Have you heard of the term lifestyle diseases? It is a term that medical experts have joined in the recent times to define health conditions and diseases that are caused by lifestyle abuse and unhealthy habits like drinking, smoking, drug usage and love for fast food. Such lifestyle diseases include hypertension or high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity and type 2 diabetes, cancer, and premature death. High blood pressure seems to be the most common lifestyle illness and it is a great matter of concern because, among 90% of the people suffering from high blood pressure, the reason is not known.
Healthcare data says that hypertension will likely become an epidemic by 2020 and 1/3rd of the population will likely suffer from it. In India alone, 20% - 40% of the urban population and 12% - 17% of the rural population is affected by high blood pressure.
Causes of High Blood Pressure:
As mentioned, high blood pressure or hypertension is a lifestyle disease and some important factors responsible for high blood pressure are –
- Lack of physical activity
- Smoking and alcohol consumption
- Excess salt in diet
- Sleep apnea
- Chronic kidney disease
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure:
High blood pressure is severe and if your blood pressure shoots up suddenly you may experience the following uncomfortable symptoms –
- Pounding heart
- Sudden chest pain
- Severe headache
- Excessive sweating
- Difficulty breathing
- Vision problems
- Blood in urine
Natural Ways to Control High Blood Pressure:
Here are a few ways that you can adapt to control high blood pressure levels:
1. Be on the move
Research has shown that no matter how severe your illness is, most of them can be averted and prevented with a daily exercise of ½ an hour to 1 hour. High blood pressure is no different. Exercise has proved to be one of the most effective lifestyle changes in controlling blood pressure.
If you are not in a habit of exercising at all, take it slow. No need to go to the gym and pounding on heavy weights for hours. Your health condition won’t improve in a day. Talk to your doctor; start with some safe and light exercise routine. Pick up the pace gradually.
2. Watch your diet
Your eating habit is the second important factor that will substantially affect your high blood pressure. Fruits, organic vegetables, fish, whole grains, nuts are some important sources of nutrients that will control blood pressure.
Garlic, bananas, sweet potatoes, broccoli, salmon, berries, flax seeds, low-fat dairy are some great options to control blood pressure naturally.
3. Give up sodium
Doctors advice reduction in sodium intake to treat high blood pressure. Limit addition of salt to your food. Read food labels carefully before picking up a packet off the supermarket shelf. Every processed food is high in sodium content as it is added to process and preserve food.
4. Limit alcohol intake
Many of us are fond of alcohol and just don’t have the heart to give it up. Nobody even asked you to! We are recommending you to moderate your alcohol intake. Have a glass or two over the weekends; not more than that. It is better if you avoid drinking every day.
5. Quit smoking
Smoking is directly related to increased blood pressure level. With every cigarette that you smoke, your blood pressure temporarily raises by a few minutes. If you are a heavy smoker with high blood pressure levels, your risk of developing heart attacks and strokes increase. Quit smoking today!
High blood pressure is such a condition that you might pass years without even having an idea that you are living with it since there are usually no symptoms associated with it. The only way to keep a control of blood pressure is to go for regular checkups.
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