Hypertension can strike a person of any age in today’s fast paced times. Sedentary lifestyle clubbed with all the high calorie foods is one of the major triggers for hypertension. It has become a common lifestyle disease in the present scenario. If left unchecked, it can lead to serious threats to life like heart ailments and stroke.
But the perils of hypertension do not end here- the threat of a dangerous form of hypertension called ‘Masked Hypertension’ looms large.
Masked hypertension happens when your blood pressure reading measured at the doctor’s clinic is normal while your blood pressure reading measured at home is high. Due to this difference, high blood pressure often goes undetected making it a dangerous condition. It often takes a long time to discover masked hypertension in a person.
Let us explore how it happens and what you can do to prevent it.
What masks Hypertension?
The obvious reason that possibly hides high blood pressure is the fact that a doctor’s clinic is a quiet and stress free place. In addition to that, some patients find the presence of the doctor to be calming causing the high blood pressure to be at the normal state. This tension free environment does not happen at home or work. A lot of stress, demands and pressure is experienced by the person thereby shooting up his/her blood pressure readings.
So, although the blood pressure readings are high when measured at home, they become normal at the doctor’s clinic. This leads to masking or hiding of hypertension.
How to track Masked Hypertension?
The best way to track hypertension is to measure the blood pressure readings at regular intervals at home. Note down the readings in a chart. When you go to the clinic, take your blood pressure monitor along with you. Let the doctor measure your blood pressure with his instrument on one hand and an assistant can measure your blood pressure on the other hand with your personal monitor.
Both the readings can be taken at the same time. Compare the blood pressure readings of both machines to rule out any differences in the different measuring instruments.
Show your home records to the doctor. This way it will be easier to detect any discrepancies in your blood pressure readings taken at home and at the clinic.
Who is at greater risk for Masked Hypertension?
Although hypertension can occur at any age, masked hypertension is more likely to afflict the younger generation with a hectic lifestyle. Too much work and stress with too little time for relaxing and following nature’s rhythm, often results in masked hypertension. Staying up late at night and working under constant pressure takes its toll surreptitiously on your body in the form of masked hypertension.
This condition is estimated to affect around 10 of the general population worldwide. Males are more likely to get afflicted with masked hypertension in comparison to the female population.
What causes Masked Hypertension?
Here is a checklist of major risk factors for masked hypertension:
- Alcohol and tobacco abuse: Intake of tobacco and alcohol in various forms on a regular basis is an open invitation to hypertension.
- High caffeine consumption: Consuming caffeine in high doses over a prolonged period can potentially trigger masked hypertension before you know it. Stop pumping your body with caffeine in varied forms like coffee, tea, chocolate etc.
- Unwanted pounds: Excessive weight is another major triggering factor for masked hypertension. An expanding waistline is a red flag for masked hypertension. Keep a tab on it!
- Improper diet pattern: If your platter is eternally loaded with scrumptious but oily and calorie filled food stuff, take heed! All the fat is eventually going to deposit in your arteries and elevate your blood pressure. So, diminish the quantity of refined foods, saturated fats, white flour and sugary items from your menu. Opt for dark leafy greens, fresh fruits, seeds, nuts and whole grains instead. These are high in anti oxidants that will prevent high blood pressure. Binge on fibrous salads and baked foods. Drink lots of water. Proper healthy diet will go a long way in keeping you fit and disease free.
- Physical inactivity: Spending time in front of your television or laptop will not boost your metabolism. Lack of physical exercise results in high LDL cholesterol which eventually causes hypertension. So, grab your running shoes and go for a spin outdoors. You can also dance your way to a great metabolism. Choose an activity that interests and spend time outdoors to beat hypertension.
If any of the above risk factors are present in your lifestyle, take steps to change it into a healthy one. Seek medical advice and improve your oxygen intake to eliminate toxins from your body. Keep a positive outlook in life to beat stress. It will go a long way in keeping you safe from the risk of masked hypertension.