Make a  lifestyle change

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is an ailment which afflicts almost every household in the country, especially in the urbanpopullation. It is estimated that one in every third Indian suffers from high BP and this situation will lead to a hypertension epidemic by 2020.

Normal blood pressure is counted in two parameters — systolic pressure of 120 mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 80 mmHg. 130/90 mmHg is considered borderline hypertension or pre-hypertension.

Despite the efforts to increase awareness, hypertension burden shows no signs of lessening. Even children can develop hypertension. If one is genetically predisposed to hypertension then despite all the safety measures, one can fall victim to high BP.

It is not just a disease which affects the heart and kidneys, it has a negative effect on almost every organ in the body. Major organs like the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs are affected and it even damages the eyes, bone density and nerves in the body. From brain to blood vessels, it causes strokes, aneurysms, cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias), Glomerulosclerosis, osteoporosis and many more diseases.

One should regularly check for blood pressure. High BP is preventable by inculcating healthy lifestyle habits. Control on indulgences at an early age can lead to a hypertension free life. One should avoid fried foods, processed foods and too much salt intake in the diet. Avoiding tobacco and alcohol also decreases the chances of developing hypertension.

A healthy diet is not enough. An active lifestyle with regular exercise regime is essential to ensure good health. Obesity increases the risk of hypertension. One factor which many people tend to ignore is the sleep and the lack of adequate sleep is as toxic for the body as all the unhealthy lifestyle habits put together.

Many people with high BP are not even aware of their condition and get to know only when it has lasted enough to cause damage. Almost one-quarter of all coronary artery diseases can be traced back to hypertension, while it is directly responsible for 57 per cent of stroke deaths. Good habits help to control it to a large extent. Along with lifestyle and dietary changes, it’s very important to regularly take the prescribed medicines to avoid the risk of brain haemorrhage and damage to other organs.

The best bet to control, if not avoid, hypertension is to be aware of the damage it can cause on the body and best lifestyle habits that a person should adopt to avoid it.