World Hypertension Day: Bring change in your lifestyle to control high blood pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is a very common health condition in India and according to health experts this condition affects one in every four men and one in every five women approximately, totaling over a billion people.
The health experts say hypertension is manageable if one exercise regularly, controls their diet and avoid a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle.
Some of the main reasons behind hypertension in young people are stress, obesity, poor dietary habits, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Dr Sanjay Gupta, Senior Consultant, Department of Internal Medicine, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram says prolonged hypertension also puts a person at a higher risk of several life-threatening conditions and complications like brain stroke, heart failure, kidney failure, retinal damage and others.
Speaking to ANI, on the occasion of World Hypertension Day, Dr Gupta said, "It is critical to raise awareness about hypertension which sometimes strikes without warning and becomes life-threatening emergency. Hypertension is a serious problem as it causes damage to vital organs. It is important that people have their blood pressure checked on a regular basis."
Dr Gupta further said that hypertension is a lifestyle disease but it is manageable.
"By maintaining an optimal weight and eating a well-balanced diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables one can control their bold pressure. Junk food, spicy, oily, and food rich in salt must be avoided," he said.
He further said that people with blood pressure should avoid any kind of stress and should opt for Yoga and meditation which helps to reduce blood pressure. It is also important for people with hypertension to quit smoking and reduce alcohol consumption, he added.
Dr Sanjay Mittal Director of Clinical and Preventive Cardiology, Heart Institute, Medanta Hospital, Gurugram said people who have an unhealthy weight, sedentary lifestyle, and are exposed to unhealthy activities like excessive smoking and alcohol consumption are at more risk of hypertension.
There are certain measures by which one can control their risk to hypertension:
1. Learn to have patience and control anger: Some people who tend to lose their patience easily, are advised to follow yoga and meditation.
2. Following distressing activities: Stress and anxiety temporarily increase the blood pressure which may become a long-term problem if not given due attention. People are advised to follow laughter therapy and clapping which helps them to distract, relieve pain and stress and improve their sense of living.
3. Improving sleep cycle: The unhealthy sleep routine, increased screen time lead to energy consumption which eventually makes people feel feeling drowsy in the daytime. The lack of sleep can cause confusion, anxiety, overeating and diabetic like conditions which increase the risk of hypertension by three fold.
4. Maintaining a healthy weight: It has been observed that fat around the belly (pear shaped body) refers to increases insulin resistance which further gets converted into hypertension. People should control their sugar intake and avoid sweets, sugary drinks, and red meats.
5. Staying fit and regular exercise: There are certain myths associated with people with high blood pressure, that they should avoid physical activities as it might spike their BP which is not true. Physical activities help in controlling high blood pressure, it also helps manage the weight, strengthen the heart and lowers stress level.
6. Dietary approach to control high BP, which in other words, is known as Dash diet for hypertension: People should follow a diet rich in citrus and high fiber fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods. The DASH diet includes eating more than usual 3 times in various food groups including grains, vegetables, fruits, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, meat, poultry, and fish
7. Keep a check on salt intake: Excessive salt intake causes hypertension. The excessive salt makes the body hold onto water. If someone eats too much salt, the extra water in the blood causes extra pressure on the blood vessel walls, raising your blood pressure. People can consume potassium-rich salt, which reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by lowering blood pressure.
8. The environmental factors can significantly increase arterial blood pressure (BP) including cold temperature, high altitude, loud noises, and ambient air pollutants. It is important for people to understand the triggers and to stay at a distance from them.
9. Low fat and controlled carbohydrates intake: People tend to focus on controlling their fat intake and sometimes ignore the carb intake. Both high and low percentages of carbohydrate diets were associated with increased risk of new-onset hypertension. A controlled low carb diet helps in improving insulin resistance, promoting the loss of sodium in the urine which eventually improves the blood pressure.