Hypertension is a silent killer, according to this hypertension specialist. The condition affects around 1.28 billion people globally. Around 46% of the adults are unaware that they have the condition. Given such a grim outlook let’s look at the different aspects of the disease and what you can do about it.
What is hypertension?
Another term for hypertension is high blood pressure. Blood pressure refers to the force which blood exerts on the blood vessel walls.
How to measure high blood pressure?
There are two types of measurements for blood pressure. One is systolic (pressure that is measured when the heart is beating or contracting) and diastolic (pressure that is measured when the heart is relaxing, that is between beats).For example, a pressure reading is taken as (systolic/diastolic) mmHg.
What is the normal range of blood pressure?
- The normal range of blood pressure is under 130/80 mmHg.
- Stage 1 hypertension (mild) is between 130-139 / or diastolic between 80-89 mmHg.
- Stage 2 hypertension (moderate) is around 140/90 mmHg or higher.
- The hypertensive crisis starts from 180/120 mm/Hg or higher.
What are the 2 types of hypertension?
People can be diagnosed with one of two types of high blood pressure. They are:
Primary or essential high blood pressure
Ageing and not getting enough exercise cause this type of high blood pressure.
Secondary high blood pressure
Taking particular medication, kidney, or hormonal problems can cause this type of blood pressure.
Who is at risk for hypertension?
People who are at risk for hypertension are:
- Don’t get enough exercise.
- Eat foods high in sodium (salt).
- Heavy drinker (more than two drinks a day in men and more than one drink a day in women).
- of African descent.
- older than 55.
- Smoke or use tobacco products.
- Those who have family members with high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases or diabetes
How is high blood pressure diagnosed?
Unfortunately, high blood pressure does not have any symptoms. Hence, it can only be detected at annual appointments or whenever your pressure is checked for some reason or the other. If you have high blood pressure at two or more appointments, then you are in serious trouble.
What’s a good diet for hypertension?
- For hypertension, you need to eat foods that are low in fat, salt and calories.
- You can use flavourings, spices, and herbs but not salt to make your food palatable.
- Doctors recommend the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) by consuming more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and reducing salt. The diet is naturally low in sodium.
According to WHO, hypertension is a major cause of premature deaths worldwide. Only 1 in 5 adults have hypertension under control. Thus, given such a grim prognosis, one should be careful about not contracting the condition with a suitable diet and lifestyle changes. You can contact a hypertension specialist for more information.