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Hypertension Tips

How Regular Blood Pressure Monitoring At Home Helps To Manage The Condition?

How Regular Blood Pressure Monitoring At Home Helps To Manage The Condition?

Checking your blood pressure on a regular basis is a crucial part of keeping your blood pressure levels in check. Doctors around the world recommend that all high blood pressure patients must monitor blood pressure at home.

You can monitor blood pressure at home with the help of blood pressure monitors that are easily available.

How can regular blood pressure monitoring can help you?

  • It helps with early diagnosis

Self-monitoring can help the doctor diagnose hypertension quicker. Because compared to an occasional reading at the clinic, regular monitoring can quickly confirm the diagnosis. This is particularly helpful in case of diabetic and kidney patients.

  • Reduces visit to the clinic

With self-monitoring on a regular basis, you won’t have to visit the doctor often.

  • Keep track of your treatment

To keep better track of whether your medications and lifestyle changes are working, you have to check your blood pressure regularly. It can help your doctor tweak your treatment accordingly like changing dosage or medications.

  • Encourages taking responsibility for your health

With self-monitoring, you are bound to feel more responsible for your health. Because it is a more hands-on approach, the chances of being self-motivated to keep your blood pressure in check are higher.

A few tips for accurate reading at home –

  • Check your blood pressure reading twice daily
  • Don’t check right after you wake up but do it before you eat breakfast or work out
  • Don’t consume caffeine, tobacco or alcohol at least 40 minutes before taking a measurement
  • Stay calm and sit quietly while taking a reading
  • Position your arm in the correct manner
  • Don’t put the cuff over the clothing, place it on bare skin

It is simple to check blood pressure at home. And, gradually, regular blood pressure monitoring at home will bring down the chances of high blood pressure complications.

10 Healthy Foods That Lower Your Blood Pressure!

10 Healthy Foods That Lower Your Blood Pressure!

Poor diet is one of the major reasons behind high blood pressure. There are foods that upon consumption can lower blood pressure.  Here is a list of foods that you can incorporate into your diet if you are looking for relief from high blood pressure –

1. Berries

Berries like strawberries are rich in a class of antioxidants called anthocyanins – a flavonoid. In a study conducted to find out the effect of berries on high blood pressure, researchers found that those subjects who consumed berries in significant amounts – particularly strawberries and blueberries – observed around an 8% reduction in their blood pressure levels.

2. Beets

A rich source of nitric acid – eating beets can help open up your blood vessels and reduce blood pressure. You can drink beet juice or cook and eat the whole root. You can also bake beet as chips and eat them.

3. Bananas

Bananas contain potassium in large amounts. Potassium is known to counteract the effect of sodium in the body and reduce tension in the blood vessels. For adults, the recommended dosage of potassium is 4700 mg per day.

If you have kidney problems then contact a doctor before consuming potassium.

4. Kiwis

A study found that eating kiwi can reduce both diastolic and systolic significantly. It has been assumed that the high vitamin C content in kiwis is the compound that is responsible for lowering blood pressure.

5. Watermelon

Watermelons consist of citrulline – an amino acid that can help manage blood pressure. Citrulline helps in the production of nitric oxide in the body – a blood vessel relaxant.

6. Oats

Oats comprise of beta-glucan, a type of fibre known for reducing blood cholesterol levels. Studies have found that this fibre can also lower blood pressure.

7. Leafy greens

Leafy greens like kale, spinach, lettuce and turnip greens contain high amounts of potassium, which lowers blood pressure. Potassium aids the kidneys in secreting sodium through urine.

8. Yogurt

Yogurt made from skimmed milk is an excellent source of calcium. Not just that, it is also low in fat. Both of these factors can help lower blood pressure. You can mix fruits and granola bars in yogurt for added heart health benefits.

9. Fish

Fishes like salmon are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation and blood pressure. Some fishes like trout also contain Vitamin D which can lower blood pressure.

10. Pomegranates

Pomegranates have also been found to lower blood pressure. You can consume pomegranate juice in the morning as a part of your healthy breakfast.

By eating healthy, you can cut down the risk of hypertension and stay healthy.

How A Fibre-Rich Diet Helps In Managing High Blood Pressure?

How A Fibre-Rich Diet Helps In Managing High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is a condition where your blood exerts more than usual pressure on the blood vessels while flowing through them. There are many factors that influence blood pressure – one of them being your diet.

Eating a diet rich in fibre may reduce blood pressure. Let’s look at why fibre is important for people with hypertension

When you eat a diet, which is high in fibre then your chances of having digestive issues also come down. This is because when fibre moves through your digestive system, it also eliminates other foods it comes in contact with.

Researchers found that consuming fibre in sufficient amounts may reduce high blood pressure. However, they could not figure out the exact reason for this.

Not just a reduction in blood pressure, fibre can also lower cholesterol, blood sugar and normalize bowel movements.

What is the recommended intake of fibre?

For those below 50 years of age:

Women: 25 gms per day

Men: 31-38 gms per day

For those over 50 years of age:

21 gms per day

In a study in the Journal of Hypertension, researchers looked at 25 studies where patients of hypertension were given a fibre rich diet. Their diets included good amounts of cereal, fruit, vegetables, and fibre supplements.

They observed that adding fibre to the diet can cause a significant reduction in blood pressure (both systolic and diastolic).

Some fibre rich snacks you can include in your diet –

  • Peanut butter with apple slices
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Whole grain toast
  • Oatmeal mixed with bananas, raisins and berries

Role Of Vitamin C In Lowering Blood Pressure!

Role Of Vitamin C In Lowering Blood Pressure!

Hypertension or high blood is often referred to as a silent killer. This is because you can have this condition without realizing it – high blood pressure often shows no symptoms. IF you don’t attend to high blood pressure at its onset then over time it can cause cardiovascular problems.

Causes of hypertension

Hypertension occurs due to –

  • A poor diet
  • Too much stress
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Taking certain medications
  • Not exercising regularly
  • Genes

Age is also a risk factor for high blood pressure. This is because the walls of the artery lose elasticity with age. Hypertension can also occur from other disorders like kidney problems.

Scientists have looked at various ways to bring down blood pressure – one of them being consuming vitamin C. A study was conducted after analyzing data from 29 clinical trials involving 1400 adults in the age group 22-74.

A daily median dose of 500 mg of vitamin C was administered for an eight-week period. The study found that in hypertension patients, the systolic pressure came down by almost 5 points. The drop in diastolic pressure was around 1.7 points.

Change in blood pressure

Researchers concluded from the study that there may be a link between blood pressure reduction and increased vitamin C intake from food.

 Vitamin C is present in foods like oranges, lemon, kiwi and grapefruits in large quantities. Women over 18 years of age are advised to consume at least 75 mg of Vitamin C on a daily basis. For adult men, the recommended dosage is 90 mg daily. The daily maximum limit should not exceed 2000 mg for both the genders, as it is considered unsafe.

According to one of the researchers, consuming vitamin C in adequate amounts can bring down blood pressure levels because the vitamin C antioxidant preserves the body’s nitric oxide level – a crucial factor for healthy blood vessels.

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Hypothyroidism - Know More!

Hypothyroidism - Know More!

Hypothyroidism can lead to higher levels of ldl cholesterol — known as the “bad” cholesterol — increasing your heart risk even further, the hhn says.

You may also have:

  • Higher blood pressure
  • An enlargement of the heart
  • A slower heartbeat
  • Strain on the heart
  • Stiffness of the blood vessel walls

" so keep your hypothyroidism under control"

Hypertension - How To Handle It In Pregnancy?

Hypertension - How To Handle It In Pregnancy?

Hypertension during pregnancy can be a problem for both the baby and the mother. Thus it is of utmost importance that during pregnancy good health should be maintained along with controlled blood pressure and cholesterol levels. With an increase in multiple births and women of older age, the risk of hypertension during pregnancy has increased. But if proper care is taken it can be avoided.

Types of Pregnancy Hypertension:

There are three prominent forms of hypertension that can be seen during pregnancy. Pregnant ladies should be aware of the same. These are:

- Preeclampsia - This is the most common and serious hypertension during pregnancy. This hypertension can only be controlled by delivering the fetus which usually involves complications like the death of the mother or child. This occurs 20 weeks after pregnancy.

- Gestational Hypertension - This form is only prevalent during pregnancy and is not a problem for the mother or baby after delivery. This usually occurs in the last leg of the pregnancy

- Chronic Hypertension - This form forms either prior to the pregnancy or before 20 weeks of the pregnancy.

Management of Pregnancy Hypertension:

Hypertension during pregnancy can be handled by the following:

- In case of severe hypertension, blood pressure medication should be continued during pregnancy

-  If you are on ACE inhibitor-type medication, then the medication is changed to one that is even safe for the baby

- Your doctor might like to monitor you daily and can advise hospitalization for a few days

-  If medication is missed, it might lead to uncontrolled life-threatening hypertension. Thus the medication should not be missed at any time

- In the case of mild hypertension and absence of other diseases like diabetes and kidney disorders, the doctor might stop the medication or reduce the dose. Also, being off medicine does not cause any problem in mild hypertension.

- Irrespective of the hypertension is mild or severe, the prenatal appointments should not be missed so that the doctor can monitor you and the baby. If any problems, like rising blood pressure, poor fetal growth, and signs of preeclampsia can be spotted and steps can be taken for the same.

- In case there is some form of hypertension present the prenatal visits and lab tests will be more

-  Apart from the usual second-trimester ultrasound, there will be periodic ultrasounds in the third trimester to monitor the baby's growth and the amniotic fluid.

-  Also, regular fetal tests and Doppler ultrasounds will be done to track the baby's growth.

-  Lifestyle changes should be made. Salt intake should be limited, fresh food instead of processed food should be consumed.

-  If blood pressure is high then the doctor might ask you to avoid exercise especially if you never did before pregnancy.

Hypertension In Pregnancy - Is It Of Different Types For All Expecting Mothers?

Hypertension In Pregnancy - Is It Of Different Types For All Expecting Mothers?

Hypertension or high blood pressure is common in pregnant women, even in those who have no previous history of high blood pressure. This leads to complications in about 6% to 10% of all pregnancies around the world. High blood pressure may develop before or after conception and as such needs special medical attention.
Hypertension prevents sufficient flow of blood to the placenta and this inhibits the normal growth of the fetus. This could result in the low birth weight of the child. However, if diagnosed in time and treated properly, hypertension does not affect the child's health too much. There are various types of hypertension during pregnancies, such as:

1. Gestational hypertension-

This type of hypertension is developed about 20 weeks after conception. There is no abnormality in urine or any signs of other organ damage (as is common with hypertension during pregnancy) but the condition can worsen and complicate very quickly. Pregnant women below the age of 20 and above the age of 40 are often diagnosed with high levels of blood pressure. Women who have heart or kidney conditions before pregnancy and women carrying more than one child are also likely to develop gestational hypertension.

2. Chronic hypertension-
Chronic hypertension is high blood pressure which develops around 20 weeks before conception and does not normalize within 12 weeks after childbirth. The patient may also have been suffering from high blood pressure for a long time but the complications appear only during pregnancy because high blood pressure rarely exhibits symptoms without an associated condition.

3. Chronic hypertension superimposed with Preeclampsia-
Women who have hypertension before pregnancy may develop even higher blood pressure levels during pregnancy. This leads to several health disorders like frequent headaches, fatigue and depression. Sometimes, protein is found in the urine.

4. Preeclampsia-
Preeclampsia is often a serious complication of gestational pregnancy and affects about 5% to 7% of all pregnancies globally. Gestational pregnancy does not always develop into preeclampsia but it needs to be diagnosed and treated in time to avoid the complication. Women who have conceived for the first time or have a history of hypertension in the family are at a greater risk of preeclampsia. The symptoms of the condition are throbbing headaches, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting, pain in the upper abdominal region and shortness of breath.

Diabetic Hypertension - How To Administer It?

Diabetic Hypertension - How To Administer It?

Hypertension is commonly witnessed among patients suffering from type 2 diabetes as compared to those who do not have diabetes. Studies have revealed that arterial hypertension among patients suffering from type 2 diabetes is in the vicinity of 40-50 percent. What’s more, a patient suffering from hypertension and diabetes has an increased risk factor for certain other diseases such as left ventricular hypertrophy, dyslipidemia, elevated fibrinogen and hyperuricemia.

The measurement practice:
It is important to measure blood pressure in a person who is suffering from type 2 diabetes with or without hypertension and renal diseases. Blood pressure measurement should be repeated within a month, if the measurement is 150/190 mm Hg. BP should be measured within a couple of months if BP is greater than 140/80 mm of Hg.

Lifestyle practices:
If a person is consistently suffering from type 2 diabetes and has a BP range of 140/80, the following lifestyle practices should be maintained always:

  1. A daily exercise schedule: Hypertension coupled with diabetes can be a dangerous combination. To ensure that a person remains healthy it is imperative to maintain a daily exercise schedule for at least half an hour. Exercise consumes extra calories and helps a person maintain a steady blood-sugar level.
  2. Food habits: Food habit is yet another important criterion to maintain good health for a person suffering from diabetic hypertension. Avoiding starch, glucose, and food with high carbs should be a mandate. Refraining from processed food with a high density of condensed fat, sugar and oil will go a long way in maintaining good health. Consulting a nutritionist is the best way to go.
  3. Stress is yet another factor that drives diabetic hypertension: A person suffering from regular stress has a greater tendency to fall prey to cardiovascular and renal diseases. The only way to stay away from stress is to ensure that good lifestyle choice are made. A stress -free life can pay rich dividends to a person suffering from diabetic hypertension.

Drug treatment:
A doctor’s first line of treatment hovers around ACE inhibitors. A pregnant woman suffering from diabetic hypertension is typically prescribed a calcium blocker. This is an antihypertensive drug that helps to stabilize the pregnancy and keep complications at bay. For a person who is resisting to ACE Inhibitor, a doctor might subscribe angiotensin 2 receptor. If the BP is not reduced after the first line of treatment, a doctor adds a thiazide-related diuretic along with the ACE inhibitor to expedite the treatment process.

Even after a triple therapy if a person continues to suffer from high blood pressure, a doctor might prescribe an alpha-blocker, potassium blocker or a beta blocker.

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Hypertensions - Know Types Of It In Pregnancy?

Hypertensions - Know Types Of It In Pregnancy?

Hypertension or high blood pressure is common in pregnant women, even in those who have no previous history of high blood pressure. This leads to complications in about 6% to 10% of all pregnancies around the world. High blood pressure may develop before or after conception and as such needs special medical attention.

Hypertension prevents sufficient flow of blood to the placenta and this inhibits the normal growth of the fetus. This could result in low birth weight of the child. However, if diagnosed in time and treated properly, hypertension does not affect the child's health too much. There are various types of hypertension during pregnancies, such as:

1. Gestational hypertension
This type of hypertension is developed about 20 weeks after conception. There is no abnormality in urine or any signs of other organ damage (as is common with hypertension during pregnancy) but the condition can worsen and complicate very quickly. Pregnant women below the age of 20 and above the age of 40 are often diagnosed with high levels of blood pressure. Women who have heart or kidney conditions before pregnancy and women carrying more than one child are also likely to develop gestational hypertension.

2. Chronic hypertension
Chronic hypertension is high blood pressure which develops around 20 weeks before conception and does not normalize within 12 weeks after childbirth. The patient may also have been suffering from high blood pressure for a long time but the complications appear only during pregnancy because high blood pressure rarely exhibits symptoms without an associated condition.

3. Chronic hypertension superimposed with Preeclampsia
Women who have hypertension before pregnancy may develop even higher blood pressure levels during pregnancy. This leads to several health disorders like frequent headaches, fatigue and depression. Sometimes, protein is found in the urine.

4. Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is often a serious complication of gestational pregnancy and affects about 5% to 7% of all pregnancies globally. Gestational pregnancy does not always develop into preeclampsia but it needs to be diagnosed and treated in time to avoid the complication. Women who have conceived for the first time or have a history of hypertension in the family are at a greater risk of preeclampsia. The symptoms of the condition are throbbing headaches, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting, pain in the upper abdominal region and shortness of breath.
 



 

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Hypertension - How To Administer It In Pregnancy?

Hypertension - How To Administer It In Pregnancy?

Hypertension during pregnancy can be a problem for both the baby and the mother. Thus it is of utmost importance that during pregnancy good health should be maintained along with controlled blood pressure and cholesterol levels. With an increase in multiple births and women of older age, the risk of hypertension during pregnancy has increased. But if proper care is taken it can be avoided.

Types of Pregnancy Hypertension:

There are three prominent forms of hypertension that can be seen during pregnancy. Pregnant ladies should be aware of the same. These are:

-  Preeclampsia - This is the most common and serious hypertension during pregnancy. This hypertension can only be controlled by delivering the fetus which usually involves complications like the death of the mother or child. This occurs 20 weeks after pregnancy.

-  Gestational Hypertension - This form is only prevalent during pregnancy and is not a problem for the mother or baby after delivery. This usually occurs in the last leg of the pregnancy

-  Chronic Hypertension - This form forms either prior to the pregnancy or before 20 weeks of the pregnancy.

Management of Pregnancy Hypertension:

Hypertension during pregnancy can be handled by the following:

-  In case of severe hypertension, blood pressure medication should be continued during pregnancy

-  If you are on ACE inhibitor-type medication, then the medication is changed to one that is even safe for the baby

- Your doctor might like to monitor you daily and can advise hospitalization for a few days

- If medication is missed, it might lead to uncontrolled life-threatening hypertension. Thus the medication should not be missed at any time

- In the case of mild hypertension and absence of other diseases like diabetes and kidney disorders, the doctor might stop the medication or reduce the dose. Also, being off medicine does not cause any problem in mild hypertension.

- Irrespective of the hypertension is mild or severe, the prenatal appointments should not be missed so that the doctor can monitor you and the baby. If any problems, like rising blood pressure, poor fetal growth, and signs of preeclampsia can be spotted and steps can be taken for the same.

- In case there is some form of hypertension present the prenatal visits and lab tests will be more

-   Apart from the usual second-trimester ultrasound, there will be periodic ultrasounds in the third trimester to monitor the baby's growth and the amniotic fluid.

-   Also, regular fetal tests and Doppler ultrasounds will be done to track the baby's growth.

-   Lifestyle changes should be made. Salt intake should be limited, fresh food instead of processed food should be consumed.

-   If blood pressure is high then a doctor might ask you to avoid exercise especially if you never did before pregnancy.

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