How To Control Blood Pressure
My neighbor, Ugo, found out about her blood pressure the hard way. One night she woke up with a severe headache, difficulty in breathing, weakness on the left part of her body, and difficulty speaking. The 55-year-old Nigerian school teacher had no idea what was happening to her but she feared the worst.
She went to a clinic near her home, where her blood pressure was checked by a nurse. Blood pressure readings consists of two values: the upper one for systolic pressure and the lower one for diastolic pressure; anything equal to or above 130 over 90 is considered high. Ugo’s blood pressure stood at 175 over 110, a level at which she faced an increased risk of stroke, heart attack and kidney failure.
The fact that Ugo had no idea about her blood pressure status before clinical examination is in fact not unusual.
High blood pressure simply implies that the heart works more than it normally should to circulate enough blood through the blood vessels to the body. The sad thing about high blood pressure also known as hypertension is that its symptoms are not always obvious which makes regular check-ups very necessary.
Being diagnosed as Hypertensive (having high blood pressure) is not a death sentence because blood pressure can be controlled successfully. You can control your blood pressure by practicing the following health tips:
Regular blood pressure checks: It is important that once you are diagnosed as hypertensive, you should be under the supervision of a qualified physician. Checking your blood pressure at regular intervals helps to show if the blood pressure is being adequately controlled or not.
Regular exercise: It is not news that exercise, regular exercise that is, helps to improve blood circulation and causes the heart to function at its peak. This way your heart is not put under undue pressure and blood gets circulated to every part of your body. Try to imbibe the habit of regular exercise, your heart will thank you for it
Control your weight: research has proven that people who are overweight are more likely to die from high blood pressure, as well as other heart related ailments. Are you a few pounds or kilos more than your ideal weight? Now is a good time to shed excess weight
Watch what you eat: What we take into our body as food also has an effect on our heart in the long run. Excessive consumption of food high in cholesterol and excessive intake of salt increase your risk of hypertension and other heart diseases.
Limit your intake of alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol can raise one’s blood pressure. Avoid taking alcohol if you are on anti-hypertensives.
Quit smoking: Cigarette smoking elevates blood pressure. Quitting smoking helps normalize blood pressure. It also reduces the health risks you will face in the form of exposure to heart diseases and improve your overall health.
Learn to relax: Chronic stress has been known to be one of the primary causes of hypertension as it causes your blood pressure levels to rise beyond normal. Learn to ease off stress; take a vacation, pick up a hobby, do something fun. Be at peace with yourself for peace of mind equals reduced blood pressure levels. We cannot eliminate stress completely, but we can control and choose how we react to these stress factors.
Use your medications: Use medically prescribed drugs as advised and directed by your doctor. These drugs are called anti-hypertensives. It’s important to note that once you start taking these drugs, you have to use them according to the Doctor’s prescription and direction. Don’t alter the dosage or stop taking them without your Doctor’s advice.