High Blood Pressure (also called Hypertension) is a Silent Killer ! Hypertension or High Blood Pressure is widely prevalent in India, with many even unaware of its slow damage to the body organs… many heart problems, brain stroke, kidney or stroke, blurred vision etc. arise due to high blood pressure. Recent Covid 19 pandemic also has shown that people with high BP are prone to greater mortality or more severe infection with the virus. Hence, it is important that you monitor your BP regularly and live a healthy lifestyle to keep this silent killer at bay!
Hypertension in India
Do you know that one in every three Indians suffers from hypertension or high blood pressure?
And that heart ailments are responsible for over 30 percent of deaths in the country? Doctors suggest that co-morbidity such as hypertecnsion is one of the leading causes of Covid mortality in India and elsewhere in the world.
As per experts in Cardiological Society of India (CSI), Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) (heart related diseases) are acquiring epidemic proportions in India. All kinds of associated ailments such as heart problems, brain stroke, kidney or stroke and high severity of viral infections are caused due to uncontrolled blood pressure.
Is hypertension or high blood pressure serious?
What is most alarming and serious is that 60 percent of people having hypertension are unaware of it. Hence high blood pressure is often called a silent killer.
Studies show that High BP kills 8 million people each year worldwide. It is directly responsible for 57% of all stroke deaths and 24% of all coronary heart disease deaths in India.
Does hypertension affect only the elders?
Unfortunately, the answer nowadays is no. This is a popularly long held wrong notion that high blood pressure is a thing associated with only elderly.
In fact the study by CSI shows that 25 percent of the people aged 31-45 years suffer from un-detected hypertension. Hence, you have to be very careful and be watchful for this silent killer.
What happens when you have Hypertension or high BP? What are the known symptoms?
Unfortunately, in most of the cases there are no noticeable or major symptoms. High blood pressure silently damages your heart, blood vessels in organs such as brain and kidney, and blurs vision of your eyes. Worse, you may not even be knowing this!
Therefore, it is extremely important to that you test your blood pressure as as part of routine medical tests.
Some people with high BP may however experience headache, blurred vision, dizziness and/or shortness of breath. These are common symptoms.
What are the causes of high BP?
High Blood Pressure (High BP) – also called Hypertension – is being dubbed nowadays as the lifestyle disease. There are good reasons for this.
This is because high BP occurs due to our modern lifestyle: heavy doses of salt is one big contributor to hypertension. Chips, wafers, snacks and sauces – they have become young generation’s staple diet. When we mix this with lack of physical exercise, we are inviting hypertension into our bodies.
Other factors responsible also include irregular or late eating habits, excessive time spent on smartphones by youngsters as well as elders sitting at home, sedentary (inactive, sitting) lifestyles (both at home and office).
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is defined as amount of force which is put upon the walls your blood vessels (arteries) as blood passes through them. To know your BP, you need to have a set of 2 numbers.
- Systolic blood pressure: This is the pressure of blood as your heart contracts to pump blood to various parts of the body.
- Diastolic blood pressure: This is pressure between beats, when your heart relaxes. This number is lower than the systolic.
What is the normal level of BP? When is BP considered to be high?
Normal blood pressure for an adult is 120 mmHg when the heart beats (systolic), and 80 mmHg when the heart relaxes (diastolic BP number).
When systolic BP is equal to or more than 140 mmHg and diastolic BP is equal to or more than 90 mmHg, blood pressure is consisted to be high. And you will be having hypertension, with or without any known symptoms.
Are there various stages of Hypertension or high blood pressure?
Yes. There are various stages of hypertension, as shown in the following chart. The following table shows different hypertension (also called high blood pressure , depending upon how high your BP readings are:
What damage can high BP do to me ?
Uncontrolled and continued high BP can lead to various kinds of heart ailments, heart failures and can cause heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure can weaken the blood vessels to bulge or rupture.
High blood pressure can also weaken and narrow down blood vessels in your kidneys leading to malfunctioning. Thick, narrow or torn blood vessels in the eyes can lead to loss of vision.
What is the cure for the high BP…how can I reduce high BP?
Above all, know your BP level. To know this, you must be able to measure this regularly at convenience of your home. Measure your BP regularly -we believe that if you can measure something and set a goal to achieve, you will work towards achieving it.
If you would like to reduce your BP, you have to change your lifestyles. You will need to change your food habits and get more body movements. Salt intake has to be reduced and physical exercise need to be done regularly. Even 30 -60 minutes of brisk walking can help contain blood pressure.
Studies say that physically active people have a lower risk of suffering from blood pressure than those who lead a sedentary (inactive, sitting) lifestyle. Live an active lifestyle which will help in weight loss. Even small amounts of weight loss can make a big difference in your high blood pressure.
If any of your elders or seniors is having hypertension, you can gift them a digital BP monitor. If interested, you may read our article on wellness gifts for your elders and seniors.
When do I see a doctor ?
If despite all the precautions, you still have high BP then you should consult a doctor for prescriptive BP medicines, which are required to be taken on a regular basis.
Very high BP in known heart patients or suffering from hypertension for a long time can lead to chest pain and/or heart attack. In such scenarios, it would be advisable to immediately consult a medicine doctor or a cardiologist.
How can I measure my Blood Pressure at home?
Monitor your BP at Home
Monitoring your blood pressure at home on a regular basis provides you and your doctor with the information to best manage your blood pressure.
Types of BP Monitors
There are two types of BP monitors or BP machines. One type is manual, which is normally used by trained practitioners and doctors at most of the clinics and hospitals. Visiting clinic for everyone regularly to check blood pressure often may not be practicable or even affordable.
The other is a digital BP monitor. This is a very portable handy device and can be used home easily. These are quite affordable too.
How does a digital BP monitor work ?
The most popular home based BP monitor is a digital BP monitor. These digital monitors use a cuff which can be placed (depending upon the type) around the upper arm, wrist, or even a finger. The most common and workable ones are arm based, where you need to place the cuff around upper arm.
While taking measurement, ensure that cuff is place at the same level as your heart. Most digital BP monitors come with instructions and follow them for after proper reading.
Once you switch on or start the monitor, the instrument helps inflate the cuff and gradually reduce the pressure. It measures blood pressures by the oscillometric method and shows the same on digital panel. Most digital BP machines also show your heart beat (in no. of beats per minute).
Buy online best digital BP monitors in India
Do not fall in the bracket of one third Indians suffering from high BP. Take charge of your own health now. Get yourself a digital BP monitor today!
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High Blood Pressure slowly damages our body organs… heart problems, brain stroke, kidney problems, blurred vision etc. can arise due to high BP. It is quite a prevalent with large number of Indians and is emerging as a serious lifestyle disease. One thing you can do is to monitor your BP regularly keep this silent killer at bay! Second, you can pursue healthy lifestyle to avoid having high blood pressure. The Covid 19 pandemic has taught us all the importance of having a health and acceptable blood pressure levels.