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How To Lower Your Blood Pressure

How To Lower Your Blood Pressure

What is Hypertension?

Blood pressure indicates the force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of the blood vessels it travels in around the body. Hypertension is when this blood pressure is too high.

How is Blood Pressure Measured?

Blood pressure should be recorded using an approved device, with the patient seated for at least 5 minutes before the measurement. The patient should be placed comfortably with the back supported and the arm resting at the surface level of the heart.

Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers. The first number, the ‘systolic’, represents the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart beats. The second number, called the ‘diastolic’, represents the pressure in the vessel when the heart rests between beats.

How is Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Diagnosed?

Hypertension is diagnosed if, when measured on three different occasions within two months, the systolic blood pressure reading is ≥ 140mmHg or the diastolic blood pressure readings on both readings is ≥90mmHg

What are the Common Symptoms of Hypertension?

People with hypertension may experience the following.

  • Headaches, especially in the morning
  • Nose bleeds
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Visual disturbances
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Chest pain

Most people with hypertension do not experience any symptoms, which is why regular blood pressure monitoring is imperative.

What are the Complications of Uncontrolled Hypertension?

  • Stroke: when blood pressure is too high, it can cause bleeding in the brain
  • Heart Attack: When your blood pressure is too high, adequate blood flow to the heart muscle is blocked, and the heart muscle can die from the lack of oxygen.
  • Heart Failure: occurs when a prolonged state of untreated or inadequately treated hypertension damages the heart muscle, affecting the ability of the heart to function effectively.

Treatment of Hypertension

Lifestyle Modification

  • Achieving and maintaining ideal weight.

Maintain a healthy weight within a body mass index (BMI) range of 18.5-24.9
Calculate your BMI here

  • Limiting total sodium intake to <2400mg/day.

Maintain a total amount of salt per day at less than one teaspoon per day. High sodium levels are found in table salt, stock cubes, packet soups, gravies, processed cheese, breakfast cereals, salty snacks, and tinned foods.

Removal of the saltshaker from the dinner table and gradually reducing added salt in food preparation is recommended. The use of herbs, spices, and lemon juice adds flavour to food in the absence of salt.

  •  Limit alcohol intake.
    two standard drinks per day for men and one standard drink per day for women and small-built men. A standard drink is quantified as 25ml of liqueur/spirits, 125ml of wine, 340ml of beer or 60ml of sherry
  • Follow a healthy balanced diet.
    • Indulge in a diet low in total fats.
    • Try incorporating as many fruits and vegetables into your diet, at least five servings daily.
    • Increase intake of wholegrain foods.
    • Substitute red meats with fish or chicken.
    • Avoid added sugar and sugar-containing foods.
    • Caffeine-containing beverages should be used modestly (1-2 cups of coffee daily).
    • Avoid highly processed and saturated fat foods.
  • Regular moderate-intensity exercise.
    Participate in moderate-intensity exercise for 30 minutes at least five times weekly. The 30-minute duration of exercise can be continuous or cumulative of shorter periods of exercise during the day.
  • Avoid the use of all tobacco products.
    Smoking causes a direct impact on blood pressure. It increases the risk for heart disease

Upon being diagnosed with hypertension, and your doctor will do a complete medical assessment before choosing a medication that is suited to help you best.

Affinity Health Day-to-Day and Combined members have access to a Chronic Medication Benefit.

The Chronic Medication Benefit covers 24 life-threatening chronic conditions that need ongoing treatment, including Hypertension.

Members can also access unlimited, managed Doctor Consultations and a 24/7 unlimited Telephonic Medical Consulting Hotline.

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