What’s Hyper-tension ?
Been waking up more often than not with a headache at the back of your head? Feeling dizzy or light headed? You may be suffering from high blood pressure (BP) also called ‘Hypertension’. What is more important to be understood is that majority of people suffering from hypertension have no complaints. That is precisely why Hypertension is known to be a silent killer!
So how can you know if you are hypertensive? You can know whether or not you are hypertensive simply by having a health care practioner measure your BP. If the upper value of your BP is more than 140 and the lower reading is more than 90 it is considered to be high. But dont be alarmed if your BP is high at just one examination. A person will be diagnosed Hypertensive only if 3 consecutive readings 1 week apart turn out to be high.
To understand high BP we first need to know what BP is. Every minute our heart beats 70 to 80 times. Every time our heart beats, it pumps blood all over our body. Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by our blood on our blood vessels. Our blood pressure also fluctuates with emotions and rises whenever we are angry, excited, or upset about anything. Considering the stress filled lives we are leading today, is comes as no surprise how many people are being diagnosed hypertensive. We know that is not possible to avoid stress completely but we should learn to avoid unnecessary tensions. Practicing yoga and meditating regularly helps calm down and has been seen to reduce BP.
If you are overweight or obese, if you smoke, if you have a family history of hypertension or if you have high cholesterol levels, you are at a higher risk of hypertension. If you are overweight and hypertensive it is time to put on your jogging shoes and start exercising right away. Eating right has an aqually important role to play. Every 2 pounds of weight gain increases your blood pressure by 1 unit! Exerciseing for 20-30 minutes just 4-5 times a week takes you a long way in controllng your BP. The 2 most important things to be addressed in your diet are your intake in salt and fats. Do away with the salt shaker from your table. Avoid pickles, chips, baking powder and processed and instant food that are high in salt content. Cream, butter, coconut, cotton and palm seed oil increase your ‘bad’ cholesterol. Trans fats, present in commercially packaged food like the french fries from some fast food chains and certein microwave popcorn should be avoided as it increases your ‘bad’ cholesterol. Nuts like walnuts, almonds, avocados, and fish oils increase your ‘good’ cholesterol.
These simple lifestyle changes if implemented at the onset of hypertension can control the BP even without medications. In people who are already suffering from hypertension too these measures contribute in a big way to control the BP well as prevent complications.
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