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Obesity

This is when the extra weight you are carrying (being very overweight) can cause medical problems such as diabetes and heart problems. If you have a body mass index (BMI) that is greater than 30, then you are obese. Obesity also raises your blood pressure.

See our information on keeping to a healthy weight

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Oedema

Oedema is the build up of unwanted fluid in the body, for example swelling of the ankles. This build up of fluid may occur after an injury or can be due to a medical condition such as heart failure or kidney disease. Oedema can sometimes be a side effect of calcium channel blocker medicines.

See our information on swollen ankles

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Ophthalmoscope

This is a device that is used to look inside the eye. Looking at the blood vessels at the back of your eye can be a useful way to see whether high blood pressure is affecting your body.

See our information on eye tests

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Oscillometry

This is a technique that measures high blood pressure by detecting the vibrations caused by blood flowing through your blood vessels. Almost all digital blood pressure monitors use this technique.

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Peripheral artery disease

This is a condition when the small blood vessels in your legs become damaged. This can be caused by high blood pressure. The damage to the legs' small blood vessels means that not enough blood reaches the calves and feet, leading to cold feet and pain when you are walking.

See our information on peripheral artery disease

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Phaeochromocytoma

This is usually a benign (non-cancerous) tumour on the adrenal gland. The tumour makes the gland release the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline in an uncontrolled way and makes a person's blood pressure rise and fall rapidly. It is a rare condition and accounts for less than 1% of all cases of high blood pressure.

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Polyunsaturated fats

These are fats that can help you to lower your cholesterol level.

See our information on fats and cholesterol

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Postural hypotension

This is a form of low blood pressure that is also called “orthostatic hypotension”. With this condition, a person's blood pressure falls when they stand or sit up quickly, causing lightheadedness, sweating and fainting.

See our information on low blood pressure

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Potassium

Potassium is a chemical found in food that can help to lower blood pressure. Eating foods which are high in potassium, particularly fruit and vegetables, can help your body to get rid of unwanted salt and water. This effect helps lower your blood pressure.

See our information on healthy eating

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Pre-eclampsia

This is a particular form of high blood pressure that may develop during pregnancy. Women with pre-eclampsia are closely monitored and may be treated with medicines that are safe for the developing baby.

See our information on pregnancy

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Pregnancy induced hypertension

A medical term for high blood pressure that occurs when you are pregnant. Blood pressure often returns to normal after the baby is born.

See our information on pregnancy

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Pre-hypertension

Pre-hypertension is also known as “high-normal blood pressure”. It is sometimes used to describe blood pressure levels that are above 120/80, but below 140/90. A large number of people whose blood pressure are in this range will go on to develop high blood pressure.

See our information on what should my blood pressure be?

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Primary hyperaldosteronism

This condition is also known as Conn’s syndrome. If you have this condition, your adrenal glands produce too much of a hormone called aldosterone. This hormone makes your body hold onto salt and water, raising your blood pressure.

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