High blood pressure (hypertension) is called the silent killer as it has no or very few symptoms. Many people are taken aback when they learn that they have hypertension. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to heart problems such as heart attack or heart failure. It can also cause kidney failure and stroke. On World Hypertension Day, we are trying to raise awareness on the importance of checking blood pressure regularly and how you can minimise the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Read on these simple yet effective ways –
Check your blood pressure regularly – Get a blood pressure monitor at home to keep track of your numbers. Your blood pressure reading has two numbers. Systolic pressure (or the number that comes on the top) is the pressure inside your arteries when your heart pumps. Diastolic blood pressure (or the number that comes on the bottom on the reading) is the pressure inside your arteries when your heart rests between beats. 120 over 80 is considered the normal range for blood pressure.
If your blood pressure readings aren’t normal, then consult a cardiologist immediately. If you live in and around Siliguri, then visit Neotia Getwel Healthcare Centre – a multispeciality hospital in Siliguri. Our Department of Cardiology & Cardio Thoracic and Vascular Surgery includes some of the best cardiologists in Siliguri who are supported by trained and experienced medical staff. You can also consult online with our doctors from the safety of your home.
If you have diabetes or if you are under a cardiologist’s care, check your blood pressure regularly to keep on top of any incremental rises. Other factors that put you at a risk for high blood pressure include –
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
- Family history
- Chronic kidney disease
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Constantly dealing with too much stress
Eat a healthy and balanced diet – Include fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meat, skimmed milk, whole grain bread, brown rice and oats in your meals. Avoid eating processed and frozen food as they contain high levels of salt and saturated fat. Limit intake of sweets, desserts, and sugary beverages.
Maintain a healthy weight – If you are overweight, losing even a small amount of weight can help to lower your blood pressure and reduce your chances of suffering a heart attack or a stroke.
Do not skip meals; instead, take small and frequent meals – Many people suffering from obesity think that skipping meals is an ideal way to manage weight. It’s a misconception – skipping meals doesn’t promote weight loss. But what it does is it deprives your body of key nutrients and lowers the body’s metabolism.
Get more physical activity – Regular exercising helps the heart become stronger so that it can pump more blood with less effort. If your heart puts less effort on pumping, the force on your arteries decreases, thus lowering your blood pressure.
Manage stress and anxiety – Each person has their unique way of dealing with stress – some try their hands at baking whereas some practice meditation. But what remains important in managing stress is taking time to unwind and spend some quality ‘me time’.