have at home, so you can measure your blood pressure yourself.
Testing your blood pressure at home can be more effective as you avoid ‘white coat syndrome’.
Dr Chris advised: “Check it in the morning and evening. Take three readings – the lower reading will be nearer to your true blood pressure level.”
High blood pressure causes
Having high blood pressure in your family or being of African Caribbean origin can be risk factors for the condition.
Dr Chris says working out your family tree can help you determine this.
Other high risk factors of high blood pressure include:
- Being overweight
- Not getting exercise
- High salt intake
- High alcohol intake
- High caffeine intake
Other ways to reduce high blood pressure
Dr Chris added that having a nap could also help lower your reading.
He said: “A study from Greece showed having a nap for 45 minutes to 60 minutes a day was effective.
“Having a nap reduced the levels of blood pressure equivalent to reducing salt intake and alcohol intake.”
Studies have also shown chicken soup can help lower a high blood pressure reading.