High Blood Pressure?
WHAT YOU MEAN BY IT? ASKS DR HUMAIRAH SHAH
High blood pressure (HBP) is a very common disease; many people don’t even know they have high blood pressure. However high blood pressure can lead to serious complications. It is very important that we understand the disease and take control of it before it controls us. There is a saying in Kashmiri “na zanun gov kharee khoda”.
Every now and then we hear that he or she died because of HBP or complications from it. It may surprise you that most of the times people feel no symptoms unless their blood pressure is very high or have suffered from it for a very long time. Undiagnosed and untreated, high blood pressure can not only prove deadly, it can damage important organs like heart, brain, kidney and eyes. I may sound like a broken record but again I want to stress the need for regular checkups. It doesn’t take long to get your blood pressure checked. Health is wealth, don’t ignore it. We live only once and having a healthy life is priceless. You want to be on top of it, especially if you fall into high risk category. Get your blood pressure checked every six months especially after the age of 35. Here is some basic information about HBP that everyone should know.
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).120/80 mmHg is considered normal. 120 is the systolic pressure—pressure created in arteries when the heart contracts. 80 is the diastolic pressure—pressure in arteries when your heart is relaxing.
Systolic is considered high if your reading is consistently over 140mmHg and diastolic is considered high if it is consistently over 90mmHg. If the systolic pressure readings are between 120 and 139, and diastolic between 80 and 89 multiple times it is called pre-hypertension. Most of the times people with pre hypertension develop HBP.
You are at a higher risk if you smoke, have diabetes and if your family members or close relatives have high blood pressure. Your risk increases with age. Excessive salt consumption, stress, anger and suppressed anger can also increase the chances of developing high blood pressure.
Like I said before, most of the time there are no symptoms. However there are a few signs to look out for
*Ear noise or buzzing
Precautions and Treatment:
If your blood pressure is very high, it can be fatal. At times, the complications may leave you disabled for the rest of your life. Patients with HBP should see a doctor regularly and also check blood pressure frequently. High blood pressure can be controlled if you take these steps:
* Maintain a healthy weight.
* Exercise and walk at least 30 minutes every day.
* Follow a healthy eating plan, which includes foods lower in sodium.
* If your doctor has prescribed medication, take it as directed.
* Decrease your sodium intake.
* Make fruits and vegetables integral part of your diet.
* Eat low fat dairy foods.
* Decrease the intake of foods that are high in saturated fat, cholesterol and total fat.
* Eat whole grain products.
* Avoid red meat; replace it with fish and poultry. Remove visible fat and avoid frying meat and vegetables.
* Reduce the intake of sweets; instead eat nuts.
* Eat foods that are rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium and fiber.
Some vegetables and fruits that are rich in potassium, magnesium and fiber include carrots, collards, green beans, green peas, kale, lima beans, potatoes, spinach, squash, tomatoes, apples, apricot, bananas, dates, grapes, oranges, grapefruit, mangoes, melons, peaches, pineapples, raisins and strawberries.
Healthy diet, exercise and having an active lifestyle will save you from lot of diseases in your old age. It is an investment that will never go waste.
(The author can be reached via e.mail: email@example.com
Lastupdate on : Tue, 19 Apr 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 19 Apr 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 20 Apr 2011 00:00:00 IST
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