MNAMS, DNB (General Medicine), Certified in Evidence Based Diabetes Management, MBBS
Internal Medicine Specialist
The number of people affected by hypertension is constantly on the rise. The most important concern with people developing hypertension is that it is not an isolated issue. It brings with it a host of problems, including higher chances of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and kidney diseases. While there is no definite cure for hypertension, it is definitely possible to control it using the following measures.
Weight control: Greater the body mass index (BMI), higher is the chances of developing hypertension. Check with your doctor to know what the ideal weight is and try to maintain it. If overweight, losing even 10 pounds can make a big difference to your blood pressure.
Diet management: Excessive salt, calories, fat, and sugar are to be avoided. Sodium is one of the main culprits for increasing blood pressure and should be avoided. Include fruits and vegetables that are rich in potassium and magnesium. Reducing salt is another major way to control blood pressure. Fish oils with omega-3 fatty acids are extremely good for the health of the heart and so consult your doctor to include the right amounts in your diet.
Exercise: A regular workout regimen can reduce the chances of developing blood pressure by up to 40% to 50%. This should not be misinterpreted as the need for vigorous workouts. Even small, regular physical activity daily goes a long way in controlling blood pressure.
Alcohol: While quitting alcohol is the best thing to do, for those finding it difficult to do so, cutting down on it plays a big role in controlling blood pressure. No more than a drink per day for women, and no more than two per day for men are recommended.
Stress management: Stress is one of the major causes for increasing blood pressure, and so managing stress is very important. Whether music or meditation, pick your stress buster and see your blood pressure lowered.
Medications: If you are already on a medication regimen, strictly adhere to the schedule. Consult your doctor before adding herbal supplements or dietary supplements. Taken individually, they may be good for health, but there are good chances of them interacting with your regular medications.
Monitor: Once you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, have periodic check-ups with your doctor to ensure it is within the permissible limits. If beyond limits, immediately correct it.
As noted, hypertension is not an isolated issue and brings with it a whole lot of issues. Controlling it can help control the other issues that would follow and improve the quality of life.