Strike the Right Balance For a Healthy Living
Hypertension (or HTN) or high blood pressure is
defined as abnormally high arterial blood pressure. It is also termed as a
‘silent killer’ as very rarely any symptom can be seen in its early stages
until a medical crisis takes place like heart attack, stroke, or chronic kidney
disease. While the majority of patients with HTN remain asymptomatic, some people
with HTN report headaches, lightheadedness, vertigo, altered vision, or
fainting episodes. The increasing incidence of chronic diseases can be
attributed to rapid urbanization, increasing elderly population, mechanization,
sedentary life, and dietary changes. All these combined together act as risk
factors which become a reason for several chronic diseases.
Monitoring blood pressure at home
coronavirus pandemic will be etched in history.
The pandemic has brought huge changes in the social and economic lives
of a large chunk of the population. The way healthcare is being delivered has
also changed in a big way. The new normal of social distancing and remote
working has forced us to do a lot of changes in our lifestyle and day to day
functioning. As we get used to the new “normal”, we must not forget that other
chronic illnesses are still there and we need to take care of those. They
cannot be forgotten. And HTN is one such condition. If it is left untreated, it
can lead to severe consequences. Reports indicate that people with uncontrolled
or untreated high blood pressure may be at risk of getting ill with COVID-19.
They are also at a higher risk of complications from COVID-19. Managing HTN
amid the coronavirus pandemic is very important. Due to the fear of getting
infected by the virus, patients with chronic illnesses have deferred or
postponed their routine health check-ups; this move could adversely impact their
During the pandemic times, technology has come at
the forefront when it comes to healthcare. Consulting your doctor online
eliminates the risk of infection and one can also manage their illness. Besides
monitoring your blood pressure at home, using the digital blood pressure
monitor can also help you to keep a track of your blood pressure. Ensure that
you follow the hypertension management plan given by your doctor. Making
changes in your lifestyle and taking your medications as prescribed can go a
long way in managing your high blood pressure.
Here are a few steps you can consider to ensure a
healthy living with hypertension:
Heart-healthy foods – a way of life. Consider the Dietary Approaches
to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole
grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy foods.
Ensure that you decrease the salt in your diet. Consult your doctor for how much salt intake in a day should be good for you
(as per WHO recommendation 2-3 grams of salt intake per day is ideal).
Manage your weight. If you are having excess weight, consider
losing it. Shedding even a little weight can reduce your blood pressure.
Stay active. Follow an exercise routine. It also helps to
lower blood pressure and stress reduction as well as weight loss.
Manage your stress. Try coping mechanisms to keep your stress levels
under check. Involve yourself in activities that you enjoy. Deep breathing exercises, yoga and meditation also help to keep
stress levels low.
Avoid too much alcohol. It can raise blood
pressure. Also, quit smoking.
Big journeys begin with small steps. Take small
steps to keep your hypertension under control. Live a healthy and happier life.
DM, FCCP, FCSI, FESC, MACC, MAHA
Metro Hospitals &
Heart Institute, Noida