Due to the adverse consequence Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) can have on your life, Specialist Physician Dr Mohamed Khan shares valuable insight into dropping your blood pressure.
“A high blood pressure emergency is a serious – and even life-threatening – condition that can happen when a person’s blood pressure gets much higher than normal,” states Dr Khan. When a person’s blood pressure becomes excessively high, he says it can lead to problems in one or more of the following organs.
- Eyes – Problems can include bleeding in the back of the eye or swelling of the nerve running from the eye to the brain.
- Brain – Problems can include swelling or bleeding in the brain or a stroke. A stroke is when a part of the brain is damaged because of a problem with blood flow.
- Kidneys – Very high blood pressure can lead to kidney failure.
- Heart – Heart problems can include a heart attack, heart failure, or damage to a major blood vessel.
If a person’s blood pressure was to shoot up suddenly, Dr Khan states that if the patient is already known to have hypertension, they need to comply with the recommended treatments.
It is essential to repeat checking your blood pressure (BP) every 15 to 30 minutes. “Contact your doctor should the BP not reduce within an hour or two.”
Dr Khan notes, one should avoid caffeine and tobacco prior to assessing blood pressure. Also, automated BP monitors are reliable and easy to use.
By remaining calm and contacting your doctor if your BP levels remain high, the Specialist Physician emphasises that people who have high blood pressure usually need long-term treatment to keep their blood pressure under control.
This usually includes:
- Taking medicines.
- Following a low-salt diet that includes a lot of fruits and vegetables.
- Losing weight (if you are overweight).
- Getting regular exercise.
- Do something active for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week.
- Cut down on alcohol (if you drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day).
When looking at the most significant contributing factors to high blood pressure, Dr Khan emphasises, “Although the exact cause of primary hypertension remains unclear, a number of risk factors are strongly and independently associated with its development.” he clarifies further, “It’s also a good idea to get a home blood pressure meter. People who check their own blood pressure at home do better at keeping it low and can sometimes even reduce the amount of medicine they take.”
- Age – Advancing age is associated with increased blood pressure, particularly systolic blood pressure.
- Obesity – Obesity and weight gain are major risk factors for hypertension.
- Family history – Hypertension is approximately twice as common in subjects who have one or two hypertensive parents.
- Race – Hypertension tends to be more common, be more severe, occur earlier in life, and be associated with greater consequences in Black patients.
- High-sodium diet – Excess sodium intake (e.g., >3 g/day [sodium chloride]) increases the risk for hypertension, and sodium restriction lowers blood pressure in those with a high sodium intake.
- Excessive alcohol consumption – Excess alcohol intake is associated with the development of hypertension, and alcohol restriction lowers blood pressure in those with increased intake.
- Physical inactivity – Physical inactivity increases the risk for hypertension, and exercise (aerobic, dynamic resistance, and isometric resistance) is an effective means of lowering blood.
With this in mind, be sure to monitor your blood pressure to ensure hypertension does not wreak havoc in your life.
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