World Hypertension Day 2017: Know the symptoms and causes
New Delhi , May 17 : If constant headache has been troubling you, dizziness has been bothering you, you have been getting fatigued fast or you have blurred vision, then there might be a chance that you are suffering from high blood pressure, says Dr Ramneek Varma, General Physician on Lybrate.Ignoring these signs can be an invite to other serious health ailments as hypertension is a risk factor for heart problems, kidney disorders, dementia, stroke and sexual dysfunction, among others.
Hypertension is a lifestyle-related health issue. Given the haphazard way people live in big cities and towns and the kind of day-to-day stress they have to deal with, it is not surprising that hypertension has become very common among the population.
Having said that, it is not true that rural population is untouched with it. As per the current estimates, about 20-40 percent urban population suffers from hypertension, while 12-17 percent population is said to be afflicted with it in the rural areas. The instances of hypertension are rapidly growing in both urban and rural areas, with children also now being affected with it.
A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 mmHG. When on more than three occasions, your reading is 140/90 mmHG or above that, you are considered hypertensive or the one suffering from high blood pressure.
High blood pressure or hypertension is a lifestyle-induced health problem, and those who have a family history of the condition are at more grave risk of developing it. As bad lifestyle is a major reason behind hypertension, course correcting the same helps control the condition. There are simple to-do things to take care of:
Manage diet: A good and balanced diet having less calories, fat, sugar and salt is a key to lowering high blood pressure. The main culprit in high blood pressure is sodium, so cutting down on salt content is a must to control hypertension.
Include fruits and vegetables that are rich in potassium and magnesium. If you have Hypertensive heart disease, which refers to heart conditions caused by high blood pressure, then consumption of fish oils with omega-3 fatty acids are extremely good as they help lower blood pressure too.
Exercise: It is imperative to indulge in physical activity if you have hypertension. Also, regular exercising reduces the chance of developing blood pressure by up to 40-50 percent.
It does not mean that you have to adopt a vigorous exercising regime. Even if you do exercising for 20-30 minutes daily, that is enough to stay fit and keep high blood pressure at bay.
Manage weight: Increase in weight often leads to increase in blood pressure. One also tends to have disrupted breathing during sleep because of being overweight, which causes blood pressure to rise. It, hence, becomes important to reduce weight.
Even cutting down 4-5 kilograms of weight is enough to bring high blood pressure under control. Apart from that, you also have to keep a tab on your waistline. Too much flab around this area increases the risk of high blood pressure. Ideally, the waist size of men should be 40 inches and that of women should be 35 inches.
Cut down on smoking and alcohol: Both the habits have adverse affects on the body's blood pressure. Smoking and alcohol consumption lead to constriction of blood vessels, which thereby results in higher blood pressure. These habits are damaging for those who are suffering from hypertension and equally for those who are at the risk of it. Cutting down the intake of alcohol and reducing the number of puffs are beneficial for hypertensive people as also save them from any impending hazards of cardiovascular ailments.
Manage stress: Essential it is to manage stress, if you want your blood pressure to stay under control. Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, flooding blood with chemicals that accelerate heart rate and narrows the bloods vessels, causing the blood pressure to rise. Managing stress thus is important by way of doing something that soothes your mind. You can indulge in any activity that cuts down your stress and brings back peace into your life.
Hypertension can very well be contained by making certain changes in lifestyle. Making these changes are worth it to lead a healthier life.