Commonly known as high blood pressure, hypertension occurs when our blood exerts greater force on the walls of the arteries, which damages the blood vessels as a result.
Alongside being an issue in it of itself, hypertension also increase the risk of other ailments that jeopardize longevity and quality of life. High blood pressure poses a risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, problems related to the eyes.
Therefore, it is vital that steps be taken to moderate hypertension. Admittedly, there are many factors that are beyond your control, like age, ethnicity, family history etc.
However, there are other steps that you can take to control your blood pressure. Alongside following the prescription drafted by your Internal Medicine specialist, you should also make the following changes to your life control your high blood pressure:
In order to prevent hypertension, it is imperative that you watch what you eat. Make sure that you get plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Moreover, you should also cut back on fatty foods and those high in sugar.
An excellent diet for patients suffering from hypertension is DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This diet entails taking high quantities of natural foods, especially those rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
DASH diet helps in lowering the quantities of bad cholesterol in the body, that acts to clog the arteries, furthering the problem of hypertension.
Cut Down on Salt
The most important step in moderating your blood pressure is regulating your sodium intake. It is pertinent that you cut back on the salt, and perhaps removing it altogether from your dining table to also remove the temptation to dribble it some in your plate.
However, since packaged and processed food also contains high amounts of sodium, you should also moderate their intake as well. Similarly, sauces and preserved food also contains large amounts of salt. You should read the labels before buying all such items.
You might also have to cut back on restaurant food as well, since it is not possible to ascertain the amount of salt added to the food. Try to cook healthy meals at home.
This may come as a hard blow, but you also need to cut back on caffeine in order to regulate your blood pressure. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks and chocolate. You need to take control of your caffeine-addiction, and perhaps start to develop a taste for decaf.
Exercise helps in addressing a wide range of issues in the body, including hypertension. Therefore, to control your blood pressure, you need to make exercise a vital part of your life. Alongside during moderate cardio, you should also partake in resistance training.
Watch Your Weight
Since obesity increases the risk of hypertension, therefore, it is pertinent that you watch your weight. People who are overweight should take steps for reducing their weight. However, rather than falling trap to fad diets, you should make lifestyle changes for sustainable weight loss.
Get Sufficient Sleep
Adequate sleep is imperative for your body to function properly. Lack of sufficient shuteye has implications for not just health, but is also increases the risk of hypertension alongside heart disease, obesity etc.
Therefore, make sure you get 7-9 hours of sleep. You may have to make lifestyle changes to get sufficient shuteye, including eating well before bedtime, sleeping and waking up at a fixed time, and not using screens in bed.
Monitor Your Blood Pressure Levels
It is also vital that you keep monitoring your blood pressure levels. Hypertension does not always present with symptoms, due to which you may be caught unaware. It is hence vital for you to be in the know-how of your blood pressure, and report any discrepancies to the Best Internal Medicine Specialist in Karachi.