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Answers to your quarries

 

What is blood pressure ?  Is blood pressure bad for me ?

  • Before finding answer to this question, you need to understand some thing more.

 

What is the heart and where is it situated ?

  • Heart is a cone shaped, hollow, muscular organ. It is situated in the chest. It is slightly turned towards the left side of the body. It is of the size of a closed fist and weighs approx. 300 grams.

 

What does the heart do ?           

  • A pump in the garden produces force and supplies water. Similarly heart works like a pump. It pumps the blood to all parts of the body.

 

What is blood ?

  • Blood is made up of 91% water. The remaining 9 % are made up of other substances. One of them is a red blood cell. This gives red color to the blood.

 

What is the function of the blood ?

  • It supplies oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body.

 

How does blood moves in the body ?

  • Blood moves inside the body through blood vessels.

 

What are blood vessels ?

  • Blood vessels are tubes present in the body. The heart is connected to all parts of the body through these tubes. 

  • Blood flows from the heart to all parts of the body through these blood vessels. 

  • Blood carries oxygen.

  • All parts of the body receive oxygen from the blood and give back carbon dioxide. The blood carries carbon dioxide back to the heart.

 

Does heart needs blood for itself ?

  • Like a motor needs fuel to run, the heart also needs fuel for its functioning. 

  • Oxygen and nutrients are the fuel of the heart.

  • Heart receives this fuel from the blood through blood vessels called Coronary arteries.

 

How does heart pump blood ?

The heart, for the movement of blood , exerts two types of pressure.

  • Contraction. The pressure produced by the heart to pump out the blood.

  • Relaxation. The pressure produced when heart relaxes to allow the   blood to flow into the heart.

 

What is blood pressure ?

  • Blood pressure is created when the heart pumps blood through blood vessels to all parts of the body. 

  • The blood while flowing applies a pressure on the inner side of the blood vessels. This pressure is called 'Blood Pressure'.

 

Is Blood pressure bad ?

  • Blood pressure is not bad. Blood pressure is required to help the blood reach the farthest end of the body.

  • Blood pressure can be measured by an instrument. For a healthy person the blood pressure value is 120 mm Hg when heart is contracting and 80 mm Hg when the heart is relaxing. It is commonly written as 120/80 mm Hg.

 

Does Blood Pressure always remain the same ?

  • No. Blood pressure does not always remain the same. 

  • Blood pressure is lower in the early mornings and higher in the late evenings. 

  • It is low when the person is in deep sleep. 

  • In certain situations like exercise, stress, anger, blood pressure increases temporarily.

 

What are the precautions I need to take for getting my Blood Pressure measured properly ?

  • By taking few precautions you can help the doctor in recording your Blood Pressure value correctly.

  • If you have hurried to the clinic, do not proceed with measuring your blood pressure until your breathing is normal. Wait till your breathing is normalized and then measure your blood pressure.

  • Do not measure your blood pressure immediately after eating food.

  • Do not measure your blood pressure after urination.

  • Do not measure your blood pressure when you are tensed.

  • If you are sitting in a low chair or table in the doctor's clinic, do not bend to the front while measuring your blood pressure.

  • While measuring blood pressure, don't sit with your legs crossed.

 

What is high blood pressure ?

  • Any person who is having a blood pressure consistently above 120/80 mm Hg is said to be suffering from high blood pressure. Doctors call this hypertension.

 

Is high blood pressure ( Hypertension ) bad for me ?

  • Yes  High blood pressure means that the heart is working harder to pump blood. So it is bad. It can also be dangerous to your health. You need to consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor will give you treatment to control your blood pressure.

 

What will happen if hypertension is not controlled ?

Uncontrolled hypertension can cause:    

  • Heart attack.

  • Enlargement of the heart and lead to heart failure.

  • Narrowing of the blood vessels.

  • Stroke.

  • Kidney failure.

  • Damage to the eyes.

  • It can reduce your life span also. So, it is very important to detect high blood pressure in time can treat it.

   

What causes high blood pressure ( Hypertension ) ?

  • The cause in 95% of people is not known. High blood pressure doesn't have any signs and symptoms. In some people high blood pressure may be because of some disease, such as diabetes or kidney problem.

 

What are the common symptoms associated with hypertension ?

  • Most of the people don't have symptoms but some may have symptoms like:

  • Lack of sleep, Headaches, associated with anger, Giddiness, Flushed face on exertion.

 

How to find out High blood pressure ?

  • Your doctor can check it. Your doctor has an instrument to measure blood pressure. When you see a doctor for any minor health problem ask the doctor to check the blood pressure.

 

Is it important to measure my Blood Pressure routinely ?

  • Yes it is better to check your blood pressure regularly. This will help you to detect your blood pressure earlier and control it. If you already have high blood pressure, measure it once in 3 months.

 

Check your Blood pressure at least once in 6 months in the case of any of the following:

  • If you are above 30 years of age.

  • If you have a family history of heart disease.

  • If you are an overweight person.

  • If you are a smoker.

  • If you consume alcohol regularly.

  • If you are undergoing stress.

  • If you have any major diseases like heart disease, diabetes, or any kind of kidney problem.

 

How to control Hypertension ?

  • Consult your doctor immediately. He will advise you on medicines, diet and other life style changes to control your blood pressure. This will help you to lead a normal life. Hypertension is not curable, but it can be brought under control with medicines, diet, exercise and certain changes in your life style.

 

What are the things I need to do to control my blood pressure ?

  • Take medicines regularly.

  • Visit your doctor regularly for check up.

  • Change your eating habits.

  • Reduce weight.

  • Exercise regularly.

  • Reduce salt intake.

  • Eat food rich in antioxidants.

  • Change your lifestyle.

  • Reduce stress.

  • Stop smoking.

  • Reduce/stop alcohol intake.

 

How can medicines help me ? Which is the right medicine for me ?

  • Medicines are very much essential to control your blood pressure. They can prevent future complications also. Different people require different medicines for controlling blood pressure. There are different kind of medicines available. Different medicines act in different ways. Your doctor will choose the medicines, which are best suited for you.

 

Do's and don'ts with your medicines.

  • Take your medicines regularly.

  • Don't stop or change medicines or adjust the dose without your doctor's advise.

  • Take the medication at the same time everyday. Either in the morning or evening as per doctor's advice.

  • If you experience some side effects, inform your doctor. He may change your medicines.

 

How can increased body weight be harmful to me. How can I reduce my weight ?

  • Being overweight makes you 2-6 times more likely to develop high blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, increase in body weight can further increase your blood pressure. You can reduce your weight by choosing the right type of food and doing some simple exercises.

Food you must avoid:

  • Oily dishes, cheese, butter, ghee, dalda, palm oil, deep fried foods, chips, chicken, red meat, pickles, pappads and sauces. Also avoid sweets like chocolates, ice creams, cakes, and soft drinks.

 

Food you can choose:

  • Cereals like wheat, rice, ragi, maize, whole and sprouted dals, fish, green leafy vegetables, and fresh fruits. Vegetable oils like sunflower oil or Soya bean oil can be preferred.

 

Tips for reducing weight:

  • Avoid fatty foods, such as fried items, butter etc.

  • Take food rich in fibers. Apple,  banana, orange, potato, carrot, tomato, cabbage, beans are good sources of fibers.

  • Eat green leafy vegetables and fruits.

  • Do not skip meal.

  • Regularize your eating habitably taking food at regular intervals of time.

  • Avoid eating fast food.

  • Take small meals. They are better than a single large meal.

  • Maintain a food diary. Keep a track of what you eat, when you eat and why you eat. Try to analyze  your eating habits so that you can plan your diet.

  • Exercise regularly.

  • Avoid alcohol.

  • Get treated for mental stress as depression and anxiety may increase weight due to overeating and lethargies.

  • Avoid self medication as many medicines can increase weight directly or in directly.

 

How can exercise help ?

Exercise can help you in many ways to lead a healthy life.

                                                   

 

  • It can lower your increased blood pressure.

  • It can help you loose weight.

  • It can reduce stress and make you feel relaxed.

  • It can prevent major complications like heart attack or stroke.

  • It can reduce your risk of diabetes also.

 

You can make exercise a part of your life.

  • The amount of physical activity to be undertaken should be decided by your doctor. Uncontrolled blood pressure should be controlled with medication and should be stabilized before any exercise programme be started. Apart from this you can do a lot of other things. Your doctor will also suggest you, the precautions you need to take while doing any exercise.

  • The best thing is to have a regular walk at least for half an hour per day. Exercise like walking, running, swimming, cycling, can help to reduce your blood pressure. 

  • Try to walk to your office if it's close by.

  • Park your vehicle half a mile away so that you can walk to your office.

  • Get down from the bus before your stop, and try to walk the rest of the way .

  • Take the stairs instead of the lift.

  • Yogasanas and stretching exercises can help to relax the muscles. It is always better to do these exercises in presence of a teacher, before starting any exercise. Get yourself examined by a doctor. 

 

How does an increase in salt intake affect my blood pressure ?

  • Taking high salt in food will increase your blood pressure .This can increase your chances of getting heart disease or stroke.

 

Tips for reducing salt.

  • Avoid high salt content food.

  • Keep the salt shake away from your dinning table.

  • Sprinkle lemon juice over vegetables instead of salt.

  • Avoid pickles, chutneys, pappads, salted peanuts, chips, etc, which contain lot of salt.

  • Cook food stuff with less salt.

  • Use fresh green vegetables.

  • Take food rich in potassium. Food stuff like banana, orange, potatoes, peas, tender coconut water are good sources of potassium. They help to reduce blood pressure.

  • Reduce salt slowly over a period of days so that taste of food is maintained.

 

What are antioxidants. How will eating food rich in anti oxidants help me ?

  • Anti oxidants are substances produced in the body during normal working. These are like robbers who are always on the look out for the valuables. They attack and snatch valuables from others to satisfy themselves. Same way inside the body, free radicals attack the cells and cause harm to it. These can be taken care of by the use of vitamins and anti oxidants.

 

Can antioxidants be increased in the body ?

  • Yes. There are lots of food stuffs, which can increase the antioxidants in the body. Vitamins like Vitamin C and minerals like Zinc and Selenium are good antioxidants. Vitamins like Folic acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 are also found to protect you. They reduce homocysteine levels in the body. Homocysteine  is a harmful substance present in the blood. This causes injury to the blood vessels and increases risk to the heart, when present in higher levels.

 

How will stress effect me ?

  • Stress can effect you by increasing your blood pressure. It can lead to heart attacks, stroke, and other complications. So it is very important to reduce your stress.

 

Ways to reduce stress:

  • Spend more time in talking to your near and dear ones.

  • If you have kids in the house spend time with them. They can make you feel happy.

  • Do gardening. This can bring you peace of mind.

  • Enjoy listening to Music; read some good comic book.

  • Think positive. Remember things that are good in life.

  • Take a few deep breaths .Breathing supplies more oxygen and makes you feel fresh.

  • Small stretching exercises can help you to relax. The muscles at the back of the neck and upper back get tensed when you are stressed. So massaging these muscles makes you feel relaxed.

  • Learn to do meditation every day. This can help you to relax.

  • Sports, walking in morning also relaxes mind.

  • Cultivate creative and useful hobbies for leisure time, which can help in mental relaxation as well.

  • Regular outings at least once a week is essential for all.

 

How will smoking affect me ?

  • Cigarette smoking increases your risk of heart disease 2-4 times.

  • Even exposure of Cigarette smoke at home or at work increases the chances of getting heart disease. 

  • Smoking increases the number of free radicals produced in your body. It increases the fat deposition in the blood vessel. This results in the narrowing of blood vessels. This can lead to increase in blood pressure.

 

It is therefore never too late to quit smoking. Why not now and forever.

 

Will drinking alcohol increase my blood pressure ?

  • Alcohol when taken regularly can have very bad effect.

  • Drinking alcohol increases blood pressure. 

  • It can damage your liver and 

  • kill your brain cells.

  • It can alter the heartbeat and increase the risk of heart attack. 

  • It can also increase your body weight.

 

So reducing and more so omitting  your alcohol intake can prevent you from major complications.

 

A final word from 'Prof. Good health.'

  • Do you have hypertension. Do not worry. There are lots of things you can do to lead a happy life.

 

                                                      

 

  • Visit your doctor regularly.

  • Take a healthy diet.

  • Take food rich in anti oxidants.

  • Exercise regularly.

  • Reduce stress.

  • Stop smoking.

  • Reduce alcohol intake.

 

God help those who help themselves.

 

 

 

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