Hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure, is known as the ‘silent killer.’ It is a health condition that’s not only common but critical too. It happens when there is an excessive long-term force of blood applied to the artery walls leading to heart diseases. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries are, the higher the pressure will be. This condition is critical because it has no noticeable symptoms and thus often goes undiagnosed. If left untreated for a long time, it can lead to the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
If your blood pressure is abnormally high, you will need to lower it as quickly as possible. To do your best bet might be to get your doctor to prescribe medication, but medications alone will never suffice because a lifestyle disease like this can only be managed through lifestyle changes.
So, to bring down the high blood pressure level, there are some ways that Dr Narayan Gadkar, Consultant Cardiologist, Zen Multi speciality Hospital, Chembur, suggests for HealthShots readers:
Did you know that the healthy body mass index (BMI) is in the range of 18.5 and 24.9. And the blood pressure of a person increases as weight increases. So, you will have to stay fit, eat a well-balanced diet, and exercise daily to manage your weight.
If your food habits have gone haywire, it is the right time to take charge of your health and eat a lot of fruit, veggies and low-fat dairy. Avoid junk, oily, processed, and canned food. It will be essential for you to avoid eating pasta, pizza, burger, French fries, chips, namkeens, and other foods with artificial sweeteners. Keep a food diary and note down what you eat in order to know your eating habits, and improve them.
Sodium content naturally increases blood pressure level. So choose low-sodium foods only.
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you are doing it all wrong. You will have to start exercising for at least five days a week for half an hour. You can do any activity that you like. Try to opt for swimming, cycling, aerobics, yoga, gymming, running, or play any sport of your choice.
If you have high blood pressure, avoid alcohol or drink alcohol only in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men. Keep in mind that alcohol contains calories and may contribute to unwanted weight gain — a risk factor for high blood pressure. Also, alcohol can interact with certain blood pressure medications, affecting the level of the medication in your body or increasing side effects.
Potassium can reduce your blood pressure level effectively. So increase your daily intake of potassium by eating more peas, bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, orange juice, kidney beans, honeydew melon,0 and raisins.
Quitting smoking can bring down the blood pressure to the normal range and cut down the risk of heart disease as well.
Our body produces a surge of hormones when you’re in a stressful situation. These hormones temporarily increase your blood pressure by causing your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow. There’s no proof that stress by itself causes long-term high blood pressure. But reacting to stress in unhealthy ways can increase your risk of high blood pressure.
Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water per day is perhaps the easiest way to manage blood pressure related issues. So keep yourself hydrated.
You must monitor your blood pressure at home regularly especially if you want to prevent the necessity of taking medications or reduce the medications you are currently taking.
Also, don’t forget to visit your doctor for proper diagnosis and follow the medications as per his advice.
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