CARDIO VASCULAR SYSTEM

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HYPERTENSION/ HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

A blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or higher is considered high blood pressure. Both numbers are important; if anyone or both numbers are high, it indicates high blood pressure. According to a recent estimate, nearly one in three adults have high blood pressure, but since at early stage there are no symptoms, nearly one third of these people don’t know they have high blood pressure. In fact, many people have high blood pressure for years without knowing it. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure and other severe health complications. This is why high blood pressure is often called as “The Silent killer”. The only way to confirm if you have blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked.

Reasons of Hypertension:

It is a disease of modern age. Fast pace of life, mental and physical pressure caused by the increasing industrialised and metropolitan environments have a major role to play in the rising cases of hypertension.

The main causes of high blood pressure are stress and faulty style of living, smoking and an excessive intake of intoxicant, tea/ coffee and refined foods, destroying the natural pace of life and preventing the expulsion of waste and poisonous matter from the body.

Hardening of the arteries(Atherosclerosis), obesity and diabetes also lead to hypertension.

Other causes of High Blood pressure are excessive intake of table salt and high fat & low fibre diet.

Symptoms of Hypertension:

The first Symptom of high blood pressure may appear as a pain at the back of head and neck on walking in the morning which soon disappears.

Some of the other common symptoms are: dizziness, palpitations, pain in the region of heart, frequent urination, nervous tension, fatigue and difficulty in breathing.

DIETARY ADVICE:

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, carbohydrates, chocolates, sugar, sweets, orange squash, and refined foods and cut down on foods that are known to cause allergies (common food allergens are diary, soya, citrus, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, fish, eggs, corn, food colourings and additives).

Fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and proteins nourish the nervous system, so eat more of these. Regular Aerobic exercise boosts mood enhancing brain chemicals and encourages relaxation.

Calcium becomes a potent assistant in decreasing blood pressure due to its diuretic properties that help the kidneys release sodium and water. Rich sources of Calcium include Diary products which make low fat choices, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, collards, turnip greens and kales as well as canned salmon and sardines with bones, firm tofu, dried figs and chickpeas.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables such as apples, asparagus, bananas, string beans, black berries, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrot, egg plant, garlic, grape fruit and sweet potatoes. Include fresh live juices in the diet; juices of beet, carrot and celery, current, cranberry, citrus fruit, parsley, spinach and water melon are very helpful. Eat grains like brown rice and oats. Avoid all animal fats, bacon, beef, and chicken liver. Acceptable animal foods are broiled white fish and skinless turkey or chicken and these should be consumed in moderation only. Get proteins from vegetable sources, Grains, Legumes instead. Avoid foods such as aged cheese and aged meats, Anchovies, avocadoes, chocolate, fava beans, pickled herring, sour cream, sherry wine and yogurt. Avoid all alcohol, caffeine and tobacco.

You can prevent high blood pressure by maintaining a healthy weight. Lose weight if you are overweight. Exercising more and eating foods low in salt also help in maintaining blood pressure.