March 26 2021
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a very common health condition with more than 10 million cases per year in our country. In hypertension, the force of flowing blood becomes too high on the artery walls. It may also elevate the risks of heart diseases.
One can have high blood pressure for a long period without even knowing- yes that’s right. Many people can have hypertension without any symptoms. If not treated or controlled, it may also lead to serious problems such as stroke and heart attack (myocardial infarction). Hypertension is developed over years. It can be easily detected and cured or maintained by an individual, with the help of a medical professional. It might cause kidney diseases, heart diseases, respiratory problems, and vascular diseases. Heart health is seriously affected by elevated high blood pressure and might also get fatal.
How do you know you have hypertension?
Most of the patients show no symptoms of high blood pressure, even if it ranges high in the dangerous zone. When blood pressure gets high without any symptoms, this condition is known as hypertensive urgency. In this situation, no critical symptoms or conditions are seen, but, if left untreated, serious symptoms may develop quickly over time. However, some people do experience some symptoms, but it’s only when the blood pressure has reached a life-threatening stage. It is then actually alarming and it is also highly recommended to see a doctor.
Some symptoms of hypertension (dangerous) include:
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue and confusion
- Blood in urine
- Chest pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Vision problems
Complications of hypertension
- Hypertensive emergency: A complication called hypertensive emergency can occur if the high blood pressure persists and is left uncontrolled and untreated. This might also lead to organ damage along with the above-mentioned symptoms and is also known as hypertensive crisis or malignant hypertension. It means that the blood pressure is above the levels of 180 mm/Hg (systolic) and 120 mm/Hg (diastolic).
- Vascular disease: often characterized by atherosclerosis (hardened blood vessels) and narrowed arteries, risks of vascular diseases are also sometimes increased by high blood pressure. This risk involves blood vessels of the heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes causing a range of serious symptoms.
- Issues related to heart: myocardial infarction, or commonly called heart attack, is a life-threatening health problem caused by hypertension. A large number of the world’s deaths are caused by a heart attack. Untreated hypertension can also lead to cardiac arrhythmias and coronary heart disease, which affect heart health drastically.
- Kidney failure: due to the blockage of blood vessels in hypertension, they stop functioning properly. This can affect the kidneys and might also cause permanent damage.
- Aneurysm rupture: bulges in the artery wall (aneurysm) can form as a serious cause of hypertension. They can occur in the aorta, kidney, and brain. Highly elevated levels of blood pressure can increase the risk of the rupture of an aneurysm, which can be a fatal condition.
How to treat Hypertension?
- Weight management: High body weight or obesity is sometimes seen to cause Hypertension. If someone’s overweight, losing just a few kilograms can prevent or control the blood pressure from rising. Many research studies show that following weight-loss diets can reduce the blood pressure to great levels, preventing Hypertension.
- Be physically active: Regular physical activity and exercises are linked to reduced blood pressure in people with Hypertension. Since exercising can increase your heartbeat regularly, over time it gets stronger and pumps the blood with lesser efforts, hence helping control the high blood pressure and associated risks. Various research studies have shown that aerobics, cardiovascular exercises, and yoga can decrease blood pressure in hypertensive patients by a great amount. The results are as good as any medication. Using stairs instead of lifts, walking instead of driving short distances, gardening, doing household chores are some of the measures one can take in their daily lives to increase physical activity.
- Say no to processed food: so-called “fat-free" food items are not healthy for you if you have Hypertension. They contain high amounts of salt, which can seriously worsen your condition of high blood pressure. Processed food from restaurants, like pizza, deli dishes, canned juices, and soups, is also a bad option for hypertensive patients as they contain high amounts of salts. One must prefer unprocessed or home-cooked food and check for labels of sodium levels before buying food.
- Focus on your mental health: We live in a stressful age. In these times, lifestyle changes have to lead to increased stress, which directly affects the mental health of a person. High levels of blood pressure are often linked to a lack of stress management. So, it is advised to control stress to prevent hypertension. This can be achieved in various ways- listening to music, meditation, yoga, or whatever is doable by a particular person.
- Consume protein-rich foods: Diets rich in protein content have shown positive effects against Hypertension. However, a protein-rich diet is dangerous for people with certain conditions like kidney diseases, so, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor first. High protein foods include Salmon, meat, eggs, milk, chickpeas, nut butter, cheddar cheese, and lentils. Consumption of the same can reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients, studies have shown. It is also advised to cut on caffeine if you have high blood pressure health problems.
- Practice Meditation: Meditation has shown some great effects which can reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients, research suggests. As yoga includes exercises for breathing control, meditation, and posture, it can also be highly beneficial in controlling Hypertension. Meditation and yoga are as effective as any other medication (as per the research) and can treat hypertension easily.
- Supplementation: Some health supplements can also help in lowering your blood pressure. Whey protein, Coenzyme Q10, Magnesium, L-arginine, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (particularly omega-3) are some of the supplements that can help in maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Alvizia's L-arginine supplement is one such kind. It reduces blood pressure levels in people with Hypertension with its properties that enhance the blood circulation in the human body. Alvizia’s fish oil and flaxseed oil supplements are secondary sources of omega-3 fatty acids which are linked to controlled blood pressure.