top of page

Hypertension-Killing you softly?????

Updated: Jun 10, 2023



According to recent reports, and cited by the WHO, approximately 25% of Indian adults have hypertension, more than 3/4th of whom, do not have their blood pressure under control. Globally less than 1 in 5 have their hypertension under control.

What is Blood Pressure?

It has 2 components.

Systolic pressure is the top number. It represents the pressure the heart generates when it beats to pump blood to the rest of the body.

Diastolic pressure is the bottom number. It refers to the pressure in the blood vessels between heartbeats.


What's the upper acceptable limit of Blood Pressure?

130/80 mm Hg


What is Hypertension?

Anything beyond 130/80 is considered hypertension according to the latest guidelines


What causes Hypertension?

Hypertension is multifactorial. The causes range from genetics, to poor lifestyle. While a genetic predisposition doesn't mean you will necessarily develop hypertension, a poor lifestyle is very likely to result in raised blood pressure.


What are the complications of Hypertension?

Chronic hypertension can affect many organs of the body leading to can lead to heart disease, brain stroke, kidney disease, retinopathy, and even cognitive decline including dementia.


How is Hypertension treated?

Hypertension is commonly managed by anti-hypertensive medications, and while these are necessary in many cases of hypertension, they do nothing to address the root cause.


On the other hand, lifestyle modifications work on the root cause and are a MUST for everyone. They can bring down your blood pressure, reduce the progression of the disease as well as reduce the associated complications and the need for additional blood pressure-lowering medication.


What can you do about it?

Try the 6-pillar approach to bringing down your blood pressure


1. Diet:

whole-food plant based diet

Certain diets like the DASH diet and Mediterranean diet have been shown to reduce blood pressure in hypertensives.


Our recommendations :

Whole-food -plant-based diet, customized to your palate and culture, which can offer similar benefits, if not more.


The eat right movement

Cut down on

SALT: Salt is present

in many foods naturally, so think carefully before you add that extra salt.


FAT: High fat in the diet can raise the BAD cholesterol (LDL), especially saturated fat

like butter.


nuts and seeds

Monounsaturated fats(found in almonds and olive oil, etc.) and Polyunsaturated fats(found in walnuts and flax seeds, etc) are food fats and should be consumed in small amounts to help control hypertension.


2. Exercise:

Exercise helps the heart to pump more blood with less force, so the load on the arteries is less, while circulation is maintained. This can help to reduce blood pressure from 4 to 12 mm Hg diastolic and 3 to 6 mm Hg systolic.

A minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise like brisk walking, is recommended for cardiovascular health.


The exercise should preferably be spread out throughout the week.

The minimum 150 minutes should not be the only physical activity you do. It's good to be physically active throughout the day.


If for some reason you are unable to do the recommended exercise, remember, every little physical activity counts, so DO WHAT YOU CAN.


Include stretching and flexibility exercises in your schedule.


Strength training twice a week for 30 minutes each.


For more on the benefits of strength training please visit:


3. Stress management:

Stress management

Meditation, deep breathing, and other forms of relaxation techniques reduce the sympathetic drive and improve the parasympathetic drive bringing down the heart rate and blood pressure. Try BOX BREATHING for starters.


Moreover, a good diet, exercise, and sleep in itself can reduce stress.


4. Manage Sleep :


sleep

Most adults need 7-9 hours of restful sleep at night for good health. During nighttime sleep our blood pressure reduces, and chronic sleep deprivation can lead to the sustained rise of blood pressure reducing the hormones responsible for reducing stress.


For tips on sleeping well visit

Yes, it's possible to sleep without sleeping pills!!!!!)


*If you feel you are tired/fatigued in the morning, even after sleeping for 7-9 hours, speak to a specialist for a sleep evaluation. You may have a condition called sleep apnoea.


5. Reduce substance abuse

Any substance abuse is harmful to blood pressure. However, alcohol and tobacco are widely used, so we recommend you start reducing their consumption as soon as possible

STOP Alcohol: Too much alcohol can directly increase blood pressure. However, alcohol has high-calorie content and even small amounts can increase your weight, which itself is a risk factor for Hypertension.


STOP Tobacco (both smoking and smokeless): Smoking injures arterial walls leading to the hardening of the arteries, and increasing blood pressure. Smokeless tobacco also increases blood pressure by an additional mechanism of salt retention.


6. Improve social connections


Social isolation (Loneliness) may be felt when one is physically lonely, but also when one is surrounded by people. If not countered, it can lead to heart disease including hypertension, stroke, depression, and even cognitive decline.


Social connectedness is the feeling of belonging, having the support and care one needs, as well as having a diverse set of meaningful relationships.

social connections


Meaningful social connections help us to sleep well and have less stress in our lives, which helps to keep blood pressure levels low.


Click on the link below for a great resource to help you tackle social isolation.

Note: Speak to a lifestyle Medicine consultant for the right Lifestyle Prescription for you. A lifestyle medicine prescription is a personalized prescription for the 6 pillars of lifestyle medicine, taking into account your other disease conditions as well as ongoing medications.



Warning!! Intensive Therapeutic Lifestyle interventions have been known to reduce hypertension and anti-hypertensive medications. Are you willing to take the challenge ????



References:



280 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Guest
Jun 21, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

This is very informative and useful indeed.

Like
bottom of page