More than 30% of India’s adult population is suffering from hypertension. It is a lifestyle disease and is self-manageable at the initial stages, but if left untreated for prolonged periods, medication becomes necessary. Hypertension risk factors include obesity, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, and family history.

The subject often comes up accompanied with confusion, fear & panic. Dr. Anjali Hooda Sangwan, MD (USA) shares her approach towards the silent killer.

Our arteries work like a hosepipe. When the arteries become narrower, the pressure on the walls increase, this increase in pressure is called hypertension. While it is natural for the veins to narrow down as the age progresses, the process can be slowed down with lifestyle modifications. Hypertensive person has the probability of developing serious complications in the long run.

How to check if you have high blood pressure?
Common symptoms of hypertension include Headaches, Dizziness, Palpitations, Transient blindness, Urine blockage. Hypertension attacks and damages vital end organs like kidney, heart & eyes. The right way to diagnose high blood pressure is by getting a physical examination done at a clinic, which will include BP measurements. Some people also get white coat hypertension, their BP shoots up in front of the doctor. In such a scenario you should visit the clinic three times in a row at the same time every day.

What is considered as high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is relative, and the normal limits change for people in different age groups. For example, a BP reading of 131 – 90 for a 30-year-old person is considered to be borderline high blood pressure, however for a 50-year-old 131 – 90 is considered normal.

What should you do?
The best way to avoid & manage (in case of being diagnosed) hypertension is exercise.
Have a good balanced diet, include fruits & veggies and stick to calculated portions.
Go for low sodium salt or potassium-based salts – sodium causes hypertension.
Alternatively, you can also replace Sea salt with rock salt (Sendha Namak).
Do not use salt while cooking and use only a pinch of salt while eating.
Reduce weight, weight gains lead to hypertension.
Balance your diet. Include fruits & vegetables.
Remember, hypertension is a lifestyle disease. So, eat healthy, exercise you heart out and shed those extra kilos.

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