Thursday, 17 May 2018

Hypertension: Silent Killer



High blood pressure also known as Hypertension is a condition which is characterized by constricted blood vessels that make it harder for the heart to work, thus resulting in increased blood pressure levels. The blood must maintain a certain level of pressure within the circulatory system to get to the various tissues.

Blood Pressure Stages
Blood Pressure Category
Systolic (mm Hg)
Diastolic (mm/Hg)
Low blood pressure
Less than 80
Less than 60
Normal
80-120
60-80
Pre-hypertension
120-139
80-89
Hypertension (Stage 1)
140-159
90-99
Hypertension (Stage 2)
160 or higher
100 or higher
High blood pressure crisis
Higher than 180
Higher than 110




Types of Hypertension:
  • ·       Primary Hypertension: Develops gradually over many years and there is no defined cause of high blood pressure in this case.
  •    Secondary hypertension: This is caused by an underlying condition. People with kidney problems, fatty liver, thyroid problems, alcohol abuse, tumors or sleep apnea may develop secondary hypertension.

Managing Hypertension with Nutrition:
  • Restrict salt in the diet-. One of the most important dietary factors to consider in decreasing blood pressure is sodium intake (World Health Organization, 2013).  Excess intake of sodium can increase blood pressure. If sodium intake is limited to no more than 2300mg of sodium per day, this can lower systolic blood pressure by 2-8 mmHg.
  • Read Nutritional Labels: Check all form of sodium (MSG, Sodium benzoate, sodium bicarbonate) and their serving size in processed and packaged foods.
  • Focus on Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin C foods: Potassium, calcium, and magnesium are important minerals that work together to help lower blood pressure.
  • Calcium- This helps blood vessels tighten and relax when they need to (A2 cow’s milk, homemade curd, fish, paneer, tofu etc.
  •  Magnesium- This helps to regulate many body systems, including blood pressures (nuts, seeds, spinach, fish, beans, soy, lentils, and whole grain cereals).
  • Potassium- This is important for muscle function and helps to relax the walls of blood vessels (bananas, oranges, tomatoes, potatoes, lentils, beans, nuts and fish)
  • Vitamin C-Consuming a diet adequate in Vitamin C helps in normalize Blood Pressure. (oranges, kiwi, amla, lime, green leafy vegetables, carrots etc)
  • Hydrate yourself well- Drink plenty of water (Minimum 10-12 glasses per day) to flush out the toxins and replenish hydration levels.
  • Reduction of caffeine- Cut down your tea and caffeine intake which will help to reduce blood pressure.
  • Physical Activity- Regular exercise goes the longest way in keeping the heart healthy and preventing high BP.
  • Stress- Yoga or meditation or deep breathing or engaging in activities that you like keeps stress at bay.
  • Sleep well- Sleeping well for 7-9 hours/ daily will reduce the risk of hypertension.



Inputs by Nutritionist Nisha Juneja

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