What is Hypertension?
Hypertension is defined as persistently elevated arterial blood pressure. The normal blood pressure is 120/80, where 120 indicates systolic pressure and 80 is diastolic pressure. Isolated systolic hypertension is diastolic blood pressure less than 90 mm of Hg and systolic blood pressure values of 140 mm of Hg or more. Hypertensive crisis (BP>180/120 mm Hg) may be categorized as hypertensive emergency or hypertensive urgency.
CLASS SYSTOLIC (SBP) DIASTOLIC (DBP)
Normal <120 <80
Prehypertension 120-139 80-89
Stage 1 140-159 90-99
Stage 2 >or equal to 160 > or equal to 100
RISK FACTORS: There are a number of risk factors which increase the chances of having hypertension
Age: hypertension is most commonly in people aged over 60 years. With age, blood pressure can increase steadily as the arteries become stiffer and narrower due to plaque build-up.
Ethnicity: Some ethnic groups are more prone to hypertension.
Size And Weight: Being overweight is a key risk factor.
Alcohol and Tobacco use: Taking in large amounts of alcohol regularly can increase a person’s blood pressure, as can smoking tobacco.
Sex: The lifetime risk is the same for both males and females, but men are more prone to hypertension at a younger age. The prevalence tends to be higher in older women.
Existing health conditions: Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, high cholesterol levels can lead to hypertension especially in older people.
Clinical presentation: Patients with uncomplicated hypertension are usually asymptomatic initially
The non-pharmacological treatment to treat hypertension includes:
Walk and exercise regularly: Exercise is one of the best things you can do to reduce the blood pressure. Regular exercise makes your heart stronger and more efficient in pumping the blood, which reduces the pressure in arteries
150 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, as running per week can help to lower the blood pressure and improve heart health. As per national walker’s health study walking just 30 min a day can help to lower blood pressure. More exercise can help to even reduce it further.
Reduce sodium intake: Salt intake is high around the world. In many studies, salt has been a reason to high blood pressure and heart events, like stroke. Reducing the salt intake may help in reducing the blood pressure.
Avoid drinking alcohol: Drinking alcohol can raise the blood pressure, alcohol is linked to 16% of high blood pressure cases around the world. Drinking alcohol raises the blood pressure. Limit drinking alcohol or avoid it to reduce the blood pressure.
Eat more potassium rich foods: Potassium is an important mineral. It helps your body to get rid of sodium and ease pressure on blood vessels. Modern diets have increased most people sodium intake while decreasing potassium intake. To get better balance of potassium to sodium in your diet, focus on eating fewer processed food and more fresh, whole foods
Foods that have high potassium include:
- Leafy vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes,
- Fruits like banana, avocados, oranges and apricots
- Dairy such as milk and yogurt
- Tuna and salmon
- Nuts and seeds
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables which are potassium rich can help to lower blood pressure.
Reduce caffeine intake: Regular intake of caffeine can cause a lasting increase. The people who drink coffee and tea tend to have a lower risk of heart disease, including high blood pressure, than those who don’t. Caffeine can have a stronger effect on people who don’t consume it regularly. Caffeine can cause a short-term spike in blood pressure, although for many people it does not cause a lasting increase.
Learn to manage stress: Stress is one of the main causes for high blood pressure. When stress increases heart rate increase and constrict the blood vessels. We can reduce stress by listening to soft music and even by reducing the work stress by working less. chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure.
Eat dark chocolates: The dark chocolate consists of flavonoids rich cocoa improved several markers of heart health over the short term. For more effect use non-alkalized cocoa powder which has a high number of flavonoids and has no added sugar.
Lose weight: If you are obese reducing weight may help to decrease the blood pressure. Losing weight can help blood vessels to do better in expanding and contracting, making left ventricle to pump blood. Weight reduction can be done by doing regular exercises.
Quit smoking: Smoking is one of the major risk factors for hypertension. The chemicals I tobacco damage the blood vessels. So, avoid smoking to reduce the blood pressure.
Eat calcium rich foods
Take natural supplements such as aged garlic extract, berberine, whey protein, fish oil, hibiscus, magnesium rich foods
Keerthi kumari, Sai sushma