High blood pressure or hypertension kills nearly 1.5 million people every year
Blood pressure is the measure of the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. The heart pumps blood into the arteries (blood vessels), which carry the blood throughout the body. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is dangerous because it makes the heart work harder to pump blood out to the body and contributes to hardening of the arteries, stroke, kidney disease, and to the development of heart failure. The normal blood pressure value is less than 120 over 80 (120/80). People with higher values should consult a doctor to correct it.
The exact causes of high blood pressure are not known, but several factors and conditions may play a role in its development, including:
- Being overweight or obesity
- Lack of exercise or physical activity
- Too much salt in the diet
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Older age
- Family history of high blood pressure
- Chronic kidney disease
People with high blood pressure may develop a range of mild to severe symptoms such as headache, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting, chest pain and shortness of breath. Fortunately, most people can bring down their blood pressure naturally without medication. However, lifestyle modifications are essential. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is critical for the prevention of HBP and is an indispensable part of managing it. These changes may reduce your blood pressure without the use of prescription medications. While there is no cure, high blood pressure is manageable.
Dr. Devi Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Health mentions that if a youngster is diagnosed with a high BP value, he/she is advised to make certain lifestyle modifications. They include imparting a healthier diet, physical activity or exercise, yoga and medication to relieve stress and avoiding consumption of alcohol and smoking. If the patient is over the 30 year mark, then they are prescribed with daily medication that needs to be strictly followed with no excuse.
Dr. Shetty goes on to advice patients to follow their healthcare professional’s recommendations carefully, even if it means taking medication every day. High blood pressure is a lifelong disease, and by partnering with your healthcare team, you can successfully reach your treatment goals and enjoy the benefits of better health, he says.
Once the treatment program becomes routine, maintaining a lower blood pressure is easier. By managing your blood pressure, you are lowering your risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, peripheral artery disease and kidney disease.
Listen to your doctor and act on the information to live a heart-healthier life.