High blood pressure

When your heart has to work extremely hard

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure occurs when the pressure in your arteries is higher than it should be.

When your blood pressure is consistently too high, your heart has to work harder to pump blood around your body. This can lead to heart and circulatory diseases like heart attack or stroke.

About high blood pressure

In this video, Dr Navtej Chahal explains what you need to know about high blood pressure.

Supplementary information about high blood pressure

Here, we’ve summarised the most important points about high blood pressure

High blood pressure occurs when the pressure in your arteries is higher than it should be.

Normal blood pressure is below 120/80 mm Hg.

Blood pressure is the force exerted by your blood against the walls of your arteries. It’s essential for delivering oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. When you visit the doctor, they measure your blood pressure using two numbers: systolic (the top number) and diastolic (the bottom number). A normal blood pressure reading is around 120/80 mm Hg. But what does that mean?

Systolic Pressure (the Top Number): This represents the force when your heart contracts and pumps blood. A healthy systolic pressure is below 120 mm Hg.

Diastolic Pressure (the Bottom Number): This reflects the pressure when your heart relaxes between beats. A healthy diastolic pressure is below 80 mm Hg.

Very rarely, having extremely high blood pressure can cause symptoms such as lightheadedness, headaches or visual disturbance, but this only occurs in a tiny minority of patients.

The majority of patients will have no symptoms whatsoever from their blood pressure even if it goes up to around 200 mmHg.

Sometimes, patients will check their blood pressure when they are feeling unwell. For example, if they have a headache or they’re feeling tired or breathless, and as a consequence of those symptoms, their blood pressure may be elevated. In those circumstances, it’s not the blood pressure that is causing the symptoms, but it’s more likely the other way round.

  • Diet and lifestyle
  • Hereditary
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Long-term kidney infections
  • Obstructive sleep apnoea
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Narrowing of the arteries supplying the kidneys
  • Hormone problems
  • Lupus
  • Scleroderma
  • Certain medications

Having high blood pressure is very important to identify as it can be both a sign and a symptom of heart disease.

When your blood pressure is consistently too high, your heart has to work harder to pump blood around your body. This can lead to heart and circulatory diseases like heart attack or stroke. It can also cause kidney failure, heart failure, problems with your sight and vascular dementia.

The most common form of high blood pressure occurs because of stiffness within the blood vessels of the heart, and the blood vessels of the body as a whole.

Once the blood vessels stiffen, this allows fat to be deposited within the linings of the blood vessels. When this happens, the heart has to work incredibly hard, which can lead to an increased risk of having a sudden blockage and a heart attack.

Particularly in young people, having high blood pressure’s very abnormal, and therefore can be a symptom rather than a sign of a problem within the heart, or elsewhere within the body.

Because high blood pressure is both a sign and a symptom of heart disease, we would suggest that you have the Many Beats Complete as it will get you the reassurance and support you need to live a long and healthy life.

The Many Beats Complete is a comprehensive package of specialised tests designed to investigate your health and to rule out or diagnose any health conditions with a high degree of certainty.

The Many Beats Complete includes:

  • A consultation with a consultant cardiologist
  • A 24hr ambulatory BP recorder to monitor your blood pressure over a 24 hour period.
  • Blood tests to check your cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, kidney function, and your full blood count
  • A 24hr ECG to assess your heart rhythm
  • An ultrasound scan of your heart, called an echocardiogram
  • A CT scan of your heart and arteries to look for any signs of narrowing or blockages in the arteries
  • A stress echocardiogram which assesses the blood flow to the heart muscle and also looks for blockages in the coronary arteries to your heart
  • Occasionally we may need to do an MRI scan of the heart which looks in more detail at the heart muscle and the function of the heart.


Once you have received your Many Beats Complete results, we will review them with you on the same day.

If your results indicate a problem we will start you on a personalised treatment plan immediately and help you to control your blood pressure more accurately.

Treatment approaches usually involve one or a combination of the following:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Medication
  • Medical procedures or surgery

Many Beats gives you a map to turn your life around and avoid developing heart disease


We are happy to be assured by the following private medical insurance providers

It’s the wonderful words of our patients that make this job so worthwhile

Excellent bedside manner / patient care, thoughtful analysis and care. Great cardiologists!

J. T.

Dr Elghamaz was professional and compassionate in equal measure. He made me feel completely at ease and explained in detail exactly my situation answering all questions kindly and in a language I understood – not medical jargon. A complete gentleman under whose care I have every confidence.

R. R.

I called Dr Chahal’s secretary to get advice and an appointment for a stress echocardiogram as quickly as possible. Dr Chahal called me himself, to explain the procedure, and he managed to fit me in quickly, as I requested. On the day, he and his colleague carried out the test quickly, efficiently and kindly, explaining what they were doing and why. I would certainly recommend them as true healthcare professionals.

M. S.

Dr Elghamaz was very efficient, thorough and personable and made me feel at ease through through the process of undergoing several tests and then discussing results with myself and my husband to ensure we understood everything and were comfortable.

L. S.

Highly recommended. Professional, honest, put me at ease. Wonderful experience all around.

L. O.

Dr Elghamaz goes above and beyond for his patients. As well as being kind, he is extremely thorough, and I feel very comfortable knowing he is in charge of my care.

C. W.
Dr Sehmi is a fusion of the best of the old and new schools of medicine. Whilst reassuringly up to date with the latest evidence-based practice and comfortable with all the leading-edge technology of his field, he has always listened to my fears and given informed answers to all my questions.
S. L.

I had a really positive experience when I saw Dr Navin Chandra in his clinic. He took time to really listen to my problems and then explained what was wrong in simple terms. I had all my tests performed swiftly and have started to feel much better!


Having been referred for specialist Cardiology review, I was very fortunate to be assigned Dr Sehmi as my Consultant. From the outset, his level of interest in my personal case has been exceptional. I have had several consultants for a variety of reasons over the years but Dr Sehmi is the first where a consultant has proactively followed up in between appointments to determine progress.

N. T.

I was admitted under Cardiology and Dr Chandra was my Consultant. He quickly got to the heart of the problem and he and his team didn’t miss a step. Later that evening Dr Chandra took the time to see my partner and his patience and knowledge gave us the answers to our many questions.

R. K.

Affiliations and memberships

We are happy to be associated with the following esteemed organisations

Live a longer and healthier life

Book an appointment and we’ll test your heart so we can map out a plan to give you the best chance of maximising your longevity.

How it works

3 easy steps to get on the road to heart health


Just get in touch with us to book a date and time that suits you and we’ll let you know how to visit.


Typically, we’ll set you up to take specific tests that will give us the information we need to make an accurate assessment of your heart’s health and recommend a plan.


With your cardiologist-vetted plan, we’ll support you in the long term so you can build the habits that will enable you to live a longer and healthier life.

More information on heart disease

We’ve produced many informative videos and blog posts so you can educate yourself about heart disease risk factors, symptoms, tests and treatments.

Read more about heart disease

Educate yourself further about your heart health by reading the links below

To learn more about cardiovascular disease, including the causes and prevention techniques, click here.

The NHS has an informative write-up on cardiovascular diseases, which can be found here.

A great test that tells the myths and facts about your heart health can be found here.

If you would like an excellent overview of the symptoms of heart attacks, please click here.

If you would like to learn more about all the types of heart diseases, please click here for more information.

About the cardiologists

The Many Beats team consists of not one, but four highly experienced consultant cardiologists

Dr Navtej Chahal

Consultant Cardiologist


Navtej is a Consultant Cardiologist at Many Beats. He also consults at the London Northwest NHS Trust and the Royal Brompton Hospital, London having qualified from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Medical School in 2001. He is an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at Imperial College London

Dr Navin Chandra

Consultant Cardiologist


Navin is a Consultant Cardiologist at Many Beats. He is also a Consultant Cardiologist at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust and an Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. He qualified from Guy’s, King’s & St. Thomas’s in 2004...

Dr Ahmed Elghamaz

Consultant Cardiologist


Ahmed is a Consultant Cardiologist at Many Beats. He also consults at Northwick Park Hospital and London North West Healthcare University Hospitals NHS Trust and is an Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. He completed his junior…

Dr Joban Sehmi

Consultant Cardiologist


Joban is a Consultant Cardiologist at Many Beats. His NHS practice is at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS trust. He sees patients privately at Spire in Bushey and Bishops Wood Hospital in Northwood. He trained in medicine at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ medical school and qualified in 2003 with numerous academic awards…