High blood pressure, is the most common condition affecting people these days. Around one–third of the population has high blood pressure but is unaware of it because of no symptoms as well as unawareness about the benefits of regular health check-ups for heart health. Although blood pressure can be checked even at home the only need is to have awareness regarding the same.
Blood pressure readings are given in two numbers – Systolic is the top number and Diastolic is the bottom number. Systolic is pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts, Diastolic is pressure in the arteries as the heart relaxes.
Normal Blood pressure is below or 120/80. However, there are three stages of blood pressure.
Elevated blood pressure – The blood pressure ranging 120-129 systolic and diastolic less than 80 mmHg
Stage 1 – The blood pressure ranging from 130 – 140 systolic 80 – 90 diastolic
Stage 2 – The blood pressure ranging 140 or higher and diastolic 90 or higher.
Hypertensive Crises – You should consult your doctor immediately when you see your systolic 180 mmHg or higher and diastolic 120mmHg or higher.
Blood pressure readings vary from day to day or throughout the day and from person to person. The blood pressure readings can be seen considerably high due to various factors like stress, anger, intake of lots of caffeine such as coffee, smoking, the tension of exam, or viva.
High blood pressure is the most common factor for the development of various health-related issues including heart diseases, kidney issues, stroke.
But we can always try to control our blood pressure firstly by lifestyle modifications and if it is still uncontrollable then one has to start prescription medicine along with lifestyle modification to control hypertension.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
Primary hypertension – This type of hypertension has no cause but the risk of developing high blood pressure develops over time due to the below-listed factors.
There are various causes of hypertension, here I am listing a few causes that gradually increases the chances of developing hypertension.
Secondary hypertension – This type of hypertension develops quickly as it is associated with other severe diseases. The causes are as follows –
Congenital heart defects
Use of illicit drugs
Age and Obesity
It is the most important factor as age increases the risk of hypertension also increases. However, these days due to inadequate physical activity, improper lifestyle, more inclination towards unhealthy diet the chances of development of blood pressure is increased in young adults is also increasing.
Obesity – The more you weigh, the more are the chances of an increase in blood pressure. In recent years, a rise in obesity is seen in young people including children, teenagers, and thus the risk of hypertension too.
Lack of Physical Activity and Improper Diet
Being inactive, can definitely increase the risk of high blood pressure. No exercise, no activity increases the risk of obesity which can increase the risk of hypertension too.
Improper diet – Food is the most important part of our life. But your dietary choices play an important role in maintaining your health too much sodium retain more fluid thus increase blood pressure, too little vitamin D in the body also affects blood pressure, too much intake of fried, fatty food and salty food for a long duration increase the chances of blood pressure.
Smoking and Alcohol
Consuming tobacco, either chewable or smoke form raises blood pressure. Habitual intake of tobacco releases chemicals which not only increases the risk of blood pressure but other serious problems like stroke, cancer too.
Regular drinking of alcohol increases the risk of blood pressure.
Pregnancy – Pregnancy, causes a temporary increase in blood pressure thus one must always try to be a little active and consume good, fresh, and healthy home-cooked meals during pregnancy.
Stress, worry, and anxiety – Being under intense fear, stress, worry, anxiety, or anger temporarily increases blood pressure, and trying to cope up with that stress with smoking and alcohol leads to the development of hypertension.
History – Family history and genes contribute to increasing the risk of hypertension.
Signs and Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is often termed as Silent Killer. People who have blood pressure don’t know about having it until and unless they get the symptoms or they came to know about it during their routine health checkups.
The signs and symptoms often associated with high blood pressure are listed below however the symptoms don’t appear for long so often go unnoticed and thus hypertension is often termed as Silent Killer.
Signs associated with high blood pressure –
- Blurred vision
- Heart palpitations
How To Control High Blood Pressure
To prevent the risk of high blood pressure as well as whenever you are diagnosed with high blood pressure your doctor would recommend you to make lifestyle changes as soon as possible.
Blood pressure readings should be less than 130/80 mm Hg but when lifestyle changes are not sufficient, the doctor may prescribe medication and that completely depends on how unhealthy or high Blood pressure of the patient is
Lifestyle modifications – The lifestyle change recommended is –
- Eat healthy, fresh food with less amount of sodium.
- Limit the intake of fried food.
- Increase physical activity in daily life in the form of exercise and brisk walking.
- Limit the intake of alcohol.
- Completely skip chewing or smoking tobacco.
- Try to reduce stress as much as possible.
- Maintain a proper schedule of sleeping at night and waking up in the morning.
- Medical Professional help is required in case you are not able to reach the goal of normal blood pressure.
- A medical professional look upon the history of the patient and develop an individualized treatment plan to prevent the negative effects of high blood pressure on the health of the patient.
- In some patients whenever there is trouble reaching on blood pressure goal combination of groups of medicine is also prescribed by the doctor
Home Remedies of High Blood Pressure
With the help of few homecare measures, one can always try to control blood pressure. Here’s a list of few things you can do –
Diet – You should try to limit sodium intake once you are diagnosed with high blood pressure. Emphasize more on eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains rather than fried, junk, and calorie-rich food. Eat less saturated fat.
Stress reduction – Everyone seems to be stress in today’s scenario due to various reasons workload pressure, exams, competitions, overwork but the more you follow the stressful life more are the more chances of developing blood pressure. Try to cope up with stress by doing meditation, practicing yoga, plenty of good night’s sleep.
Deep breathing – practice deep, slow breathing exercises on daily basis to relax your body. When anxiety accompanies high blood pressure deep breathing exercise plays an important role.
Omega 3 fatty acids – An alternative tactic to lower blood pressure is using Omega 3 fatty acids. It is found in fish oil supplements, flax seeds. But you must always talk to your doctor before starting any supplements too. Some supplements could interact with your blood pressure medicine so on a safer note one must always consult their physician and should always avoid self-medication.
Exercise in Lowering High Blood Pressure
Some exercise you can do to control hypertension. The best exercise to control hypertension are –
Home chores – You can burn your calories while doing household chores. Some household chores like cleaning help in burning calories and increases movement and flexibility thus improving the circulation of the body.
Walking – Walking especially brisk walking is good for health, improves circulation of blood, and promotes good heart health.
Dancing, swimming, and cycling – If you are hypertensive you can choose some light exercises like dancing, swimming, and cycling and improve your heart health.
Yoga for High Blood Pressure
Research suggests adding yoga to your daily practice can improve your circulation of blood on your body and thus improve heart health and control high blood pressure. Practice simple yoga with deep breathing and relaxation exercise at least 3-4 times a week. This would not only promote heart health, it would also improve the overall health of the body.
You must always keep your overall health on track by undergoing routine health check-ups by monitoring your blood pressure readings and working with your physician to achieve the goal of maintaining blood pressure if it seems to be beyond the normal limit for long.
Take your medication on time and follow a healthy diet with yoga and exercise and improve your lifestyle and keep your heart health on track.
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