Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ways to manage hypertension

Managing hypertension for healthy living

Do you see a Doctor about your hypertension (BP) and follow with a regular checkups?

Hypertension or high blood pressure occurs when excessive force is exerted against the artery walls as the heart pumps blood. It is a silent killer because people suffering from hypertension can be asymptomatic (without symptoms) for years.

A hypertensive person may develop a headache,
light headedness, ringing in the ear and a rapid heartbeat. If untreated, hypertension can lead to many degenerative diseases including congestive heart failure, end-stage renal disease, heart attack and stroke.

A normal resting blood pressure reading for an adult is 120 mm Hg (systolic)/ 80 mm Hg (diastolic). An individual is considered hypertensive if his systolic blood pressure remains at 140 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic blood pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher or both. 

Studies have suggested a link between high blood pressure and a low intake of calcium. Magnesium has been shown to help in lowering blood pressure. You may try taking calcium and magnesium supplement which also contains zinc and vitamin D3 for synergistic action and enhanced absorption. 

Omega-3 in fish oil supplements can help in lowering
both the readings for systolic (blood pumped from the heart to the cells) and diastolic (blood pumped from the cells to the heart) so that harmful blood clots are not triggered and lodged in the blood vessels. 

Salt intake has been linked to hypertension. Eliminating salt from the diet helps to lower blood pressure in most people. Go on a vegetarian diet as fruits and vegetables are the main sources of potassium, a known blood pressure lowering mineral. 

The fiber provided in a vegetarian diet may also help reduce high blood pressure

Reduce intake of dairy fat and cholesterol. Avoid caffeine from coffee, tea, chocolate and cola drinks. Avoid alcohol. Exercise regularly. Weight loss can lower blood pressure in individuals who are overweight and hypertensive. Manage stress wisely. Relaxation techniques which include deep breathing exercises, meditation and yoga help in lowering blood pressure. 

Stop smoking as, together with hypertension, it greatly increases the risk of heart disease.

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