Listen to this article
We’re all aware of the dangers of suffering from a blood pressure issue and when our parents are afflicted with it, it can be a very worrisome situation but dealing with blood pressure – either high or low – can be made more manageable with the introduction of a few lifestyle habits!
We had a word with Dr. Ravi Gupta who is a cardiologist at Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai, and his suggestions are noteworthy for anyone who is looking at helping their parents’ manage BP at home.
First, let’s understand what is the optimum level of blood pressure for your parents
Yes, it is very important to know the ideal blood pressure reading for your parents. so that you’re better aware about when to worry and when to avoid unnecessary stress. According to Dr. Gupta, the overall ideal blood pressure is below 130/80 and optimum level is 120/80.
We know that during this time marked by the outbreak of COVID19 it isn’t just tough but also highly advisable for you and your parents to avoid visiting any hospital or clinic. Hence, you need to make sure that any BP issues are kept under control and yes, it is manageable to do so at home.
Dr. Ravi Gupta is telling you of seven lifestyle changes that your parents must adopt in order to manage their blood pressure without any intervention:
1. Dietary modifications
We are talking about a well-balanced diet which includes a lot of green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, and salads. Dr. Gupta suggests, “Salt is the biggest culprit when it comes to BP and hence, you need to restrict its intake when it comes to your parents’ diet. Also, items like pickle, papad, and chatni, especially when bought instead of prepared at home, have added salt and you should ideally keep a tab on that as well.”
2. A short walk goes a long way
Surely this time it might be a little difficult but you can ask them to walk on the terrace or balcony or maybe around the house for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
3. Monitor their blood pressure from time to time
It is very important to keep a tab on their BP so that you can take apt steps to manage it. If you haven’t visited a doctor for a blood pressure reading recently, we say you invest in a blood pressure monitor which can be ordered online or bought from a chemist.
Dr. Gupta is of the view that “Nowadays there are a variety of digital monitors available in the market and it is very easy to monitor blood pressure on them. In case you see a major fluctuation, you should immediately take consultation from your doctor.”
He also recommends that you should check your parents’ BP twice a day for the most effective monitoring.
4. Don’t let them skip their medication
Until and unless prescribed by the doctor, don’t stop or switch medication for your parents. Make sure they’re consuming their medicine as prescribed by the doctor.
5. Don’t let them smoke
Well, there should not be any second thoughts on that. Dr. Ravi Gupta suggests that smoking is a big no. “I recommend all my patients to stay away from this habit. Ask your parents to meditate as it will help them develop self-control”, he added.
6. Refrain them from drinking
Dr. Gupta referred to alcohol as being doubly hazardous. He says, “Although, how much alcohol can be consumed is different for different people but I would say that it is better to avoid it.”
7. Coffee can dehydrate so avoid it
Caffeine might relieve your parents from headache but it has a negative impact when it comes to their BP. Dr. Ravi Gupta added that “Caffeine intake leads to dehydration, plus it can shoot up the blood pressure which is not a good thing. Instead, you can indulge them in a non-caffeinated or tannin based drink like buttermilk.”
We asked Dr. Gupta if there is any home remedy that can help in managing BP
Thankfully, his answer is yes, one can manage BP with an easy home remedy. He informed us that “there are a lot of studies that have shown that eating garlic can help in managing BP at home. In fact, I also recommend my patient to add garlic in their daily diet.”
A study published in the journal of BMC Cardiovascular Disorders also suggests that garlic can help you manage hypertension.
Also, Dr. Gupta suggests that eating potassium-rich foods like banana, spinach, broccoli, mushroom, raisins, and dates is a must for your parents.
So, there you go people. You have heard it all from the doctor so just take a deep breath because managing your parents’ BP isn’t going to be as difficult as you thought as long as you’re vigilant.