Archive for the ‘ Hypertension ’ Category

Lifestyle Changes to Manage Hypertension

Monday, May 16th, 2022

High blood pressure, often known as hypertension, is a serious medical condition that can be easily detected at a doctor’s clinic and controlled with low-cost treatment. Despite this, India ranks 193rd for women and 170th for men among 200 countries in terms of hypertension diagnosis. Surprisingly, 60–70% of Indians with hypertension are completely unaware of their disease. Because of the lack of diagnosis, extremely low rates of hypertension treatment exist, putting people at the risk of developing life-threatening diseases like heart attack and stroke.

High blood pressure (HBP, or hypertension) shows no symptoms and is a “silent killer” that quietly damages blood vessels and leads to serious health disorders. Using medications as prescribed and making lifestyle changes can enhance your quality of life and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and more. This World Hypertension Day, let us understand the key lifestyle changes to manage hypertension and raise awareness about the same.

Know your numbers

Is your blood pressure in the normal or dangerous range? Getting your blood pressure checked is the best method to find out the same. High blood pressure is defined when one or both of your blood pressure readings are higher than 130/80 mm Hg most of the time. If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you should keep a track of it on a regular basis and seek medical help.

How to manage your blood pressure?

Your daily habits can affect your blood pressure (BP). The right lifestyle choices can help control your blood pressure. Here are a few expert recommended suggestions:

  • Eat a heart healthy diet
    Include more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet which are high in magnesium, potassium, and fiber. Reduce your intake of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol, which may harm your heart health. They can increase plaque buildup on blood vessels, increasing your blood pressure levels and thus your risk of heart disease. Replace them with healthy fats.
  • Limit your salt intake
    Salt causes your body to retain fluids. Extra fluid in the body can raise blood pressure. The majority of the salt people consume comes from processed foods rather than table salt. Avoid processed foods, ready-to-eat meals, ready sauces, condiments, and other similar food items.
  • Lose excess weight
    Extra weight makes it more difficult for your heart to circulate blood throughout your body. This raises your blood pressure. Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight and keep your blood pressure in check.
  • Quit smoking
    Your blood pressure rises every time you smoke. Smoking causes blood arteries to narrow and your heart rate to rise. When you have high blood pressure, these symptoms are exacerbated. Quit smoking today.
  • Manage existing health conditions
    Preexisting health conditions could worsen your hypertension. Take the required medicine as advised by your doctor. It is also important to inform the doctor about all your medications including over-the-counter treatments and herbal supplements.
  • Limit alcohol intake
    Excessive use of alcohol can increase your blood pressure. Alcohol may also react with certain medicines. Stay “No” to alcohol.
  • Exercise regularly
    Exercise can help you lower your blood pressure. It can facilitate blood flow and strengthen your heart. On most days of the week, try to obtain at least 30 minutes of exercise.
  • Manage your stress
    Certain hormones released during stressful situations can make blood pressure higher. Take some time to exercise, pursue a hobby, listen to music and find other ways to unwind and cope better with your stress levels.

Managing blood pressure is a lifelong commitment. Work closely with your doctor to learn about high blood pressure and how to manage it effectively.

Hypertension care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Worried about your fluctuating blood pressure levels? It is important to ask questions and monitor your blood pressure readings. If you’ve already been diagnosed with high blood pressure, work with our team of doctors to come up with an individualized plan to control your blood pressure. Consult our doctors for further medical assistance, call 022 42696969 for appointments or visit the below website link:

Diet and Hypertension

Saturday, May 15th, 2021

Have you checked your blood pressure recently? One in five young adults in India suffer from high blood pressure. Hypertension is a silent killer that can lead to serious complications even before the symptoms appear. Regular health checkups, a healthy diet, and a strict exercise routine all help to control your blood pressure levels. Your diet has a strong influence on your blood pressure and starting early helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels.

Hypertension or high blood pressure is due to the high force exerted by blood against the walls of the artery and is usually defined by a level greater than 130/80 mmHg. Uncontrolled high blood pressure for a while can harm the Kidney (Chronic Kidney Disease, Nephropathy), Heart (Cardiovascular disease risk), Eye (Retinopathy), Brain (Stoke), Nerves (Neuropathy) and can be dangerous during Pregnancy (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension). 

Hypertension can be caused due to faulty dietary habits, poor lifestyle, or secondary to a disease, for example, diabetes. Adding extra salt to food preparations daily will lead to water retention in the body, thus increasing the pressure of blood. But one needs to understand that it’s not only the visible salt but also the invisible salt intake that matters and should keep a check on those foods as well like:

  • Pickles and papad
  • Frozen & ready to eat foods 
  • Bakery products like bread, biscuits, khari
  • Sauces, salted seasonings
  • Packaged chips, farsan like samosa, wada, gathia, sev, boondi etc. 

Similarly, foods high in saturated fats lead to the build-up of fat in the arteries due to which blood exerts higher pressure to pass through it. Hence it is important to limit the intake of oily & fried foods in the diet.

Healthy diet tips to prevent Hypertension

Including foods low in salt and cholesterol according to the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) such as: 

  • Whole grains (whole wheat, millets like ragi, jowar, bajra).
  • Fresh vegetables (like beetroot or green leafy vegetables) & fruits. 
  • Low-fat dairy products (toned, double toned, skimmed milk, low fat curd etc).
  • Reducing alcohol intake.
  • Including regular physical activity for 30-60min will help manage high blood pressure. (Moderate intensity aerobics: 5-7days/week, Resistance exercise: 2-3days /week, Flexibility exercise ≥ 2-3days/week). 
  • The European Society of Parenteral Enteral Nutrition Guidelines, recommends <5g of salt (<1Tsp/day) for people with high blood pressure. Also knowing the facts related to hypertension will help make a smart choice.

Myths and Facts of Hypertension

Here are some common myths and facts related to hypertension:

Myth 1: Using sea salt, black salt, pink salt other than table salt will help manage high BP.

Fact – Irrespective of the variety, chemically all salts are the same. They contain sodium which for hypertensives is the key to management.

Myth 2: Exercise increases BP.

Fact- Participation in regular exercise is a key modifiable determinant of HTN for the primary prevention, treatment, and control of high BP. On average, regular aerobic exercise lowers resting systolic BP 5-7 mmHg, while resistance exercise lowers resting systolic BP 2-3 mmHg among individuals with hypertension. (Recommended by ACSM).

Myth 3: Red wine is good for heart health.

Fact – Including red wine in moderation (<2 drinks for men, 1drink for women) can help, but it’s a choice to be given only to alcoholics. It is important to avoid excess alcohol in general as it affects blood pressure.

Myth 4: Complete elimination of salt in the diet.

Fact – Limitation and not elimination is important. It is important to check for sodium or salt in ready-to-eat packaged and processed food items.

Healthy lifestyle changes

Making a lifestyle change rather than using quick fixes will help control high blood pressure. Here are a few tips:

  1. Read food labels: It is important to be aware of the amount of sodium or salt present in the packaged food.
  2. Include fibre rich foods in the diet like whole grains, cereals, millets, fresh fruits & vegetables, pulses.
  3. Include foods like fish, egg, and poultry as they contain Vitamin B12 that helps reduce blood pressure.
  4. Have nuts like walnuts or almonds, ginger, beetroot, pomegranate, citrus fruits contain arginine (an amino acid) which are precursors for nitric oxide a potent vasodilator.
  5. Kalonji (Nigella Sativa), barley water, cranberry juice, coriander seeds act as natural diuretics by flushing out the excess water retained in the body.
  6. Reduce the amount of salt in the diet by using lemon juice, tamarind pulp, onion powder, garlic powder, and amchoor (dry mango powder) to flavour the food preparations.
  7. Include some form of physical activity daily (walking, running, swimming, dancing, aerobics etc.)

Bhakti Samant – Chief Dietician at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital shares deep insights about the role of a healthy diet in maintaining your blood pressure levels in the above article. Starting early by modifying your lifestyle helps control your blood pressure levels and avoids complications of hypertension. Concerned about your fluctuating blood pressure levels? Consult our doctors for further medical assistance. Please find below our website details for more information: