WHAT IS BLOOD PRESSURE
Blood pressure is the force by which the blood pushes against the wall of the arteries. Each time the heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries. Blood pressure is highest when heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When heart is at rest, between beats, blood pressure falls. This is called diastolic pressure.
NORMAL BLOOD PRESSURE
SYSTOLIC – 120-140 mm of hg
DIASTOLIC – 70-90mm of hg
AVERAGE – 120/80 mm of hg
Modern world has presented with a lot of problems among the people with hypertension being the most common. Every second person is today suffering from hypertension. High blood pressure is defined as the increase in the pressure of the blood flowing through the arteries. Blood pressure readings beyond 140/90 are considered as hypertensive values. Increased blood pressure can raise the heart’s workload and cause serious damage to the conducting vessels. People with high blood pressure are at high risk of developing serious heart diseases, strokes, renal diseases, atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis and most important can cause damage to delicate organs.
- Age-with increasing age the elasticity of the arteries is lost leading to increased blood pressure
- High salt intake
- Genetic cause– Chance of having a high blood pressure doubles or triples if someone in the family is already having the problem
- Lack of physical activity
- Smoking – causes narrowing of the walls of arteries resulting in the increased blood flow, further smoking also decreases the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood thus increasing the work load of heart.
- Diabetes– people suffering from type-1 diabetes have high blood sugar levels- a major risk factor for developing hypertension
Hypertension also known as the silent killer as the patient may not present with any symptoms yet it continue to harm our body at various levels. Mainly affected are the cardiovascular system and the renal system. Atherosclerosis develops in the long run leading to narrowing of the major arteries of the body and affects the major organs of the body.
- Heart disease
- Renal disease
- Hypertensive retinopathy
- Restricting salt intake-The WHO recommend reducing intake to 5gms a day, to help decrease the risk of hypertension and related health problems.
- Lowering of alcohol consumption– maximum of two drinks for men and one for women are recommended.
- More fruits and vegetable low fat diet
- Daily exercise and yoga
- Avoid stressful situations frequently
A healthy lifestyle can always be a solution to control this growing problem of our society. Hypertension today has become a risk factor for premature death. Lifestyle changes and medications can lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of health complications.