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).