About 1.5 billion people in the world suffer from hypertension. 1 in every 4 women and 1 in every 5 men, have constant high blood pressure. It is one of the most common chronic ailments. It is therefore, very important to know a few things about Hypertension in general.
What is Hypertension?
Increase in the pressure by which the heart pumps and intakes blood is generally known as hypertension or high blood pressure. High blood pressure is generally caused due to the thickening of the lumen of the blood vessels in the body. Thickening of blood vessels reduces the surface are for blood transport and makes it difficult for blood to reach different parts of the body quickly. This is a chaotic state for the body! To bring the body back in homeostasis, the heart starts to pump blood with more pressure.
The normal blood pressure is about 120/80 mmHg. When the blood pressure increases beyond 140/90 mmHg, it is called primary hypertension. While if it rises above 160/100mmHg it’s called secondary hypertension.
Drugs used to treat hypertension generally comprises of:
- Diuretics which generally decreases the blood volume by eliminating excess water, salt and ions,
- Vasodilator drugs generally help increase the lumen size of the vessels.
- Other treatments include, stoppage of consumption of salt, oil and food products rich in Low Density Lipoproteins.
Lifestyle modifications you can do to avoid or control your high blood pressure include:
- Weight Loss: Obesity can trigger ailments like high blood pressure. Reducing weight in general could help burn the fat deposits in the blood vessels.
- If you are an alcohol consumer the putting a limit on your alcohol intake would help lower the blood pressure.
- Exercising and becoming more physically active by engaging in brisk walking or other exercises regularly can lower systolic (the pressure by which heart pumps the blood out to different body parts) blood pressure by about 10 mmHg.
- Reduction in the intake of sodium (salt) could help lower your BP because, a high-salt diet appears to promote hypertension by increasing blood volume and therefore pressure.
- Other modifications could include, intake of lots and lots of water, dietary intake of potassium, calcium, and magnesium, no smoking and managing stress levels in your body and brain.