Blood pressure is a measurement of the pressure exerted by blood on the walls of the blood vessels. It is affected by the health of the blood vessels and the health of the heart as it pushes the blood through. High blood pressure is a serious condition and if uncontrolled can cause heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and other issues.
Normal blood pressure is 120(systolic) /80 mm (diastolic) of Hg.
Pre hypertensive is 120-139 systolic and/or 80-89 diastolic.
High blood pressure is any readings above 140/90 mm of Hg.
Below are some suggestions to try and reduce your blood pressure. Do not ignore taking the medication advised by your doctor, but do try and control your blood pressure by measures suggested below. Remember, a stitch in time saves nine! A little care now, might save you a lifelong commitment to blood pressure medications!.
- Lose extra pounds. Look up your ideal weight and aim for it.
- Watch your waistline. Too much weight around your midsection can increase your blood pressure.
- Lead an active life. Exercise regularly. 30-40 minutes a day will do wonders for health.
- Actively practice stress management.
- Control your emotions
- Breathe deeply
- Turn to spirituality
- Avoid known and avoidable stressors.
- Sleep enough, 7-8 hours a day.
- Cut back on caffeine. It can be present not just in coffee, but in teas, decaf coffee, chocolates, soda, icecreams, breath mints, energy drinks, pain medication and a lot of other products.
- Eat a healthy diet: whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
- Eat foods rich in Potassium such as sweet potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, baked potatoes with skin, salmon,curds,etc.
- Add herbs known to reduce or control blood pressure to your diet.
- Basil (Tulsi)
- Cinnamon (Tej)
- Cardamom( Elaichi)
- Garlic (Lasun)
- Hawthorne berries (Nagaphani)
- Celery seeds (Ajwain seeds)
- Avoid foods high in salt like pickles, chips, etc.
- Avoid or reduce alcohol intake.
- Avoid tobacco and secondhand smoke.
- Consider using a mouth mask or cover your nose and mouth a kerchief when going into a highly polluted area.
- Consider following yoga poses for better control of BP
- Downward dog
- Remember that people with untreated hypertension should avoid unsupported inversiona like dhanursansa, mayurasana shirsanana or adh mukha vrishasana. Other poses that put pressure on chest, throat, temples and those which make steady breathing difficult should also be avoided. It is best to learn the poses with a teacher so that they are performed correctly.
- Monitor blood pressure regularly.
- Buy a blood pressure monitor and use it at home.
- Ask for help from friends and family.
- They want to feed you what you like. Make them aware that you are trying to eat what’s good for you.
- Try and plan family and friend meetings around active events, like a walk in the park/beach, play a sport, etc.
- Let them know to help and support your efforts. Educate them if needed.
- Provide the same support that would help you to a friend/family.
Numerous online content and websites were consulted for the writing of this article. This article is an attempt at amalgamating the information. Remember, that the best sources of information is your doctor and this article is not intended to replace medical advice.
Article by Dr Archana Naidu-Komandur, BDS, DDS, PG, FAGD