Avoiding pressure

Wellbeing

High blood pressure seldom produces symptoms and many people do not know they have it. It is like a hidden bomb where years of uncontrolled high blood pressure can eventually explode into serious problems. High blood pressure occurs if blood pressure goes above 140/90 mm of Hg and stays there. The higher the blood pressure, higher is the risk of heart failure, heart attack, brain stroke and kidney failure.

How can it be controlled?

Although high blood pressure cannot be cured, it can be controlled. This can be done by moving towards a healthier lifestyle and is the first step in controlling high blood pressure.

* Combination of smoking and high blood pressure can be deadly. Quitting smoking can go a long way in controlling blood pressure.

*Shed off some of your pounds and inches at waist by balancing daily eating with regular physical activity is important.One should target Body mass index(BMI) of less than 23 in Indian population and waist circumference of 90 cms in males and 80 cms in females.

*Avoiding saturated fat and cholesterol rich diet and consuming food which are low in fat such as whole grain,beans,fruits and vegetables is helpful.

*Regular physical activity is the best way to reduce blood pressure. At least 45 minutes of aerobic activity such as biking, brisk walking, swimming or dancing on most days of the week (at least 5 days) should be the aim.

*Drinking too much alcohol may also raise blood pressure. It is advisable for women to have no more than one drink and for men no more than two drinks per day.

*Stress also contributes to high blood pressure. Too much of stress can drive up your blood pressure. Learn to manage reactions to stressful situations helps. Taking a break, helping someone in need, focusing on something positive, deep breathing or meditation are some ways to de-stress.

Above all, regular monitoring of blood pressure is the best way to track your progress. If blood pressure targets are not achieved by lifestyle modification in about three months’ time, pharmacological therapy should be initiated as per doctor consultation.

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