HEAD: High blood pressure: The warning sign in your toilet habit that means you're at risk

HEAD: High blood pressure: The warning sign in your toilet habit that means you're at risk

When your heart beats, it pumps blood round your body to give it the energy and oxygen it needs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the sides of

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When your heart beats, it pumps blood round your body to give it the energy and oxygen it needs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your arteries and your heart. High blood pressure is extremely common with more and more people experiencing worryingly high levels. The condition is often referred to as “the silent killer”. In the UK, high blood pressure is the third biggest risk factor for all disease after smoking and poor diet. The sooner you are aware of your blood pressure levels, the sooner you are able to begin treatment. Urine habits hold a lot of clues about a person’s health and noticing this new toilet habit could mean you are at risk.

Having more frequent trips to the loo at night are a sign of high blood pressure. A study presented at the 83rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Japanese Circulation Society looked at how trips to the toilet at night signalled a high blood pressure condition.

The study’s author, Doctor Satoshi Konno, of the Division of Hypertension said: “Our study indicates that if you need to urinate in the night, called nocturia, you may have elevated blood pressure and excess fluid in your body.

“If you continue to have nocturia, ask your doctor to check your blood pressure and salt intake.”

Previous research has reported that high salt intake is associated with nocturia. “We found that getting up in the night to urinate was linked to a 40 per cent greater chance of having hypertension.

“And the more visits to the toilet, the greater the risk of hypertension,” added Doctor Konno.

Nocturia is a condition in which people wake up during the night because they need to urinate.

People with nocturia can sleep up to eight hours without having to urinate, but some may need to get up once during the night. People with nocturia may get up two to six times during the night.

ESC president, professor Barbara Casadei said: “More than one billion people have high blood pressure worldwide.

High blood pressure is the leading global cause of premature death, accounting for almost then million deaths in 2015.

ESC guidelines recommend medication to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.

A healthy lifestyle is also advised, including salt restriction, alcohol moderation, healthy eating, regular exercise, weight control, and smoking cessation.”

The only way to know if your blood pressure is high is through regular checkups. This is especially important if you have a close relative who has high blood pressure.

Other symptoms of high blood pressure include severe headaches, fatigue or confusion, vision problems, chest pain, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, a pounding in chest, neck or ears.

If you have any of these symptoms, see a GP immediately.

Untreated high blood pressure can lead to serious diseases, including stroke, heart disease, kidney failure and eye problems.

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