high blood pressure

According to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), there are around 5 million people with undiagnosed high blood pressure in the UK.

This is where their systolic pressure is above 140 mmHg and diastolic pressure is above 90 mmHg.

It can be caused by the following:

  • common for over 40’s
  • family genetic link
  • ethnicity (high among black & south Asian populations especially)
  • smoking
  • excessive salt
  • above 14 units of alcohol per week 
  • less than 150 minutes per week of vigorous exercise that makes the heart rate increase
  • carrying too much weight for your height & sex 

If left untreated it can cause eyesight problems, kidney failure, heart disease, dementia and stroke.

In years gone by the only way to find out if you had high blood pressure was to have a test at your doctor’s surgery where they would use a cuff-based monitor to check.

In past 5 years it’s got better and there are now many cuff-based monitors you can use at home that are NICE-approved.

The only problem in my view was that the compliance drops off after a while and I certainly stopped measuring it.

Luckily for us tech has finally developed solutions that require no compliance.

Welcome to my top tip for best blood pressure wearable of 2024.

The Aktiia wearable.

Aktiia blood pressure wearable

The Aktiia has been developed by a  company who could see that compliance was a major issue with blood pressure monitors.  Their stated mission is to give 24/7 data that allows the user & medical doctors to make informed decisions how best to optimise blood pressure.

I started wearing mine back in Jan 2023. It was a birthday present from my wife because despite me dropping my weight and addressing many of my health issues, I simply couldn’t get my blood pressure down.

It’s quite personal to me because my Grandad died when I was 10 of a stroke. He was only 66 so I’ve always been worried I’ll go the same way to be honest.

I’ve unsuccessfuly tried supplements, medication, diet, alternative therapies, biohacking … but nothing seemed to drop it down from a sometimes dangerous 180/110!!!

I unboxed it in Jan 23 and then all you do is put it on your wrist and then sync it to a NICE-approved cuff monitor. This is synced once a month and the accuracy is +-7 mmHg. Whilst this is not perfect it gives enough to show the trends of your blood pressure. Please note currently it isn’t on the approved-NICE list but watch this space because I suspect it will be. 

 

My personal view, unlike many people I’ve read on the internet, is that you really should work with your doctor. 

I didn’t always think this way and tried lots of alternative therapies and wasted many thousands on supplements that simply didn’t work for me.

I suspect that was my ego and my age playing a part. I’m now a 49 year old dad of 2 and it’s so important to me that I give myself every chance of living a long life to spend time with them and any grandkids maybe…

I don’t wanna be the smartest biohacker in the grave!!

Luckilly I have a very understanding doctor who although advised me that this Aktiia isn’t on the Nice-accredited list yet. As long as I used the Nice-approved cuff-based version Aktiia give you too he was happy.

In Feb 23 we tried the first line which is called Amlodipine at 5mg.

I noticed no change in my blood pressure and also had piles, bloody stools and didn’t feel great. (see picture below)

The doctor agreed that Amlodipine wasn’t the right medication for me. We switched to Losartan which made my teeth ultra-sensitive and also didn’t shift the BP.

We then switched again to Lisinopril 2.5mg in Apr 23.  Notice how it finally started to drop down month after month. 

I also decided to quit alcohol in May 23 to test whether it affected my blood pressure. 

The combination of the two plus walking for an hour a day has made such a massive difference to me and finally I’m down in the safe zone of average 131/81.

My aim is to to drop it further down to 120/80 average by end of ’24.

Overall my experience with the Aktiia has been life-changing. It has helped me test different medications, supplements, nutrition, exercise to see wat actually works for me. I cannot recommend this little gadget enough. 

If you want to try it here’s an affiliate link  button below where you get it cheaper than the RRP.

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