As your parents grow old, their health problems multiply and how! From deteriorating organs to a not-so-strong heart, everything becomes a cause of concern. Plus, their day-to-day medication also brings their immunity to an all-time low.
In their age, one problem which is pretty common is hypertension or high blood pressure. The worst part is the cause of this lethal disease is still a mystery. According to experts, in 95% of the cases, the cause remains unknown and it is only in 5% cases that it is triggered by secondary issues like a kidney problem, endocrinological disorder, or something similar.
Senior cardiologist, Dr Santosh Kumar Dora who practices at the Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai, reveals that hypertension is more prominent in people who are above 55 years of age, and today almost 50% of the older adults are dealing with it.
Men are a little more vulnerable to high blood pressure than women, and its prevalence increases with age.
But the problem lies in the age factor. We all know, with age, our parents’ immunity goes for a toss, and the kind of medicines they consume to bring their blood pressure down only adds to their woes. Therefore, it is important to look for a natural solution that can help to lower the blood pressure of your parents.
Dr Dora has listed down six ways that can help you lower your parent’s blood pressure, without any medicine.
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You need to make sure your parents’ diet should be low in carbohydrates and fat. Follow the DASH rule – Dietary approach to stop hypertension, which consists of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. It also includes fish, poultry, legumes, and a small amount of nuts and seeds.
Staying physically active is great for all age groups, especially with the kind of lifestyle we lead.
“Regular dynamic exercise helps to maintain your normal BP. I would recommend doing 30 to 45 minutes of fast walking/ jogging/ cycling/ swimming etc every day, for at least five days in a week. You can ask your parents to include 15 minutes of yoga and pranayam to prevent hypertension,” Dr Dora suggests.
Physical or mental stress also leads to high blood pressure. Avoid stress to prevent high BP. Adopt various relaxation techniques to fight stress — listen to music, pick up a hobby, take a vacation, talk to friends. If needed, talk to a psychotherapist to tackle stress.
If your parents indulge in any of these habits, then ask them to be cautious, because both smoking and drinking increase blood pressure.
“Adequate rest is essential for both the body and mind. More work and less sleep increases anxiety and stress, which in turn leads to hypertension,” reveals Dr Dora.
High sodium is the biggest enemy for a person suffering from high BP, since it shoots up the blood pressure in just a few minutes. Do you know the normal intake of sodium is up to 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day or less? However, a lower sodium intake should be limited to 1,500 mg a day or less.
You must remember that these measures will only help to control the high blood pressure, it won’t treat the illness. Also, you must understand that with age, BP may still rise. A regular BP check up is mandatory and if it still remains high, medication is critical to maintain their BP in the normal range.
“Hypertension is a silent killer, as most of the patients do not show any symptoms. The only way it can be detected early is through a routine BP check up. High BP can cause considerable cardiac damage. The two common ways it affects the heart is either heart failure or coronary artery disease, leading to a heart attack. It can also cause various atrial or ventricular arrhythmias, with its damaging effect on the heart muscles. Prevention is the best medicine. Hypertension can be prevented by a healthy lifestyle,” he concludes.
So ladies, now you see how easy it is to lower your parents’ blood pressure without any medication! It’s better to be safe than sorry.