Hypertension or raised blood pressure is a common disease in modern society.
Inappropriate diet intake and lifestyle are the main culprits for developing high blood pressure.
Blood pressure may be defined-
as a lateral pressure produced by the blood on their vessel wall during circulation in our body.
Regarding blood pressure a person can be categorized in-
- Normotensive (Normal Blood Pressure)- When systolic pressure is below 120mm of Hg (mercury ) and diastolic blood pressure is below 80 mm of Hg.
- Pre-hypertensive: When systolic blood pressure is 120-139mm of HG and diastolic pressure is 80-89 mm of Hg.
- Hypertensive (Stage-1): When systolic blood pressure is 140-159mm of Hg and diastolic pressure is 90-99 mm of Hg.
- Hypertensive (Stage-2): When systolic blood pressure is equal or more than 160 and diastolic pressure is equal or more than 100 mm of Hg.
It will be unwise to think that if a person is in normotensive or pre-hypertensive stage will not develop hypertension. Even, after taking regular medication, a hypertensive patient may develop malignant or uncontrolled hypertension. An uncontrolled hypertensive patient is always in risk of acute heart attack, arrhythmia, heart failure or stroke. All of them are very serious medical conditions. Otherwise uncontrolled hypertension has a very serious effect on pregnancy, eye and kidney.
So what should we do?
Two things can be done to control blood pressure-
- Prevention of developing hypertension in a normotensive or pre-hypertensive patient.
- Control of blood pressure in a hypertensive patient, by lifestyle modification and medication.
Yes, we can do many things to prevent and control high blood pressure. Lifestyle is the key factor to reduce blood pressure. Let’s see some ways to control high blood pressure without medication.
We all are dependent on high calorie containing fast foods. We are gaining weight and getting frustrated for our obesity. But most of us are not trying properly to reduce it.
Heavy weight is one of the most important risk factors of developing high blood pressure. Extra cholesterols and fat are deposited in our blood vessels and narrowing their lumen and increasing blood pressure.
An American male having their waist measurement greater than 40 inches and women having greater than 35 inches (89 cm) are at a risk of developing hypertension or high blood pressure.
For reducing weight a consultation with a doctor should be made to choose a proper weight reduction plan.
Regular physical activities and exercises help to reduce blood pressure and helps to lose some weight. Daily at least 30 to 60 minutes of light exercise like fast walking or jogging can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 mm Hg. (http://goo.gl/BFKZYd ). It also helps to reduce cholesterol level and other cardiovascular and cerebro-vascular risks. (http://goo.gl/2esz1 )
Having a good diet plan:
May be you are a healthy person but you should keep a food diary. It will help you to count your calorie intake as well as to reduce blood pressure. A person should choose following foods for his diet.
- Try to eat foods rich in whole grain such as cereal, whole grain bread, rice, pasta etc.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables containing potassium vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Potassium helps to reduce blood pressure by decreasing effect of sodium in our body. These foods also need for proper growth.
- Increase low fat dairy product intake.
- Reduce intake of high protein and fat diet like meat, fish, and poultry up to 2 servings.
The unbelievable truth is eating a proper diet may reduce blood pressure up to 14 mm of Hg in a pre-hypertensive and hypertensive patient.
Reducing sodium salt intake:
Recommendation of sodium intake by The American Heart Association recommends is less than 1500 mg per day to reducing blood pressure. (http://goo.gl/OV6p8p ). It may reduce your blood pressure 2-8 mm of Hg.
Reducing alcohol intake:
If you are an alcoholic, don’t drink it too much. Taking small amounts of alcohol may reduce your blood pressure but heavy drinkers usually have high blood pressure. Try to avoid binge drinking.
Smoking may cause a temporary spike of rise of blood pressure. It raises blood pressure around 8-9 mm of Hg within 30 minutes of smoking. But if a person smokes frequently his or her blood pressure will be rise persistently.
Decreasing caffeine intake:
Caffeine containing foods, such as tea, coffee etc. may raise your blood pressure. Caffeine is a strong brain stimulator.
Try to reduce stress of work, family, financial problems etc. A meditation or yoga practice can help to be relaxed. Try 15 – 30 min to do some meditation or yoga daily. Be confident and think positively.
Trying to be social is very effective to relieve stress and reducing blood pressure. Supports from friends and family are very important to lead a routine life.
Regular monitor your blood pressure:
Be careful about your blood pressure. Check of blood pressure monthly. A hypertensive patient should check blood pressure more frequently.
These are very easy and accepted ways. We should try to follow these ways. High blood pressure itself is a disease and also a strong predisposing factor of other serious diseases. We have to prevent and control it.
Dr. Hasan Ebna Amin