High blood pressure- Should you be worried about it?
When you pay a visit to the doctor, you must have noticed him taking your blood pressure and noting it down. Any idea what the readings mean? Today we are having a very simplified explanation of what your blood pressure means, what the levels indicate and how to manage high blood pressure by adopting a few lifestyle changes.
Its common knowledge that the heart is the major organ responsible for pumping blood to all the other parts of the body. This blood delivers oxygen and essential nutrients to every cell in the body, which in turn increases the efficiency of the body organs. The blood circulation is also essential in the removal of waste and carbon dioxide from the body.
What is blood pressure?
This term denotes the pressure or force exerted by blood on the walls of the arteries when it flows through them. It is measured in units known as millimetres of mercury-mm Hg.
I have attached a chart on blood pressure levels here which adheres to the guidelines of the American Heart Association (AHA).
Dangers and risks involved
When the arteries are clogged or become narrow due to some medical condition, it becomes harder for the heart to pump the blood smoothly. When there is an obstruction to your normal rate of blood flow through the arteries, the blood pressure readings show variations.
There are certain risks that come along when your BP stands elevated constantly. The most common risks include
- Short temper
- Double vision
- Blurry vision
- Increased heart rate
The worst-case scenarios include :-
- Heart failure,
- Kidney failure,
- Respiratory issues,
- damage to blood vessels,
- vision loss
Control High BP by adopting some healthy lifestyle changes
Yes, there are risks attached, however, you have the power to keep your blood pressure in control.
The first and foremost solution is to visit your doctor and get proper medical guidance. Undergo all the required tests and follow your doctor’s instructions. Avoid self- medication as it will not do you any good. You may not be aware of your health condition accurately and could cause more harm. So take the medicines as prescribed by a certified doctor after proper examination.
Lifestyle changes to adopt include :-
- Start a high fiber diet
- Eat more vegetables and fruits
- Avoid high- fat rich foods
- Include whole grains in your meals
- If you are fond of non, vegetarian food, go for skinless poultry and more fish
- Reduce the amount of white sugar. You can substitute with jaggery, organic brown sugar or honey.
- Strictly restrict your salt levels.
- Include a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise in your daily routine.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Limit your alcohol consumption
- Avoid tobacco and eliminate smoking
- Practice stress- relieving techniques like yoga, meditation, listening to music etc as a daily routine
- Take steps to ensure you get a minimum of 6 hours of deep sleep
How to keep a check on your blood pressure
- Go for regular check-ups
- Always seek a doctor’s advice in case of any symptoms
- Don’t go overboard about checking your pressure frequently. That itself is a cause of stress.
- Keep your medication handy and be regular in taking them
- Share your worries with friends and family
Note to self:-
Your mind can control your body. So keep repeating positive affirmations like
- I am in perfect health
- My BP levels are perfectly normal.
Saying such positive words will give you a brighter outlook and will give you the hope to fight against any illness.
Stay healthy, stay positive!