About 60 percent of your health issues occur between the age of 30 to 45 and about 70 percent of those health problems can be prevented, if diagnosed on time. Most of the global studies attribute three avoidable risk factors, like smoking, high blood pressure (Hypertension or High BP), obesity or high BMI (body, mass index) for disease and death among adults. And, almost 50 percent of deaths are due to High BP. High BP, is also considered to be a silent killer as it does not cause noticeable symptoms, is a very common condition in our country. High blood pressure may lead to stroke, heart disease, heartburn, heart and/or kidney failure, including other complications. It can be identified if regular body check-ups are done.
Most people feel that if you don’t smoke and if your BMI is in control, you cannot have high blood pressure. That certainly is not enough. Constant stress for a long time and having a family history of high blood pressure can trigger high BP. This means you can still be a victim of high blood pressure.
What is High Blood Pressure?
High Blood Pressure is a condition in which, the force of blood flow against your artery walls is so high that it may cause health problems sooner or later. Blood pressure is found out by both, the amount of blood the heart pumps and the amount of resistance to it in your arteries. When more blood is pumped in your heart and your arteries are narrow, you are suffering from high blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure raises your risk of serious health conditions that include heart failure and mitral valve disorders.
Types of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) and the Causes
High blood pressure is of two types, primary (or essential) hypertension, and secondary hypertension.
For many, mostly adults, there is no identifiable cause of high BP. This type is called primary (or essential) hypertension, which tends to develop slowly over many years.
For some, high blood pressure is caused by an underlying condition. This type is called secondary hypertension. Secondary hypertension tends to appear suddenly and cause higher blood pressure compared to primary hypertension. Many conditions and medicines may cause secondary hypertension, such as
- Kidney problems
- Thyroid problems
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Adrenal gland tumors
- Certain blood vessels defects you are born with congenital heart disease
- Illegal drugs like amphetamines and cocaine.
Medicines like cold remedies, birth control pills, over-the-counter pain relievers, decongestants and some prescription medications
Signs & Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure generally develops over many years, and it may eventually affect nearly everyone. You may suffer from high blood pressure, for years without showing any symptoms and despite no visible symptoms; it can damage your blood vessels, heart, kidneys and other parts of the body.
However, a few with high blood pressure may show symptoms like shortness of breath, nosebleeds or headaches. But these symptoms are not specific and may generally occur when high BP has reached a serious, life-threatening stage.
Fortunately, high BP can be detected if you get yourself checked regularly. And, if you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor to control it.
How is Blood Pressure Measured?
How do you measure your BP to know if it is high or normal? Blood Pressure (BP) is generally measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The BP checking apparatus show two readings when your doctor or nurse checks for your BP. They systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. While systolic pressure is maximum pressure during a heartbeat; diastolic pressure is the lowest pressure between a heartbeat. The reading is written as systolic above the diastolic below. For example 120/80 mm Hg. Anything above 120/80 mm Hg considered as High blood pressure and below that is normal blood pressure. High blood pressure is defined as per a person’s age too. For those who are above 60 years, 150/90 is considered High BP.
Effective ways to keep your blood pressure under control
High blood pressure can be controlled by making some simple but effective lifestyle changes. While regular exercise and a healthy diet is extremely important to keep blood pressure under control, alcohol consumption should be strictly avoided under all circumstances. Also, avoid foods in high sodium like packaged or processed foods and add less salts in your food if you have high BP.
Some other effective tips
- Workout regularly: Exercise, at least, for three days a week to keep your blood pressure in check. Aerobic workouts, such as jogging, walking, swimming, cycling and even dancing are all good to keep your BP under control.
- Watch your waistline: Having too much weight around the waistline increases the risk of high BP. So it is important to lose weight to keep your blood pressure under control.
- Quit smoking: Smoking raises your BP for many minutes after you finish it. Quit smoking, if you smoke, to help your body to restore normal blood pressure levels.
- Eat a healthy diet: Make sure to add more of vegetables and fresh fruits in your diet. Add more of potassium-rich foods in your diet. It helps in decreasing the effect of sodium on the blood pressure. Foods rich in potassium include peas, bananas, spinach, avocados, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and oranges to name a few.
- Cut back on Tea or Coffee: Tea or coffee can raise the levels of your blood pressure. Limit their intake to keep your blood pressure under control.
- Manage stress: Stress is a significant factor that contributes to your high blood pressure levels. Adopt hobbies to take less stress or simply change your attitude towards it. Yoga and meditation are said to be good ways of reducing stress.
Blood pressure usually rises with age. A healthy lifestyle can help you delay or prevent this increase in blood pressure. Significant actions include, following a healthy lifestyle, regular heart health check-ups and, if have high BP, adhering to the treatment plan. People with high BP can take precautionary steps to control it and diminish their risk of related health conditions.
You should discuss with your doctor about your blood pressure is you are above 30 years. You should also schedule regular health checkups. You can also avail a comprehensive Heart Health Package offered by some local healthcare provider.
“ Knowing the signs and making lifestyle changes can surely help. Take action now! Enroll in our comprehensive Healthy Heart Program to keep your heart healthy. ”