High Blood Pressure is a rather common condition which is characterised by blood that flows through veins at a pressure that is higher than normal. Blood Pressure is measured by the amount of blood that gets pumped through your veins and the resistance that that blood experiences in those veins or the force with which blood pushes against the veins walls. Another word for High Blood Pressure is Hypertension. The condition can cause Heart Disease and even Heart Attacks.
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Medical Questions for High Blood Pressure
When obtaining a quote for Travel Insurance to cover this condition, you will be asked a number of questions. These will include:
- How many medicines does your doctor advise you to take for High Blood Pressure ?
- Has your dose been increased or have you been prescribed a new tablet in the last six months ?
- Have you been advised to take a medication to lower your Cholesterol Level ?
If you are travelling with others, we can include them on the policy, even if they do not have High Blood Pressure or any other medical conditions.
90-95% of cases are considered Primary Hypertension. This is when no medical cause can be established. There are however a number of identified factors which play a part in increasing blood pressure including:
- A sedentary lifestyle
- A high salt diet
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Not eating enough fruit and vegetables
- A family history of high blood pressure
5-10% of cases are considered Secondary Hypertension. This is when the elevated blood pressure is caused by a diagnosable condition. Treatment for secondary Hypertension involves treating the underlying medical condition rather than the elevated blood pressure directly.
If left untreated people with Hypertension are 3 times more likely to have Heart Disease, six times more likely to develop congestive Heart Failure and seven times more likely to suffer a Stroke. The following Lifestyle changes can be made to reduce blood pressure:
- Increase in physical activity
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Reducing salt intake
- Reducing alcohol intake
- Eating a balanced, healthy diet
- Reducing stress
Travel Advice with High Blood Pressure
Consult you GP before you decide to travel and only decide to travel if your blood pressure is stable and under control. Some Airlines may request a written letter from a doctor confirming you are fit to fly, especially if you are likely to require oxygen while you are on the flight. Ensure you have enough medication to last the full length of your trip and take a blood pressure monitor with you to check your blood pressure whilst away.
People with High Blood Pressure can have circulatory problems & sitting in a cramped plane seat can lead to the development of Deep Vein Thrombosis. To decrease the risk wear flight socks to improve circulation and walk up and down the aisles regularly do not forget to request an aisle seat. Stretch and move around in your seat as much as is possible, avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Don't forget to keep your medication in your hand luggage but make sure you comply with current airport security procedures contact your departure airport and airline for information.
When you arrive at your destination try not to over indulge and remember your good habits from home. Avoid prolonged exposure to cold temperatures as this causes the blood vessels to constrict in an attempt conserve body heat, so increasing heart rate and blood pressure, and therefore increasing the likelihood of heart attack or stroke. Take a jumper out with you in the evening even if it has been a hot day. Do not travel to high altitudes as there is less oxygen in the air and this could aggravate your condition.
Stay relaxed while away by being organised and planning ahead. Leave plenty of time to travel to and from airports and hotels. Avoid lifting heavy luggage, luggage with wheels is recommended. It is advisable not to use spa facilities that involve a sudden change of temperature such as saunas, steam rooms and cold baths.
Avoid sudden exertions such as climbing a lot of steps too quickly, or pushing a broken down hire car. Remember to drink plenty of fluids in hot and humid weather and to avoid caffeinated drinks. The wearing of loose fitting clothing will help reduce fluid loss from perspiration.
Be mindful that being at high altitude forces the heart to work harder and raises blood pressure, so be sure to consult your GP prior to travel. Likewise consult your GP prior to Scuba Diving as this also raises your blood pressure.
Before you leave the country, it is important to purchase a Travel Insurance policy that will cover your High Blood Pressure or any other pre existing medical condition you may have.
This Travel Insurance is provided by goodtogoinsurance.com. goodtogoinsurance.com is an appointed representative of Ancile Insurance Group Ltd. which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority - No 471641.