High blood pressure is called hypertension. Hypertension is now no longer a disease of adults, it can affect you at a young age and it can also affect children. Blood pressure (BP) means the pressure of blood vessels carrying blood around your body.
Hypertension is directly responsible for 57 percent of all stroke deaths and 24 percent of all coronary heart disease deaths in India. In many case hypertension does not convey any warning signals until it causes complications such as heart attack and a stroke or slowly starts consuming the body one way or the other. Hence it is called as silent killer. Though vague symptoms like headache, heaviness in the head, impairment in vision, disturbed sleep, or lack of it, loss of concentration in work, heavy breathing during work or climbing stairs are sign of high blood pressure regular blood pressure check up are the only way to watch for this disease. If your blood pressure measurement is consistently more than 140/90mm Hg then you have high blood pressure. High blood pressure causes strain on the blood vessels carrying blood around your body. This strain can cause vessels to clog or to weaken and this in turn can lead to narrow blood vessels and clots which can cause damage to the heart or brain.
High Blood pressure can affect you even at the age of 25. Few decades ago hypertension in children was secondary to Kidney or other disorders. Now it has become primary condition. Overweight due to junk food, stress due to exams and tuitions are considered as the culprit. Reports of controlling BP in these children after they started exercising, having home food and having tuitions at home instead of tuition classes.
CAUSE AND COMPLICATIONS OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Hypertension is a life style disease and there are no specific cause that triggers off hypertension. But there are certain risk factors that are associated with this disease. Stress is one of the most common causes. Obesity or overweight, sedentary life style, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, heavy intake of salt and salty foods are some of the factors that cause hypertension. If high blood pressure is allowed to stay high it will result in brain damage, heart failure, heart attacks. Further hypertension can also lead to chronic kidney disease. It is said that 4 to 5 lakhs suffer from kidney ailment in India and 50% to 60% of these are due to hypertension. Hypertension is the second highest risk factor for chronic kidney disease. A Study which was recently conducted in India highlights that neglecting blood pressure could lead to chronic kidney disease.
HOW TO PREVENT HYPERTENSION.
Keep yourself active by regular exercise. Start your exercise regime after consultation with a physician. Walk briskly at least 30 minutes a day. Restrict salt intake and also avoid salted food. Don't fall into the habit of having salt with every morsel. Avoid salt foods like sauces, pickles, fries, chips etc. Avoid processed and fast and junk food. You can go free on vegetables and fruits. Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables for fiber. Increase potassium intake. Beans peas, spinach, cabbage, bananas papayas and dater are rich in potassium. Quit smoking. Alcohol and excessive consumption of coffee should be avoided. Reduce dairy product such as cheese, butter, cream ghee etc. You can opt for low fat dairy product. Meditation, yoga, regular outings with your close ones, hobbies like painting, music, gardening and other stress busting techniques can keep away from stress and hence from hypertension. Avoid chronic anger. Try to laugh on many occasions as possible. Joining laughing club is also said to be useful.
WHAT IS A WHITE COAT EFFECT?
It was found that BP taken in doctor's clinic is higher than that taken at home. This is because people are anxious about their health when they go to the doctor's clinic. This can be minimized by asking the patient to lie down quietly in a chair with their feet on the floor and arms supported at heart level. Caffeine, exercise and smoking should be avoided at least 30 minutes prior to the measurement of BP. The medical advice now is to have at least two to three BP reading before ruling the pressure is indeed high and starting medication.