Contrary to the belief that medication can alone bring down blood pressure, making a few modifications in dietary habits and lifestyle can have a positive impact and help reduce hypertension.
Hypertension Management – Through Lifestyle Changes
Lifestyle changes play a pivotal role in hypertension management. Taking simple steps to modify existing food and health habits reduces blood pressure significantly. Eating healthy food, which includes lots of vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains, brings down blood pressure by several points. Cutting down salt in everyday diet is essential, and regular physical activity throughout the week and thereby losing weight is important for hypertension management. Drinking too much of alcohol and using tobacco increases blood pressure considerably, and therefore, cutting down alcohol and avoiding tobacco reverses the effect. As stress causes blood pressure to rise, combating stress with yoga and deep breathing exercises helps bring down blood pressure. Apart from taking such steps to control blood pressure, it is essential to visit your primary care physician on a regular basis to keep a tab on this issue. If blood pressure is not controlled or if you have other health conditions, treating it with medications will help.
Types of Hypertension – Primary and Secondary
Essential or primary hypertension and secondary hypertension are the two major types of hypertensions. Primary hypertension is the common type that develops at a slower pace, wherein secondary hypertension refers to sudden increase in blood pressure due to some underlying medical cause. Kidney disease, heart conditions, adrenal gland tumors, sleep apnea, and pregnancy are some conditions which cause secondary hypertension. Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications are also liable to cause this problem. Malignant hypertension, white-coat hypertension, and resistant hypertension are other types of hypertensions.
Uncontrolled Hypertension – Can be Life-Threatening
Neglecting to keep a check on blood pressure levels and not taking proper treatment, can lead to uncontrolled hypertension. This causes long-term diseases and major complications, like congestive heart disease, heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, and aortic aneurysm. When hypertension is not controlled, it can also result in organ failure and ultimately death. Therefore, if you have a personal history or family history of hypertension and notice symptoms such as shortness of breath, severe headaches, vision problems, fatigue, or changes in mental status, calling your doctor or visiting the emergency room to get immediate medical attention is essential. Catching hypertension early and properly treating it, helps avoid such life-threatening situations.