Hypertension and its Readings
- Normal BP level of adults usually measures up to 120/80 mm Hg.
- Systolic pressure is the measure of blood pressure built up in the arteries as the heart pumps blood.
- It is denoted by the upper digit i.e. 120 units.
- Blood pressure readings in the arteries when the heart is at a rest between two heartbeats is known as diastolic pressure.
- The lower digit i.e. 80 units represents this form of blood pressure.
- The normal BP value can temporarily rise or come down depending upon the rate of physical activity, stress, metabolism etc.
- Hypertension or htn is the condition where the average blood pressure constantly rises above 120/80 mm Hg.
- There are 3 sub-stages of high blood pressure levels, namely:
- Stage 1 Hypertension: Reaches 5-10 units higher than the good blood pressure level i.e. 130-139/80-89 mm Hg. Manageable through lifestyle changes.
- Stage 2 Hypertension: Systolic pressure spikes up close to 140 mm Hg or diastolic pressure to 90 mm Hg. Needs medications for prevention.
- Hypertensive crisis: Goes as high as 180/120 mm Hg. Needs emergency services to lower blood pressure, otherwise it can prove fatal.
Signs and Symptoms of Hypertension
- Much like healthy blood pressure, early stages of hypertension can also go unnoticed. It can take months or years for the actual high BP symptoms to show up. But you must consult your physician as soon as you experience any of the following signs:
- Fainting or Dizziness: Sudden rise in heat around the head, cheeks, hands or feet. It could be an indication of BP-related stroke if it is followed by blurry vision, unconsciousness or shaky legs.
- Body Aches: Heaviness in the chest or throbbing pain near the heart or head. Is a critical symptom of untreated high blood pressure.
- Exhaustion: Can show up as lack of energy or bleeding from the nose. Caused by the progressive wear and tear of soft tissues.
- Breathlessness: Wearing out of the heart tissues can cause frequent episodes of constricting chest pain. Often triggered by sports, unhealthy eating practices etc.
- Nauseated feeling: One of the most grave signs of high blood pressure. Consult your physician immediately if you experience it.
Invisible Dangers: Causes of Hypertension
- High blood pressure is a lifestyle disorder. It can be developed as a result of continuously poor lifestyle or eating habits. The other reasons for high blood pressure are as follows:
- Weak Physique: Inappropriate diet can create a deficiency of essential minerals and electrolytes. This may stimulate faster. heartbeats.
- Obesity: Fat molecules like triglycerides, LDL etc. can forma layer on the walls of arterial walls, making them too narrow for blood flow. This can upset the metabolism and elevate blood pressure.
- Elder Age: Progression of age can take a toll on the ability of heart and blood vessels to carry blood. Heavier the damage, the more your BP can rise.
- Family History: If you are suffering with exceptionally high diastolic blood pressure - this could be the reason. It is generally untreatable.
- Hormonal Imbalances: Ailments of the endocrine or adrenal glands like cancer, cellular death or tumour can disbalance the hormones, affecting both heart functions and blood vessel health.
- Organ Dysfunction: Medical surveys have found that untreated kidney and/or heart disorders can result in secondary hypertension. It can stick with you for the entire life.
- Addictive Substances: Excessive consumption of alcohol, nicotine, tobacco etc. can raise the average blood pressure on which your body functions.
Is There Relief?: Treatment Options for Hypertension
- Dietary Regulations: In general, a diet rich in natural vitamins, fibre and healthy fats can prove to be helpful. Staying hydrated throughout the day is equally important.
- Lifestyle Preventions: Both Stage 1 and Stage 2 hypertension patients must follow a strict physical exercise regime. 30 minutes of walking, Yoga etc. is enough to protect you for the entire day.
- Allopathic Medicines: Small-sized pills that calm the nerves, dilate the blood vessels and increase urine output. Need to be taken on a daily basis.
- Alternate Treatment: Treatment of underlying disorders like kidney blockage, heart palpitations etc. can often curb high BP problems.
- Ayurvedic Remedies: Uses potent herbs that rejuvenate soft tissues and ease flow of blood through the arteries. Prevents damage to internal organs.
Knicks and Knacks of Ayurvedic Hypertension Diet
- Fruits and Vegetables: They are the best source of fibre, electrolytes and minerals. Make sure to include banana, beet, green veggies, tomatoes and citrus fruits in your daily diet.
- Wholegrains: Replace your white flour with barley, millets, oats and other such grains. They can aid in weight loss and supplement your nutrient needs.
- Low-fat Dairy: Avoid mayonnaise and butter as much as possible. But you can enjoy light milk, cheese or yoghurt every day, if you have a taste for dairy goods.
- Dry Fruits and Seeds: Unmissable elements for your diet to lower blood pressure. Don’t forget your apricots, raisins and dates in the breakfast if you wish to keep the BP in control!
- Healthy Fats: They are the cherry on the icing for a high blood pressure diet, since they provide natural antioxidants and protect internal organs. Try out dark chocolate, fatty fish and coconut to see their effects!
Tools to Beat Hypertension At-Home
- Holy Basil: Has more than 5 types of natural antioxidants that reinforces the artery walls. Add 1-2 teaspoons of Basil powder to your tea, food or desserts for easing hypertension blues.
- Ajwain: You can make three home remedies to lower blood pressure with these little seeds. Eat it up with some water, honey or salt every day.
- Garlic and Ginger: They have strong anti-inflammatory agents that soothe weakened arterial walls, reduce cholesterol and improve heart functions. Eat them on a daily basis for better results.
- Cinnamon: One of the sweetest and best natural ways to lower blood pressure. Just a small teaspoon is enough to manage your BP for the entire day.
- Cardamom: It has been used since decades as a travel partner for BP control. But you can also take it as an everyday remedy, spice or mouth-freshner!
After-Effects of High Blood Pressure
- It is rarely known that hypertension can affect all parts of your body - starting from kidneys, brain, eyes to skin. In the worst cases, it can prove fatal for the patient. Here are some of the commonly observed side effects of high blood pressure:
- Poor Brain Function: Consistently high levels of high blood pressure can speed up ageing of neurons, thereby putting you at risk of dementia, aneurysm, anxiety etc.
- Arterial Degradation: One of the worst effects of high blood pressure is atherosclerosis i.e. the hardening of blood vessel walls. Eventually, it can lead to fatal haemorrhage.
- Poor Reproductive Health: Both men and women may develop sexual disorders like vaginal dryness, erectile dysfunction, low libido etc.
- Weaker Bones: As the BP keeps rising, the body starts losing Calcium from the bones and blood. This can hollow, tenderize or damage your joints.
Ways to Prevent Hypertension Spikes
- Avoid Sugar and Salt: Can easily spike the normal blood pressure for adults by 10-20 points. If you have a taste for the sweet/salty, prepare your food with rock salt or honey.
- Practice Weight Management: Shedding excess fats from the belly, thighs and stomach can go a long way to decrease blood pressure. Follow a balanced diet and light exercise regime to achieve your fitness goals.
- Quit Alcohol and Smoking: Nicotine and tobacco consumption slows down the metabolic energy. They also lead to toxin build up and fat accumulation.
- Get Good Sleep: Get at least 8 hours of sleep during the night hours. It helps to unwind and refresh the body. Lack of sleep can induce hormonal imbalances, stress etc.
- Cut Down Stress: Practice mindfulness and disciplined lifestyle. Schedule your daily activities, keeping out time for personal development.
- Yoga and Pranayama: Tried and tested ways to lower blood pressure. Practice them in the early hours of the morning to reduce the entire day’s BP fret!
Ayurvedic Herbs for Controlling High Blood Pressure
- Ashwagandha: One of the most potent herbs for high blood pressure. Has strong antioxidants and nutrients that normalize body functions, including brain, stomach and joint activities.
- Arjuna: Recommended for emergency treatment for high blood pressure at home. It can effectively protect the internal organs like heart, kidneys etc. from the long term effects of high BP.
- Triphala: Deeply cleanses the blood, soft tissues and muscles. Generates a relaxing effect on the mind and body. Also stimulates the bowels to ease toxin removal.
- Amla: Best Vitamin C-rich blood pressure medicines are made from this herb. It strengthens the artery walls from inside out and relaxes them to promote blood circulation.
- Brahmi: Best herb for stress-triggered high blood pressure treatment at home. It directly reaches the brain and calms the nerves. Reduces both diastolic and systolic pressure.
Ways to Lower Blood Pressure: Emergency Tips
- Lemon water: Mix some drops of lemon juice in a glass of water and drink it up in one seating. It prevents BP shoot ups after meals, workouts or stressful activities.
- Dark Chocolate: Take 1-2 bites from a chocolate containing 70% or more cocoa powder. Keep it in the mouth and relish it slowly.
- Banana Shake: Blend 1-1⅕ banana with low-fat milk. Add nuts for taste and drink it sip by sip. Its Potassium is sure to dilate the blood vessels and bring down your BP.
- Nap or Bedrest: Take a break from your activities. Lie down on the bed in a relaxed posture, with your back straight. Change into loose, cotton clothing.
- Deep Breathing: 10 minute Pranayama exercises are best when you are experiencing an anxiety attack, breathlessness or brain fog.
Foods to Lower High Blood Pressure Every Day
- Citrus Fruits: Oranges, pineapple, kiwis etc. are beneficial for maintaining blood pressure levels throughout the day. They also make for a refreshing snack in between summer noons!
- Pumpkin Seeds: They contain rare minerals like Magnesium and Potassium that ensure efficient blood circulation to all parts of the body. Consume a handful every day.
- Berries: Be it blue, red or pink - every kind of berry is good for hypertension patients. They contain anthocyanins that improve blood chemistry and tensile strength of soft tissues.
- Salads: Tomatoes, celery, cucumber and carrots are the perfect start for a heavy day. They can make sure that your BP doesn’t rise up even after hours of work.
Blood Pressure over 160/100? Here’s What to Do!
- Blood pressure readings vary depending upon your health, lifestyle and physical activity rate at a given time.
- But it's a matter of concern if you note BP more than 160/100 mm Hg in 3 consecutive readings.
- It could be a potential symptom of Stage 2 hypertension.
- It is advised to contact your physician to identify the cause and appropriate treatment strategy.
Developing Friendship Between Water and Healthy BP
- Water contains a number of minerals like Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium that improve blood circulation rate.
- They stabilize the electrolyte concentration in the blood to ease flow through arteries.
- Water minerals are also responsible for protecting the internal organs like kidneys, liver etc. from BP-induced damage.
- It is best to drink 2-2.5 litres of water every day, in small amounts.
- Intake of large gulps of water in one-go can produce much more harm than good for your body.
Foods to Avoid for High Blood Pressure
- Animal Proteins: Chicken, red meat and seafood often come with a lot of seasoning that increases their sodium content. They also tend to accumulate trans-fat after cooking.
- Junk Food: They are high in saturated fats, spices and oils - each of which can increase your BP as well fat quotient. In short, they’re a good-looking ruin for your healthy diet plans!
- Pickles: Indian pickles are filled with flavours that come at the cost of high salt, oil and preservatives They’re best avoided for themselves.
- Sugary Items: Refined sugars are commonly used in bakery items, coffee, candies and sweet dishes. They can slowly raise your BP to dangerously high levels.
Links Between Depression and Hypertension
- Depression is a chronic disorder that lays equal affect on your body and mind.
- It can induce hormonal imbalances and mental strain, each of which may affect your blood pressure levels.
- In fact, a depression patient can experience BP as high as 150/90 mm Hg.
- It is best to seek medical advice to avoid risks of heart problems and anxiety attacks.
Many Choice of Exercises for BP Control
- Short Walk: As little as 10 minutes of stroll through the garden is enough to bring down the BP. Aim for 30 minutes of walking every day for better results.
- Cycling: It helps to exercise the legs and hand muscles. Highly recommended to shed the stubborn belly fat. Enjoy it as much as you like in the morning or evening!
- Hiking: It might sound heavy, but this little trip up the mountain can stop you BP from spiking up by 10 points. Hiking is a great way to boost the strength of your lungs, brain and muscles.
- Treadmill: Walking or light running on a treadmill is proven to ease blood pressure. You can do it anytime during the day, though morning hours are preferable.
- Swimming: Shows positive effect on each part of the body. Swimming has a positive effect on the systolic pressure. In the long run, it can reduce obesity and improve heart functions.
Permanent Solution for Hypertension: Is it Possible?
- At this moment, there is no sure shot cure for high blood pressure.
- You would have to follow a preventive lifestyle and use appropriate medications throughout your life.
- They also help to reduce the risks of BP-related complications like kidney failure, depression, poor eyesight etc.
- Ayurvedic herbs like Ginger, Aloe Vera and Gotu Kola can be used to curb more specific BP complications like headaches, stomach issues etc.
Chances for BP Patients to Donate Blood
- Hypertension does not affect the blood cells or degrade its natural chemistry.
- A high BP patient can donate his/her blood as long as his BP readings are under 180/100 mm Hg.
- Patients suffering with BP complications like kidney dysfunction are advised to consult their physician before donating blood.
Different Names, Same Issues: Hypertension and Heart Disease
- Hypertension is not qualified as a cardiovascular disorder, since it does not affect the heart muscles directly.
- However, untreated high blood pressure can wear off the muscles of heart and blood vessels.
- This in turn may thicken their walls, making it difficult to transport blood to all parts of the body.
- If this condition continues, one may develop stroke, cardiac arrest or ischemic heart disease.
Tracing the Links Between Smoking and High BP
- Cigarettes and “Bidis” are made from tobacco, which stimulates the heart and nervous system.
- It also damages the protective layer of blood vessel walls.
- With years of usage, tobacco can block the arteries and reduce the pumping capacity of the heart.
- One can develop Stage 1 - 2 hypertension under these conditions.
Case in Point: BP Levels During Pregnancy
- BP readings can drastically rise or fall during pregnancy.
- On an average, it must fall between 120-135/80-90 mm Hg.
- Readings above 140/90 mm Hg can be a cause for worry.