C - D

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Calcium channel blocker

A medicine often used to treat high blood pressure. It works by blocking the action of calcium on your artery walls. Calcium makes muscles in your artery walls tighten up, narrowing the insides of your arteries. Blocking this action opens up your blood vessels and helps to lower your blood pressure.

See our information on calcium channel blockers

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Cardiovascular disease

A name for a range of medical problems that affect your heart and blood vessels. This includes conditions such as stroke, heart attack, heart failure and peripheral artery disease.

See our information on your body and blood pressure

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Centrally acting drug

A medicine that is occasionally used to treat high blood pressure. It works by acting on the part of your brain that controls high blood pressure.

See our information on non-standard medicines

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Cholesterol

A fatty substance that is made by your liver and found in fatty foods. Every person needs some cholesterol because it has a very important role in how the cells in your body work. However, too much cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.

See our information on fats and cholesterol

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Combination medicine

A tablet which contains two or more medicines. There are a number of tablets available which contain a combination of medicines for high blood pressure. Such medicines mean that you need to take less tablets.

See our information on taking more than one medicine

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Conn's syndrome

This condition is also called primary hyperaldosteronism. This syndrome occurs if your adrenal glands naturally produce too much of a hormone called aldosterone. This can make your body hold onto salt and water, raising your blood pressure.

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Coronary heart disease

A term for heart problems that occurs because of damage to your coronary arteries. These are the blood vessels that supply your heart muscles with blood and damage to these arteries will starve the heart muscles of the oxygen and energy they need.

See our information on your arteries and high blood pressure

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Dementia

A term used to describe symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, and problems with speaking and understanding. Dementia can occur when the blood supply to the brain is damaged or the brain is affected by conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. High blood pressure can damage blood vessels supplying the brain and may cause a form of dementia called vascular dementia.

See our information on vascular dementia

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Diabetes

A condition where your body cannot produce or use the hormone insulin. This hormone helps your body to store and use glucose (sugar) in your blood. Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease and can damage your arteries. So, if you have high blood pressure, it is important to keep your blood pressure at 130/80mmHg (130 over 80) or less.

See our information on diabetes

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Diastolic

When your blood pressure is measured it will be written as two numbers, e.g. 120 over 80. The second number is your diastolic reading. It is the lowest level your blood pressure falls to when your heart relaxes between heart beats.

See our information on what is blood pressure?

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Direct renin inhibitor

A medicine sometimes used to treat high blood pressure. It works by blocking the action of renin, a powerful hormone that raises blood pressure.

See our information on direct renin inhibitors

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Direct vasodilator

A medicine occasionally used to treat high blood pressure. It works by making your arteries open up, lowering your blood pressure.

See our information on non-standard medicines

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Diuretic

A medicine often used to treat high blood pressure. It works by increasing the amount of salt that your kidneys put out in your urine. Getting rid of extra salt and water helps lower your blood pressure. The most commonly used diuretics for high blood pressure are called thiazide diuretics.

See our information on diuretics

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