Hypertension or high blood pressure is an increase in the blood pressure which is or can be harmful for the body. It is rapidly becoming a devastating disease as there is a patient of hypertension in every family. It could be your grandparents, parents, you or someone you know. Most Patients with hypertension are unaware of its presence as they do not experience any major signs and symptoms till accidently come to know they have hypertension. Hypertension remains undiagnosed in the early stages in half of the people suffering from hypertension.
What is hypertension? How can I know I have hypertension?
It is very hard to specify the definition of hypertension many factor influence in the diagnosis of hypertension like age, presence of other serious illness, weight, and many more. There is a controversy as what is a normal blood pressure. A normal blood pressure is the range of blood pressure where the person has no chance of getting hypertensive complaints in the long term.
In order to make it simple if a person having blood pressure reading more than 140/90 mm Hg and presence of other risk factors is said to have hypertension. Blood pressure is measured by a device called Blood pressure monitoring apparatus or Sphygmomanometer.
What causes hypertension?
There are a number of reasons that are being linked directly to hypertension.
- Sedentary life style: With all the comfort of today’s world burn very less calories then required and that can be a precipitating factor for diseases like hypertension and diabetes.
- Bad eating habits:
- Fast food: Fast food or junk food is a major cause of hypertension as it is full of fat and other harmful components. This type of food can cause narrowing and blocking of blood vessels and hence cause a subsequent rise in the blood pressure.
- Smoking: smoking of cigarette bides, cigar, hookah causes hypertension more rapidly than other causes and should be immediately stopped. It causes hardening of blood vessels and ultimately hypertension.
- Drinking alcohol: Alcohol consumption increases the risk of hypertension and heart disease.
- Stress: Stress also plays a part in increasing blood pressure and further can lead to heart diseases, if not managed well.
- High amount of salt in diet: A diet rich in high sodium found commonly in salt increase the blood pressure.
- Heredity: Hypertension is found in people whose parents were known hypertensive.
- Age: People in early forties to 5th decade start to experience hypertension. Although people in early age can also have high blood pressure.
- Other: Patients suffering from other severe diseases like obesity, kidney disease, and diabetes are at the risk of developing hypertension later.
- Pregnancy: Some pregnant females can experience high blood pressure in pregnancy.It should be treated like urgency.
How can I avoid hypertension?
Tips to avoid hypertension
- Regular exercise: A brisk walk for 45 minutes every day should be taken. It is the best exercise for a hypertensive patient. Heavy exercises should be avoided.
- Diet: Patients suffering from hypertension or at the risk of hypertension should switch to diet specially designed to control their blood pressure levels. This includes fat free and low salt diet.
- Avoid all saturated oils like coconut oil, butter, ghee and choose olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil
- Restrict to use 2 tsp oil per day.
- Increase fibre rich diet, vegetables and fruits. Fruits with edible covers should be eaten with covers.
- Low fat diet: Absolute no to cholesterol rich foods like butter ghee unskimmed milk deep fried foods.
- In non vegetarian diet yellow of egg, red meat, marbled beef, goose, hamburger, deep fried fish.
- Smoking cessation: smoking doubles the risk of heart diseases in patients suffering from hypertension. In hypertension patients smoking should be strictly stopped as well as passive smoking should be avoided as it has equal amount of risk.
- Restricted use of alcohol drinks: Alcohol increases the fat level in the blood and should be avoided. If not should be restricted to 2 times per week in small amount.
- Stress management: Meditation for 15 minutes every day. The aim should be to blank the mind from tension of everyday life. One should think positively about own health, job and family. Try to live life with a relaxed mind. You can take lesson for stress management from an expert tutor.
- Yoga: Yoga asana to relax the body (Shav asana),
- Pranayama: A breath control exercise which gives a peaceful feeling to mind and soul. It should be done 10-15 minutes daily, in guidance of an expert.