High blood pressure is a silent killer

High blood pressure is a silent killer
Highlights

High blood pressure is a silent killer. Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently raised pressure.

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently raised pressure. The higher the pressure in blood vessels, the harder the heart has to work, to pump blood. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that currently raised blood pressure kills nine million people every year.

High blood pressure, the modern epidemic, is common around the world. However, many people are unaware that they suffer from it. It is considered to be a silent killer, because it has no obvious symptoms. If not controlled in time it can cause stroke, heart attack and kidney malfunctions.

Kanchan Naikawadi, preventive healthcare expert, says, “Hypertension is becoming a threat among working professionals, as young as 25 years. The increasing prevalence of hypertension is attributed to poor stamina, compromised immune system and behavioral risk factors such as, unhealthy diet, high intake of alcohol, lack of physical activity, excess weight and exposure to persistent stress.”

The physical aspect of weight gain, junk food diet and high consumption of sodium through processed food, increases the probability of hypertension. The emotional factors account for the rest of the cause and effect of hypertension. The fast paced lives, stressful careers, little to no rest and lack of sleep are all increasing the risk of hypertension.

Most hypertensive people show no symptoms at all. But it is pertinent to keep an eye on symptoms such as headache, shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, palpitations of the heart and nose bleeds which indicates that there is something wrong with the body.

“It can be dangerous to ignore such symptoms, but neither can they be relied upon to signify. Lifestyle plays an important role in treating your high blood pressure. If you successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you may avoid further complications. Age should also be kept in account for deranged blood pressure readings. As a person ages, his or her normal blood pressure also shifts a few points above. After 55 years of age, a blood pressure of 130/90 is considered normal; however, a person would need strict lifestyle management to keep it within this range,” added Kanchan.

Steps to control high blood pressure

Tips by the healthcare expert to control hypertension

1) Eat grains and nuts - Instead of processed grains try and include whole-kernel bread, brown rice, whole barley oats, natural granola or muesli to constitute a good healthy food. Nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans etc, make a healthy snack option. So while craving for munchies, grab a handful of these health laden natural foods.

2) Avoid fats - Fats can either be helpful or harmful in your diet. People with hypertension are at a higher risk for heart disease, so it is even more important to be smart about fats. Choose unsaturated fats which can be found in olive oil, nuts etc. Also focus on omega-3 fatty acids, good source of which are salmon, tuna, and flax seeds.

3) Eat more; eat smart - Eating smart means eating right. Don’t skip breakfast, eat regular small meals—up to 6 per day and keep a track of what you eat and make sure it is healthy. Include lots of vegetables, beans, and fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, berries, orange, banana and papaya in your diet.

4) Watch the scale - Being obese will lead to an array of health issues, hypertension being one of them. Bring your body mass index to a healthy level; this can be done by bringing about simple changes to your daily diet.

5) Work it out - You need to sweat it out, but that doesn’t mean you turn yourself into a gym rat. Take a walk, use the stairs, choose yoga or dance. Make it fun not laborious.

6) Indulge your sweet tooth - Sugar is an important constituent in your system; don’t deny yourself of it. Eat sweets with a meal, rather than as a stand-alone snack you can still enjoy sweets in moderation.

7) Say yes to protein - Your body needs proteins so choose healthily options such as skinless chicken and fish. Vegetarians can supplement their diet with beans.

8) Avoid addictions - Limit your intake of alcohol. Tobacco needs to be eliminated to ensure a healthy lifestyle. Any kind of addictions need to be avoided.

9) Regular monitoring –It is advised to monitor BP quarterly above the age of 35. Below the age of 35, one should monitor it every 6 months. If you already are a BP patient it is mandatory to go for monthly check up.

10) Take a break - The most natural way for your body to rejuvenate and empower itself to fend off lifestyle diseases is rest, and while body revitalises, it’s important to have a healthy mind too. Go on a vacation, meditate or pursue a hobby. Remember a healthy mind and healthy body go hand in hand.

Awareness camp in city

Tata Salt Lite is organising a free blood pressure check-up and awareness camps in the city to observe World Hypertension Day on Saturday between 11.30 am and 8 pm. This would be organised at Big Bazaar, Reliance Hypermart, More and Spencer supermarkets across the city.

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