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Thursday, 22 March 2012 08:06

Control Your High Blood Pressure with Lifestyle changes and Complementary Therapies

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Persistently high blood pressure can lead to serious health complications; however, it can be controlled with simple lifestyle changes.

bloodpressuretestHigh blood pressure, medically known as hypertension, is one of the serious health problems of 21st centuries. The burden of adult hypertension is persistently rising worldwide, and now the problem can even see in youngsters also.
High blood pressure is a condition in which the force of the blood pump by the heart against the arterial wall is high enough to cause health problems. Person is considered as hypertensive when systolic reading (when heart starts to beat) is more than 140 mm of Hg and diastolic reading (heart is at rest between beats) is above 90 mm of Hg. Condition in itself is a risk factor for various health aliments such as heart diseases, stroke, kidney damage, and loss of vision due to damage to blood vessels of the eyes.

High blood pressure develops over many years and usually asymptomatic until consequences occur. According to National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) unhealthy lifestyle pattern such as sedentary lifestyle, faulty eating habit, and excessive smoking and drinking are some of the risk factors for development of high blood pressure.

NHLBI have suggested following lifestyle changes to control high blood pressure.

Stay physically active
Sedentary lifestyle pattern related to job work or due to other reasons can raise blood pressure.
Daily exercises like 20 minutes brisk walking, swimming, jogging can dramatically reduce your blood pressure. Experts suggest 60 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week is good to normalize blood pressure.
Regular exercises strengthen the heart and improve its pumping capacity and also release chemical ‘endorphin’ which makes you feel better.
Before choosing any new exercise take advice from your doctor about how much and what kind of physical exercise is safe for you.

Choose healthy diet plan
NHLBI advices selecting DASH plan, i.e. Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension for reducing high blood pressure. Flexible and balanced DASH plan emphasizes on following eating pattern.

  •  Eating fruits, vegetables, whole-grains and other heart-healthy  food low in fat, cholesterol and salt
  •  Consuming fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy products, fish, poultry and nuts
  •  Eating foods rich in nutrients, protein and fiber
  •  Reducing consumption of red meats, sweets, added sugars and sugar containing beverages.
  •  Limiting amount of salt intake less than one teaspoon a day and choosing low-sodium and “no added salt” foods.
  •  Limiting daily alcohol consumption

Men should not drink more than two drinks per day, and women should avoid more than one drink per day.
(One drink is a glass of wine, beer or a small amount of hard liquor)

Maintain healthy weight
Healthy weight depends on Body Mass Index (BMI), a measure of weight in relation to height and gives an estimate of total body fat. Maintaining BMI less than 25 is the mainstay for healthy and active life. Normal weight or BMI not only controls high blood pressure but also avoids health-related issues such as diabetes, heart diseases and breathing problems.

NHLBI suggests aim to reduce your weight by 5-10 percent during first year of treatment to control blood pressure. Excessive weight can be reduced with performing more physical activity, selecting low-calorie diet and eating smaller portion of food.

Managing stress
Stress releases certain hormones in the body causing a spike in blood pressure.
Identifying stressor, coping stress with healthy strategies, staying physically active, making time for fun and learning relaxation exercises such as yoga or meditation are some of the ways to improve emotional and physical health.

Quit smoking
Nicotine from tobacco directly damages the blood vessels and influence blood pressure.
It’s always difficult to kick smoking habit. In such situation take help from resources or join the support group, which provides different methods to quit smoking. Ask your doctors about nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine patch or nicotine gel.

Take help of complementary medicine to control Hypertension

  • Hypnosis, acupuncture and counselling can also help you to kick smoking habit.
  • According to WebMD health news, study conducted by researchers at Osaka University in Japan found that music and laughter therapies are good to reduce high blood pressure.
  • Listening to enjoyable music- Music therapy and performing laughter yoga, i.e. breathing and stretching exercises along with laughter are helpful to reduce blood pressure.
  • Yoga, meditation can help you to manage stress effectively.
  • Some homoeopathic medicines can be taken with Allopathic to control the blood pressure, also to control the cholesterol level and treat many other health disorders.
  • Aromatherapy effectively helps you to get sound sleep and also to keep you active and your mind fresh- light without any worries and anxiety.
  • Acupressure and acupuncture are known to manage the pain effectively. The recent study suggests that pain killers can raise blood pressure.

Importance of Regular check-up and proper medication
Once you cross your 40 ties or previously diagnosed with high blood pressure, pay regular visits to your doctor. At each visit see your blood-pressure readings, observe whether lifestyle changes are working, or you still need medications. Take medications and doses as advised by doctors only. Don’t try trial and error in medications, as it can turn out dangerous.

Controlling blood pressure within a normal range is not as difficult task as you think. What do you need...? Only a change in mindset and proper consultation…


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Read 23347 times Last modified on Thursday, 22 March 2012 09:13


  • Comment Link DR. S. HARIMANN Tuesday, 15 May 2012 17:47 posted by DR. S. HARIMANN

    From my textbook, ‘MY ORGANON OF NAÑO MEDICINE’

    The hypertension is a multifactorial or polygenetic disorder; which besides multifactorial inheritance, manifestly emerges into vulnerable individual entity with substantial participation of some non-genetic causes. It’s a most common silent killer in the contemporary world today. Nowadays, hypertension is ‘unimmunañopathically’ treated with the varieties of antihypertensive drugs; single or in combinations with two or more drugs at a time; whilst each of them operates onto the organism of sufferer in a very different way.
    Actually, the sustained increase in systolic blood pressure SBP ≥140 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure DBP ≥90 mmHg is considered as a hypertension; which causes to have major risk events of the coronary artery disease CAD and/or brain stroke and/or even feared death of the entity. The SBP and DBP both have independent risk, when crosses over the above said limit, for the CAD as well as brain stroke. But, after the age of 50 years, SBP has greater risk than that of DBP. The elasticity of vascular tree maintains the DBP; whereas SBP tends to continuous rising trends, which results into the elevation of pulse pressure; a very unfamiliar and less known term that technically called as isolated systolic hypertension ISH. The evolution of ISH demonstrated a great probability to have brain stroke and is a good predicator of CAD risk. In fact, below 50 years of the age, raised DBP is considered as a good predicator of CAD; whilst in-between the age of 50-60 years, SBP and DBP both; whereas, above the 60 years of age SBP; because, the pulse pressure plays a key role in the manifestation of CAD and mainly brain stroke. Therefore, regardless of mode of medication, while treating a case of hypertension, SBP and DBP both ought to be considered seriously.
    Actually, the  BP in older ones with ISH put them to a greater risk of brain stroke and CAD. The long acting thiazide/ tiazide-type of drugs and dihydropyridines CCBs are beneficial in the ISH. The ARBs are much better than ACEIs in ISH and, especially, than that of beta-blockers, because, the beta-blockers are found less-efficient in mitigating the  BP and also less-efficient in preventing CAD events in older patients. But, the beta-blockers are indeed much better for the prevention of secondary CAD events, post MI and in heart failures. The risk of postural hypotension in older patients, especially, when they are taking combination of 2 or 3 antihypertensive drugs at a time, must be monitored before and during the treatment; because, it may call for the changes in medicine/s.
    The major categories of anti-hypertensive drugs which utilized today. Such as: (A) Adrenergic inhibitors: 1. Alpha-1 Blockers (doxazocin, prazosin); 2. Beta-blockers (atenolol, metoprolol); 3. Combined (carvedilol, labetalol). (B) Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors ACEI,s: (enalapril, perindopril). (C) Angiotensin II receptor blockers ARB,s: (losarton, valsarton). (D) Calcium channel blockers: 1. Dihyropyridines (amlodipine, nifedipine); 2. Non-dihyropyridines: (diltiazem, verapamil). (E) Diuretics: 1. Loop (bumetanide, furosemide (fursemude)); 2. Potassium-sparing: (amiloride, spironolactone); 3. Thiazide: (bendrofluazide, hydrochlorthiazide); 4. Thiazide-type: (chlorthalidone, indapamide). (F) Imidazoline receptor agonists: (moxonidine, rilmenidine). (G) Vasodilators: (hydralazine, minoxidil).
    For instance: The above mentioned each and every drug in addition to its advantages has its own side effects and contraindications; thus, relying onto the precise indications, lowest ever effective proper dose of the long acting drug ought to be prescribed as per need and tolerance of the patient. Initially, although it is thought to be preferable to prescribe thiazide or thiazide–type of drugs as a first-line of treatment in the hypertensive patient; yet, because of its metabolic side effects in the high doses, it causes to have gout, impotency (2%), hypocalcaemia and hypoproteineamia etc. This happens to be true because of the diuretics dwindle BP by increasing the renal excretion; which together with large amount of water (body fluids) contains calcium and protein besides Na+ ion, medicinal and other metabolites. In the cases of diabetes and/or heart failure and/or renal failure, the ACEIs and ARBs are mostly prescribed; when there is much more lowered target BP, like that of 125-30/75-80, has to be achieved and desired. And that, in combination with the diuretics, ACEIs and ARBs are preferred in the post MI, LV dysfunctions and systolic heart failure. The ACEIs can be considered as a first line of treatment in the high risk patients, but, even if it mitigates the progression of renal damage with microalbuminaria or proteinuria, it causes to have renal failure and totally contraindicated in pregnancy, PVD and renal artery stenosis, this cannot be given in such cases. The ACEIs in 10% of the patients turn out irritating dry cough but ARBs are not. All the CCBs cause to have vasodilatation by reducing the vascular tone (resistance) and thereby mitigate the hypertension; but, non-hydropyridines in addition to this also reduces heart rate and its contractility; and so that, it prevents the brain stroke also attributable to ISH. The non-hydropyridines CCBs should not be given with the beta-blockers, as it causes to have heart block, bradycardia and extreme hypotension. Seeing that, the beta blockers cardio-selectively decrease the rate and contractility of the heart; and so that, thereby, requirement of the oxygen is also get down. The beta-blockers shouldn’t to be utilized in the patients with history of asthma, COPD, heart failure and heart block. Moreover, as its side effect, this also concurrently impairs the natural sexual instinct in the males, which is most precious mental instinct relating to the will of entity; not only of the human beings alone but also of all the living creatures existing upon the earth. In so doing, along with BP this also deprives of a most natural instinct of the human being, relating to the will of entity, a most important general symptom. The Alpha-blockers, even if it helps in glucose intolerance and dyslipidaemia and improve them, but, as it (doxazosin) is in the elderly patients cause to have heart failure, postural hypotension and worsen the urinary stress incontinence, especially, in the over wt. women, it doesn’t employed anymore now. Usually, the arterial vasodilators are not utilized now, to mitigate hypertension; however, hydralazine at times employed in pregnancy related  blood pressure; as well, minoxidil and diazoxide in those individuals who found noncompliant to the other medicines. The spironolactone is useful in the obstinate type of  BP,s. The effects of utilized antihypertensive ought to be evaluated after a month or so; because, the thiazides may require more time to establish it affects; thus, it’s better to evaluate a case after one & half months later on or so.
    There are several other combinations of the anti-hypertensive drugs often utilized in the combination of two or more drugs for the same purpose; however, with a long list of adverse consequences of such unimmunañopathic drugs. For example: beta-blokers + thiazide; calcium channel blocker + ACE inhibitor or ARBs and beta-blokers + IRA + thiazide etc. Notwithstanding, even after such Herculean efforts, while patient was taking his prescribed medicinal doses properly, ultimately the probability of CAD, brain stroke with paralysis, brain hemorrhage, retinal hemorrhage and/or even feared death of the organism cannot be and has not ruled out entirely.
    After all, even if Meta-analysis has been revealed the fact that the modern antihypertensive treatment decreases the risk of stroke by 30% and heart failure by 40%; but it also has suggested a trend towards higher mortality rate. Within all such cases often we find that, the most of general physicians never consider to take care of pulse pressure, a most neglected parameter so far. Consequently, apparently though DBP gets down by proper ingestion of the prescribed medicines; but, because of the increasing SBP, the pulse pressure considerably up hills to a great extent and largely found increased; which actually causes to have such serious detrimental consequences. See also text ‘PREAMBLE’ for more details. The American Heart Association has also admitted the fact that some prescription drugs increase the risk of heart attack by 60%; i.e. many high blood pressure drugs multiply your risk of a heart attack.

  • Comment Link Renee Friday, 23 March 2012 09:33 posted by Renee

    Dr. Hepker, I agree with you 100%. The only problem we still need to solve, in my opinion, is overcoming the barriers that most employees encounter to adopt healthy lifestyles. If employees need to work 9-5 sitting at a desk all day, deprived of the freedom to move their bodies, if they don't have access to healthy choices at lunch time, if they are constantly pressed by deadlines and a mentality of "want, have to get it, gotta push for it", then all efforts to "educate" people are going to be fruitless, I believe. Certainly, education is a must, but we are at the brink of a structural change within the workforce. Technology and biotechnology are to be counterbalanced with the appropriate strategies if we want to address poor nutritional habits, lack of mobility/exercise, and stress and anxiety, as you well put it.

    Please, see this 9 min video that explains it all in a very succinct and simplified way:

    I think it's a great tool for raising awareness about the health risks posed by our modern lifestyle.

  • Comment Link  Dr. Glen Hepker Friday, 23 March 2012 09:31 posted by Dr. Glen Hepker

    In my experience in working with people for decades, taking full ownership of a TRULY healthful/refined dietary, exercise, meditation/diaphragmatic breathing WAY OF LIFE is the key to avoiding as many health difficulties as possible (inclusive of vegetarianism/veganism - in a fashion which is knowing how to get all of the necessary nutrients from vegetables, grains, and fruit - see Eat to Live - Joel Fuhrman, M.D.). We all do have particular genetic propensities toward certain illnesses, albeit they can be quite often avoided if our way of life does not exacerbate these weaknesses. It is all about taking True Responsibility for our own health and wellbeing.

    Most health related difficulties are rooted in ways of life which are inclusive of poor nutritional habits, lack of mobility/exercise, and in not controlling stress and anxiety. The best way to invest in yourself, is to create and own a way of life in which one has learned to healthfully deal with these issues. It is a way of life in which one takes responsibility for one's own health and wellbeing. Congruent with the point...the greatest gift of all is that there is ALWAYS room for improvement (no matter how skilled one becomes).

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