Articles on pressure

Everything You Must Know About High Blood Pressure

Dr. Aseem Dewan, General Physician
What is blood pressure?Blood pressure is the force of blood moving through your arteries. Arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. What is a “good” blood pressure reading?Blood pressure lower than or equal to 120/80 is ideal.For people with diabetes or kidney disease, blood pressure lower than 130/80 is good. Lower than 120/80 is ideal.What is Hypertension?Hypertension is the technical term for high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.  It’s like a car tyre with too much air in it. If the tyre pressure is not lowered, there is risk for tyre damage. If your high blood pressure is not lowered, there is risk for damage to your eyes, brain, heart, blood vessels, and kidneys.What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?Most people with high blood pressure have no symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.A few people with high blood pressure may have headaches, shortness of breath or nosebleeds, but these signs and symptoms aren't specific and usually don't occur until high blood pressure has reached a severe or life-threatening stage.You can have high blood pressure for years without any symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to blood vessels and your heart continues and can be detected. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.Am I at risk of having High Blood Pressure?If you belong to any of the following categories, you should have your blood pressure checked at least once every 6 months:(A) Age above 45(B) Obese(C) Frequently consume alcohol(D) Smoker(E) Diabetic(F) Family history of High Blood pressure(G) Sedentary lifestyle - very little, or no, exercise(H) Stress - Whether at work and/or home(I) Too much salt in the diet - adding table salt to cooked food; picklesSTEPS TO REDUCE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE1. Reduce salt intake2. Exercise regularly3. Lose weight4. Eat healthy - avoid salty snacks: choose fruits / salads instead5. Avoid butter & full-cream dairy products: Take skimmed / toned milk DO I NEED MEDICATION?Let your doctor decide this.Please do not self-medicate!

High Blood Pressure Is a Silent Killer

Dr. Mubarak Raja, Diabetologist
In medical term Hypertension means HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE·       It is one of the most common cardio-vascular diseases.·       Many people have Hypertension for years without any symptoms.·       Uncontrolled pressure can cause significant damage to the body.·       It is otherwise called as “SILENT KILLER’’.FACTORSWHICH INCREASE BLOOD PRESSURE:LIFESTYLE:Lack of adequate physical exercise and a sedentary lifestyleincreases the risk of high blood pressureSTRESS:Physicaland emotional stress encountered in private life or work place increases Bloodpressure.OBESITY:Therisk of Hypertension increases with obesityAGE:HTmay be encountered at any age, but as one grows older , the chances of Developinghigh BP increases.DIETARY SALT INTAKE:an excessive amount of salt in the diet can cause high BPALCOHOL:  Regular and heavy consumption of alcohol increases BP. Generally there are no symptoms for mild to moderately high BP.The best way to check BP once in every three monthsIn few patients there may be symptoms like :Lack of sleepGiddinessBlurred visionBrain damageEye damageHeart attackKidney failurePatients with Diabetes and Hypertension need to be very careful as the above risks increase even further with Diabetes.§  Do not check BP immediately after taking food§  Do not check BP when you are tense§  Do not check Bp immediatelyafter urination§  Do not check BP immediately after you rush into a clinic. Wait till your breathing becomes normal.ü Drugs alone may not be sufficient to control BP.Lifestyle modifications arevery important to reduce BPAvoid excess strain andstress both in the office and at home.Should have a good sleep of6 - 8 hrs/dayReduce excessive salt indietAvoid pickles, pappads andsalty fish Avoid too spicy foodsAvoid oily and cholesterolrich foodsUse only Safflower,sunflower or refined oilsIncrease green leafyvegetables in foodFresh fruits can be taken inlarge quantitiesAvoid smoking and alcoholRegular aerobic exerciseWalking/Skipping/Jogging/Swimming daily ½ to 1 hr preferably in the morninghoursReduce weight if you areobeseWith all the above measures,Drugs(tablets) are important in controlling BPTake your medicines regularly as prescribed by the doctor

A Cup of Yogurt a Day Keeps High Blood Pressure Away

Dr. Sangeeta Malu, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Heard of hypertension? Does it scare you? Indeed the term hypertension can drive anyone to their wits end, but that only happens when it is not understood well. Experts at the esteemed American Heart Association opine hypertension is the result of untreated high blood pressure. The untreated high blood pressure is the reason why the arteries within have scar, and they act as nets that do not allow the impurities to move away while flowing through the bloodstream. Plaque and cholesterol are impurities that are caught in these nets, and this leads to blockages and build-ups that damage the cardio system and up the notch with blood pressure levels too.Results showed that 31 percent of volunteers were less likely to develop high blood pressure when at least 2 percent of their daily caloric intake was yogurt, equivalent to at least one six-ounce cup of low-fat yogurt every three days. Their systolic blood pressure also increased significantly less than those who did not eat yogurt. These findings support a common belief that low-fat dairy products reduce blood pressure.Ways to treat high blood pressure There are many ways your family doctor would suggest that you incorporate to bring about lifestyle changes that would help bring down blood pressure levels- NO SALT Imagine having your favourite meal sans the touch of salt? This could be such a depressing thought, but ask anyone who suffers from high blood pressure and their emotions would be proof enough on the same. However, there are many ways to make your meals yummy too, and this time we would think of a humble cup of yogurt (low-fat) to provide you with a delicious platter and to bring down or manage high blood-pressure levels too.Frequent consumption of yogurt helps manage weight and the BMI of the body, and is known to bring down blood pressure levels too.With a helping of low-fat yogurt in your daily diet, the risks of high blood pressure can be brought down as well. This is because yogurt has plenty of calcium and immense amounts of nutrients that your diet needs.Yogurt has a lot of protein in it, which helps keeps the hunger pangs at bay and you happy and full for a longer period of time. It can also help the body with hydration too, thanks to the abundance of water in it.Snacking on a bowl of yogurt can help bring down the risk of high blood pressure by one-fourth, say experts from AHA.Yogurt smoothies with berries, not only keeps the stomach full and satisfied but the antioxidants found in berries helps prevent signs of early ageing and the water content in yogurt keeps the body hydrated. We hope you now understand the importance of yogurt in your daily diet. Just one bowl a day with your salads or maybe as a delicious smoothie can help a long way!

Dash Diet - a Diet to Control High Blood Pressure

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
DASH - Dietary Approaches to Stop HypertensionThe DASH diet is a dietary pattern promoted by the U.S.-based National Heart, Lung to prevent and control hypertension. The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods; includes meat, fish, poultry, nuts and beans; and is limited in sugar,sweetened foods and beverages, red meat, and added fats. In addition to its effect on blood pressure, it is designed to be a well-balanced approach.Hypertension in India - Definition, Prevalence and EvaluationHigh blood pressure (BP) is an important cardiovascular risk factor. Hypertension experts still debate on the level of BP considered abnormal. The currently accepted dividing line is systolic BP > or = 140 mm Hg and/or diastolic BP > or = 90 mm Hg based on epidemiological and intervention studies. In India, hypertension has become a major health problem. Epidemiological studies show a steadily increasing trend in hypertension prevalence over the last 40 years, more in urban than in the rural areas. This is converse to findings reported from developed countries where there is a significant decrease in its prevalence. Objectives of clinical evaluation of hypertensive individual are: To establish that BP is elevated, to seek evidence for a causal or contributory factor which may influence management, to assess target organ involvement and to assess relevant factors which will influence the particular mode of treatment to be adopted. Proper measurement techniques are important for diagnosis of hypertension.  A basic, simple screening programme is the most appropriate policy for investigating the majority of hypertensive patients. Assessment of target organ involvement is important and can be obtained from history, physical examination or investigations. Studies of hypertension in general population have shown that secondary hypertension with high BP is present in 1.1% to 5.7% of subjects. Hypertension is a prevalent problem in our society.Guidelines for DASH Diet:-- Limit daily sodium intake by consuming between 1500 mg and 2300 mg per day.- Limit your consumption of Trans fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.- Increase the number of fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods.- Increase fiber intake by choosing whole grain products.- Limit the amount of sugar and sugar derivatives in your diet.- Reduce alcohol consumption.- Follow a moderate exercise program for at least 30 minutes per day such as brisk walking, weight training, biking or aerobics.

10 Tips to Help You Control Your High Blood Pressure

Dr. Nilesh Makwana, Physiotherapist
Some simple to help you manage your high blood pressure better:Make sure your blood pressure is under 140/90 mm Hg. If your systolic pressure (the top number) is over 140, ask your doctor what you can do to lower it.Take your high blood pressure medicine, if prescribed, every day. If you have questions, talk to your doctor.Aim for a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, carrying this extra weight increases your risk of high blood pressure. One way to determine if you need to lose weight is to find out your body mass index or BMI. If your BMI is above the healthy range (i.e., 25 or greater), or if your waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (women) or 40 inches (men) you probably have excess abdominal weight and you may benefit from weight loss especially if you have other risk factors. Talk to your doctor to see if you are at increased risk for high blood pressure and need to lose weight.Increase your physical activity. Do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, such as walking, most days of the week. You can do 30 minutes in three 10-minute segments.Choose foods low in salt and sodium. Read nutrition labels. Almost all packaged foods contain sodium. Every time you prepare or eat a packaged food, know how much sodium is in one serving.Keep a sodium diary. You may be surprised at how much sodium you consume each day and the diary will help you decide which foods to decrease or eliminate.Use spices and herbs instead of salt to season the food you prepare at home.Eat more fruits, vegetables, grains, and low-fat dairy foods.If you consume alcohol at all, consume moderate amounts. For men, this is less than two 12 oz servings of beer, or two 5 oz glasses of wine, or two 1 1/2 oz servings of "hard" alcohol a day. Women or lighter weight people should have not more than a single serving of any one of these beverages in a given day.

8 Foods That Help You Lower High Blood Pressure

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Your lifestyle is the primary reason for your high blood pressure. So if you change that you can easily control and even reverse your condition. Even if high blood pressure runs in your family you can keep it away from your body. High blood pressure can be a result of many environmental factors like poor food habits (eating out a lot, eating processed food etc), lack of physical activity, work/travel/personal stress. The biggest problem with having high blood pressure is that it is asymptomatic, meaning it was no apparent symptoms. This is one of the most compelling reasons for anyone to get health conscious as they get older.To help you manage your blood pressure better here are some foods that you must include in your diet every day:• Fennel: A cup of Fennel tea in the morning or just chewing handful of fennel can actually do a trick. You can easily prepare fennel tea by boiling 1 teaspoon of fennel in 1 cup of water and add half a teaspoon of sugar in it. Fennel is a rich source of nitrates which helps in maintaining the flow of blood thus reducing the pressure on heart.• Sprouts: A bowl full of mix sprouts salad with vegetables is a richest source of protein, potassium and fiber. Pulses can be included for sprouts are green gram, bengal gram, cow pea and red gram. All of these are helpful in maintaining the healthy heart. They create an appropriate balance of minerals required for blood pressure regulation.• Beetroot: A glass of beetroot juice or consuming beetroot in salad is also found to be beneficial in lowering the blood pressure. Beetroot is rich in nitrogenous compound which regulates smooth blood flow through the vessels.• Lentils and Beans: Due to their high protein content lentils and beans are put under the category of foods which are found to reduce blood pressure. You should include these pulses in your diet to control your blood pressure levels. You can include them in the form of salads, soups or as a main dish.• Fish: As we all know that omega-3 fatty acids are very beneficial in maintaining heart health and prevents from cardiovascular disorders. Cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, mackreal, sardines are rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. 70-80 gms portion of tuna, herring, salmon, mackerel or sardines provides about 150-170 calories. Grilled, baked or broiled fish is the healthier option instead of frying and you should also skip the heavy batter and curries to keep fat and calorie content low.• Almonds and walnuts: Almonds and walnuts contain good fat which reduces bad cholesterol levels and increases the amount of good cholesterol in blood. 3-4 almonds and walnuts each in your daily routine keep you away from hypertension and prevent heart related disorders.• Milk: There is common myth that people with cardiovascular problems and hypertension should consume lesser amount of milk and milk products. In fact milk helps in maintaining your heart health and also manages your blood pressure because of its calcium and magnesium content which are responsible for proper heart contraction and relaxation respectively. But yes, you need to choose low fat milk instead of full fat.• Green leafy vegetables: As we already know that green leafy vegetables are rich source of fiber but along with it they also offers food amounts of vitamins and minerals specifically vitamin-c, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium. Greens like spinach, kale, collard, beet greens are easily available and can be included in various forms like soup, salad, stuffings, vegetables in your daily diet. In this way you can reduce your blood pressure through your daily diet and without any supplements or medicines.

Suffering From High Blood Pressure? Follow These 8 Steps to Get Rid of It Naturally

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
 Are you suffering from high blood pressure?Knowing this fact, are you choosing to ignore it? If the answer is yes, then following are something you should be aware of.High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the most common health problems seen across the globe. Above all, this elevated blood pressure is also associated with heart disease if not controlled in its initial stages. It typically doesn’t show any signs or symptoms, and many people don’t realize it with time, that’s why we must all get it checked regularly.What causes high blood pressure?Sodium and potassium are two elements present in our blood that manages its pressure in our veins and arteries. Any imbalance in their ratio can cause fluctuation in the pressure of the blood flow.Increase in sodium levels in the blood is one of the major causes of hypertension along with obesity, stress and lack of physical activities.How to reduce high blood pressure?A research by Dr. Marvin Moser, Clinical Professor of Medicine at Yale University revealed that high blood pressure affected two out of three individuals over 75 years of age. However, a fiber-rich diet along with some healthy habits like regular exercise, would bring down the probability of developing this condition to a great extent. Check out these natural ways by which you can keep your blood pressure in check and heart problems at bay. 1. Eat low sodium dietEating too much salt raises the amount of sodium in your blood, which disturbs the sodium and potassium balance in your body. Therefore, salt intake should be monitored when managing blood pressure. However, this is not limited to the salt added while cooking or while consuming food. Do remember, that most packaged and processed food items like chips, pickles, papadum, sauces, bread also contains high amount of salt. Hence, plan your diet accordingly and keep a check on your salt intake. 2. Choose potassium rich foodsPotassium in our blood help in lowering blood pressure levels. By including more fruits and vegetables in your diet, like bananas, muskmelon, apricots, dark green vegetables, mushrooms, you will increase your potassium levels which eventually helps to restore the delicate (sodium-potassium) balance in your blood.Read more on are fruits and vegetables fattening?3. Focus on fibrous foodsAccording to one of the research, having a fiber-rich diet aids in reducing high blood pressure. Fiber helps in balancing your systolic and diastolic pressure, i.e. your upper value and lower value in blood pressure readings. Fiber rich foods that you can easily include in your diet are whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables.Get more information on healthy foods that make you full. 4. Follow an exercise regimeRisk of high blood pressure increases with age, but regular exercising can make a big difference. Doing 30 minutes of workout at least 5 days a week will keep you healthy as well as manage your blood pressure naturally. The following are some of the best exercise that can keep that ‘pressure’ off!RunningClimbing stairsSwimmingCyclingJoggingWalking 5. Keep yourself hydratedIt is important to increase water intake if you are hypertensive. This is because water helps in removing toxins from the body and also helps in restoring the sodium balance in the blood. So, If you really want to lower the numbers of your blood pressure in healthy way, start drinking 10 to 12 glasses of water a day.Read more on benefits of drinking water. 6. Practice Deep breathing techniques One of the easiest ways to lower blood pressure is doing deep breathing exercises. While you inhale and exhale, your nervous system calms down further. This reduces stress and your blood pressure level comes back within the normal range. Doing this on a daily basis for 10-15 mins would definitely show positive results. Follow the above mentioned tips for at least a month, and soon your pressure would be within normal ranges.

Life Style/diet/role of Salt in Hypertension??

Dr. Supritha K M, General Physician
SALT & HYPERTENSIONNow, in continuation to my previous article about hypertension,the next common question is about DIET/LIFE STYLE IN HYPERTENSION.As we all know the first thing that is advised for a patient,when diagnosed as HTN/Pre-HTN is "LOW SALT DIET","KEEP AWAY FROM STRESS"But how do you measure& cut down on the salt?What is the daily requirement of salt?What has salt got to do with HTN control?It is mainly the amount of Na++(sodium) in the salt which matters, which has a role with control of HTN.WHAT DOES Na++ DO?Na++ is one of the main electrolyte in ion transport that happens in the cells of the body, which leads to Increased contractile capacity of blood vessel wallalso to some extent stimulate growth of smooth muscle cell, thereby increasing vessel wall thickness, in turn the resistance offered by the vessel.Daily recommended dose of salt is 5gms/day.That is almost equal to LEVEL TEASPOON of salt.Amount of salt in our diet!! How do we measure the salt we consume??It is mainly the unseen/HIDDEN salt that is present in our daily diet habits!What is this unseen/HIDDEN salt-salt present in our snacks,pickles,chutneys,sauces(ex:soya sauces)ketchups,chips,salted biscuits,cheese,salted butter.Also most of the processed/packaged food also  have hidden extra amount of salt,because salt is added as a preservative.but most food lables only report sodium as grams per 100grams of food.To convert to  salt multiply by 2.5 i.e. 1gm of sodium per 100 gms of food is almost equivalent to the saltiness of seawater!How to control on salt intake?First & foremost thing is to avoid packaged & processed food.Only choose food items with no more than 0.3gms of sodium per 100gms of food Do not add salt to cooking,instead add only at the table,so that you'll have better control of your salt intake.Alternative is ,suppose in a family of 4 members the daily recommended salt intake is 3.5 level TSP per day,so that 0.5 gms will be given as a margin for hidden salt intake.Instead of salt one can add pepper,garlic,herbs(mint/oregano/parsley/coriander),Lemon as flavoring agents.Other dietary/lifestyle changes:Salt intake is one of the main dietary changes advised in hypertension.DIET:Other dietary changes include-Diet rich in Whole grains, fruits & vegetables (5 servings per day),Low fat dairy products & decrease on saturated fat & cholesterolThis can lower BP by upto 14mm HgFor more information one ca visit these websites-http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood-pressure/art-20046974,http://foodpyramidindia.org/Fruits & vegetables-1 serving =1cup of cut fruits/vegetables (or) 80-100 gms, of locally available fruits & vegetables per day i.e. 450-500 gms each day.But in India per capita consumption actual national average is 140GMS/DAY!!!ALCOHOL:Moderation in alcohol consumption-Men <14 units per weekWomen <7 units per week(ASH guidelines) One alcohol unit is measured as 10ml or 8gm of pure alcohol.This equals one 25ml single measure of whisky(ABV* 40%), or a third of a pint of beer(ABV* 5-6%) or half a standard glass of red wine i.e 175ml (ABV*12%)*ABV=Alcohol By VolumePHYSICAL ACTIVITY & STRESS MANAGEMENT:Atleast 30-60 min of moderate physical activity,min of 5days a week can lower blood pressure by 4-9mm HgMake sure you take stairs in you work place rather than lift,walk to the market,walk with your children to their school or activity center/tutions.Get involved in group activities:Dance /cook with friends & family, so that every one will have quality time together as well as a stress buster.In practical,all the above said things looks simple & easy,BUT the very important aspect is ADOPTION & MAINTENANCE of life style modifications,where most of us fail!Try & adhere to the changes one at a time.I would call it as INVESTING ON HEALTH!!We see people chasing behind possessions & positions,often forget on their health-at the end of it all you'll just be spending all your possessions on your illness!Now its your choice to draw a line b/w health & wealth!

Are You Indian? Careful About Diabetes and Hypertension

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Research over the last several years has shown that Indian bodies and genetics are different from their western counterparts. Not in a good way- Indians suffer from abdominal obesity compared to people in the west, whose bodies are uniformly obese. As a result of this, Indians are at a higher risk of diabetes and hypertension.There are currently 41 million diabetic people in India and this number is expected to rise by 170 per cent in the next 20 years. Even today, India has the largest population of diabetics in the world. By 2050, India is projected to be diabetes capital of the world. Today, one in every three Indians has high blood pressure, which is expected to shoot by 60 per cent in the next 20 years.Read to know more about 8 steps to get rid off high blood pressure.Not much can be done about the genetic risk of Indians, but a lot can be done to take measures about reducing your risk. Important Guidelines1. First, get yourself tested for blood sugar and hypertension. Read more about wonder fruits for diabetes.2. Watch your diet and exercise. The Indian diet is very high in carbohydrates. Watch the type of carbohydrates that you put into your body- some carbohydrates promote fat storage. 3. You don't have to cut out fat from your diet. Just eat the healthy fat. Here are snacks that are delicious and healthy- Almonds keep you fitYoghurt reduces fatApple fights cancerGuavas build immunity4. If you have not exercised in a while, then this is your chance to start- start with a walk, and graduate to a jog. There are innumerable benefits of running. The classic pushup exercise also builds muscle and burns fat.You're never too old to get in shape! If you need to lose weight, get on a healthy weight loss plan, with a balanced diet and an effective exercise routine.