High Blood Pressure – The Silent Killer


Blood Pressure refers to the pressure of the blood on the inner walls of the arteries. A person's blood pressure is defined by two measurements – systolic (the pressure in the arteries produced when the heart contracts at the time of a heartbeat) and diastolic (the pressure in the arteries during relaxation of the heart between heartbeats).


A normal blood pressure reading should be 120/80. However, a single high reading does not indicate hypertension. The doctor usually advises repeat testing after a week or so, before confirming a diagnosis of hypertension.


High blood pressure is called a 'silent killer' because it has no signs and symptoms even when it reaches extreme levels.


High sodium said to be the major cause of high blood pressure. The WHO recommends a salt intake of  5 gms per day. While regular food may be prepared with the right amount of salt, it is other items like bakery products, pickles, chutneys, papad, non-alcoholic beverages, and canned food that contribute to the “extra” consumption. Avoid salt in salads and fruits.


Tips to control and prevent high blood pressure

Reduce the amount of salt in your diet. Note the amount of salt present In the processed foods you eat, especially packaged foods.

Lose weight, if you are overweight or obese. Regular physical activity can help lower blood pressure and keep your weight under control.

Avoid alcohol, it can raise your blood pressure,

Stop smoking and use of tobacco. Tobacco injures the blood vessel walls and speeds up the process of hardening of the arteries.

Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Get plenty of potassium, which can help prevent and control high blood pressure.

Reduce oil, fat, and excess calorie consumption.

Manage stress as much as possible. Practice healthy coping techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.

Monitor the blood pressure regularly to help control it.

Take medication for high blood pressure regularly (as advised by the doctor).