Hypertension is high or raised Blood Pressure (BP), a condition in which the blood vessels have constant raised pressure, putting them under increased stress. BP is created by the force of the blood that pushes against the walls of blood vessels (arteries) as it is pumped by the heart.
On the occasion of the ‘World Hypertension Day’ - experts from Fortis Hospital Mohali shared Do’s and Don’ts related to one’s blood pressure, factors leading to hypertension/high blood pressure (BP) and how this health hazard can be prevented. The theme for the year 2017 is ‘Know Your Blood Pressure’.
Normal adult BP is 120 mm Hg when the heart beats (systolic), and about 80 mm Hg when the heart relaxes (diastolic). When the systolic BP is 140 mm Hg or above, and the diastolic BP is 90 mm Hg or above, the BP is considered as high. This is a condition when the heart and blood vessels in the other body organs are at a risk. Two of these vital organs are the brain and the kidneys.
Despite the awareness that is spread through personal talks and the media, millions of people across the world suffer from hypertension. A large number of these patients develop further complications like stroke, diabetes and renal failure.
Dr. Amit Sharma, Consultant, Nephrologist, Fortis Hospital Mohali, shared some valuable information to recognize and manage hypertension effectively:
Modern lifestyle, with lack of exercise, long hours in front of computers, frequent fast-food intake and stress at work, has increased the prevalence of high blood pressure. It is a silent killer as there are no obvious signs and symptoms for high blood pressure.
If you experience the following, visit your doctor at the earliest or get your blood pressure checked. Frequent headaches, irregular heartbeat, weakness, giddiness, anxiety, chest pain, confusion in the mind or unexplained nausea.
It’s extremely important that people modify their lifestyles to enhance the chances of leading a healthy life. Those who lead a sedentary life, must find time for sufficient exercise and modify their diets to suit their body and the environment they live in. They must remember that high levels of salt and oil can be detrimental to their health. An exercise as simple as using the staircase and not the lift at one’s workplace, walking up to the market close by, and a morning walk or a jog helps tremendously.
Besides a healthy diet and exercises, it is advised that people who are inclined to develop hypertension should minimize or stop the consumption of alcohol and tobacco. Hypertension is also hereditary. Hence, people with family histories of this problem should be extra cautious. In addition, leading a stress-free life can do wonders to maintain a normal level of one’s blood pressure. For this, planning in advance, not trying to achieve unachievable goals and finding time for leisure goes a long way.
Anyone above the age of 45 years should have their blood pressure measured every two years. Another aspect is related to those who are on drugs for treatment of high blood pressure. You should not stop taking these medications once your blood pressure is controlled without talking to your doctor.