World Hypertension Day 2020: Causes, symptoms, lifestyle changes to tackle high blood pressure

May 17, 2020 11:12 AM

Blood pressures measured at home are mostly more important than blood pressures taken in a doctor's office because the body is more relaxed.

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By Dr Hakimuddin Pardawala

World Hypertension Day 2020: Every year on 17th May, World Hypertension Day is celebrated across the globe. The day is praised to spread awareness among individuals about hypertension and support people from all the nations to control and prevent this deadly silent killer during the contemporary epidemic. World Hypertension day was first introduced during the year 2005 which was started by The World Hypertension League (WHL) an association of 85 national hypertension leagues and societies.

High Blood Pressure a common disease among Indians

Blood Pressure or hypertension is a well-known and very common disease. As per studies, one in every three Indians suffers from hypertension and heart alignments which are mainly responsible for more than 30 percent of deaths in India. Blood pressure is the force that is deployed by the blood vessels in opposition to the walls of the blood vessels. This pressure depends on the functioning of the heart and the resistance of the blood vessels. The condition is very common and is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the volume of resistance to blood flow in the arteries. In simpler words, the more the amount of blood your heart pumps and the slimmer your arteries, the higher will be your blood pressure.

Causes of High Blood Pressure

The exact cause of blood pressure remains unknown, however, lifestyle conditions have been known to contribute to the cause of Hypertension or low blood pressure. Old age, not getting enough physical activity, stress, family history of high blood pressure, overweight, excessive smoking & drinking alcohol are some of the reasons.

Hypertension is referred to as being a silent killer because of many reasons. If a person has high blood pressure he/she may not even know about it. There are hardly any symptoms or signs. Millions of people who are affected with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it.

Blood pressure is tricky because it can keep fluctuating throughout the day. For instance, your blood pressure may be higher in a doctor’s office because you’re nervous, also known as white-coat hypertension. To confirm if you have high blood pressure, several readings are needed. Blood pressures measured at home are mostly more important than blood pressures taken in a doctor’s office because the body is more relaxed.

Tips to tackle Hypertension:

  • Get Your Blood Pressure Checked Regularly
    It is recommended that everyone should get their blood pressure checked at least once in a year along with other important screenings for depression and certain cancers.
  • To Avoid or Reduce Medication maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
    Lifestyle changes make the difference in bringing blood pressure down. In other cases, one may need a combination of changes in lifestyle and medication to control blood pressure. Monitoring sodium intake is one of the simplest things too. Avoiding canned or stored food items and not adding salt to meals can make a big difference most of the time. Another most important thing that people can do is to get their body weight on a healthy number.
  • A person might not know about it until they have a stroke or heart attack
    Sometimes a person first finds out about having high blood pressure is when they have a stroke or a heart attack. High blood pressure can majorly damage the walls of the arteries, causing coronary artery disease and stroke. It can damage the heart muscle which leads to heart failure. Thus it is very important to get yourself checked and maintain a healthy lifestyle balance. According to studies, more than 14 million grown adults in the UK have high blood pressure, and five million of these are thought to be undiagnosed, as there are rarely any symptoms.
  • Know the Signs of Heart Attacks and Strokes
    Heart attacks and strokes are known emergencies related to high blood pressure which can be life-threatening. If a person has high blood pressure, you and those around you must recognize the signs of a heart attack or stroke. If a person begins to experience these symptoms emergency services should be contacted immediately.

Signs of a heart attack can differ for males and females. Some males experience chest pressure, clammy skin, nausea with or without vomiting, or cold. Women quite often complain of sudden-onset shortness of breath without or with chest pressure, generalized fatigue, and nausea with or without vomiting.

(The author is Physician, Saifee Hospital. Views expressed are the author’s own.)

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