Hypertension is a silent killer because one out of 5 people who are hypertensive don’t know it – they have no symptoms. Whereas uncontrolled high blood pressure causes silent damage to the blood vessels of the body and can result in visual loss as well as life-threatening problems such as stroke, heart attack, and kidney damage.
Reducing the risk and controlling hypertension
1. Maintain a healthy weight – Being overweight increases the risk of developing hypertension. Losing just 5 kg of excess weight can lower the BP significantly.
2. Be physically active – Regular physical activity of at least 30 minutes a day lowers the blood pressure.
3. Limit salt intake to less than 1 teaspoon (5g) per day and avoid processed foods.
4. Eat more fruits and vegetables – avocadoes, dates, raisins, oranges, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, and coriander leaves are high in potassium and help to reduce the blood pressure.
5. Avoid the use of meat, eggs, and dairy since those on a plant-based diet have been shown to have a lower blood pressure.
6. Take time to relax and get adequate rest as stress is known to raise the blood pressure.
7. Avoid Alcohol – Drinking alcohol increases the blood pressure.
8. Avoid Caffeine – Coffee, tea, and energy drinks raise the blood pressure temporarily.
MBBS, DO, DPHN