Are you overweight, eat a diet loaded with salt and rarely go for any physical activity? Then, you may be at major risk of developing high diastolic blood pressure.
Blood pressure is marked by two measurements: the systolic and diastolic measurements, represented by the top and bottom number received when measuring blood pressure.
The diastolic blood pressure is recorded when the heart is at rest and relaxed. High diastolic blood pressure is a sign that your blood vessels have become less elastic, and have hardened.
“Raised blood pressure is the biggest single contributing risk factor for death and the burden of disease worldwide. However, data suggests that fewer than half of those with hypertension are aware of their condition,” says Dr Manoj Kutteri, wellness director at Atmantan Wellness Centre.
Dr Nihar Mehta, consultant cardiologist at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, says that diastolic BP more common among younger people, as it is often associated with an unhealthy lifestyle.
Some of the symptoms of high diastolic blood pressure include dizziness, nose bleeding, excessive sweating, nausea, difficulty sleeping, and lethargy. But worryingly, in some people, there are often no signs of diastolic blood pressure. “The best way to detect it is to regularly check one’s blood pressure. Some signs to look out for are headaches, palpitations on exertion, visual disturbances and chest discomfort,” says Dr Mehta.
Dr Kutteri adds that in most people, high diastolic pressure is due to a sympathetic and parasympathetic malfunction which results in poor stress adaptation. “When the sympathetic system is constantly in tension, it results in a constantly high blood pressure even when the heart is at rest,” he says.
If high diastolic blood pressure is not treated, it can result in life-threatening complications such as stroke and heart failure, or aneurysms within the abdomen and contribute to cognitive decline.
Here are some of the ways to control high diastolic blood pressure without medication:
Regular physical activity can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg), says Dr Kutteri. Dr Mehta suggests you opt for walking, cycling, swimming or jogging for 30-45 minutes per day, 5-6 day a week to stay fit. Be consistent, though, because if you stop exercising, your blood pressure can rise again.
Watch your waistline
Blood pressure often increases with weight gain. “Being overweight also can cause disrupted breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea), which further raises your diastolic blood pressure,” says Dr Kutteri.
Eat a healthy diet
Opt for the DASH or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet. It basically translates to eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and avoiding saturated fat and cholesterol. Similarly, reduce the intake of sodium, which can reduce your blood pressure from 2 to 8 mm Hg. “To reduce sodium intake, choose low-sodium alternatives of foods and beverages and eat fewer processed foods. Don’t add salt to food as just 1 teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium. Instead use herbs or spices to add flavour to food,” says Dr Kutteri.
Avoid salty and processed foods like pickles, chutney, papad, ketchup, soya sauce, fried food, sodas, foods with MSG, as well as biscuits, butter, cheese, says Dr Mehta.
Your diet should include tomatoes, poached/ boiled eggs, green tea, chia seeds, olive oil, flax seeds, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, papayas, bananas, watermelon, coconut water, and cinnamon, suggests Dr Kutteri.
Limit intake of alcohol, and smoking
Alcohol raises blood pressure by several points and can reduce effectiveness of blood pressure medications. Smoking also increases your blood pressure for several minutes after you finish. “Quitting smoking helps your blood pressure return to normal. Smoking can also cause reduced elasticity of the blood vessels and make them narrow down,” says Dr Kutteri.
Cut down on stress
Stress can also contribute to raised diastolic blood pressure. “The chemicals released during stress can temporarily narrow blood vessels and make the heart beat faster,” says Dr Kutteri. You can also opt for yoga or meditation/pranayam as good antidotes to high blood pressure, says Dr Mehta.
Dermatologist Suggests Ways To Prevent Hair Damage In Monsoon
With monsoons comes a breather from the sultry hot summer, a unique liveliness in the aura which is certainly a favourite of many. We all love petrichor and the very calmness which is attached to monsoons. But what we really don’t like about monsoons is the unpleasant humidity and hair damage. Not only does excessive humidity make us sweat, it also causes unavoidable hair damage which is quite difficult to deal with. Hair gets extremely frizzy because of humidity in the air and at times, no shampoos or popular home remedies for damaged hair actually work.
Dermatologist Dr Kiran Lohia explains that during monsoon, hair gets frizzy because there is a lot more moisture in the air. “Your hair picks up the moisture in the air and gets fluffed up. This is why hair gets frizzy. And to prevent hair from getting frizzy, it is important to provide enough moisture to your hair. The more moisture that there is in your hair, the less it will take from the air. You can apply conditioning serums or conditioners can prevent hair from getting frizzy during monsoon,” she says.
She goes on to add that you can even add your own conditioner on dry hair and apply on dry hair. “If you don’t have conditioners on you, you can even put body lotion on your hair. I personally have put body lotion on my hair to prevent hair from getting frizzy during monsoon,” says Dr Kiran.
Here are some more tips to prevent hair damage during monsoons:
1. Shampoo twice a week
In order to remove residue on your scalp because of rain water, use a mild and deep cleaning shampoo twice a week. Using a nice shampoo goes a long way when it terms of nourishing your tresses and preventing fungal and bacterial infections. Also, apply the shampoo with the right technique, which is applying it from root to tip.
2. Condition the right way
Conditioning hair with the right technique is as important as shampooing hair with the right technique. Make sure you apply conditioner only in the ends and lengths of hair. Also, avoid using too much hair conditioner.
3. Do not tie your hair tightly
When you tie your hair tightly during monsoons, it results in accumulation of rain water in your hair. This makes hair more frizzy and limp. During monsoons, make sure you tie your hair in lose ponytails and buns only.
4. Take regular oil massages
A good oil massage on your hair will help in reversing hair damage caused by monsoons. Hair oil massage gives a natural boost to moisture in your hair and revitalises the dry hair strands. It is also an effective and popular deep conditioning technique for hair. However, avoid using excessive hair oil as it will result in nothing but use of excessive shampoo, which is again harmful for your hair.
5. Use the right comb
During monsoons, it is the best to use a wide tooth comb. It helps in easy detangling of tresses and serves as a good conditioning comb.
6. Flaunt short hair
Monsoon is the best time cut your hair short. It reduces the hassle of maintaining them during monsoons.
7. Eat right
Healthy hair is a sign of good health. Good health is achieved by eating healthy and nutritious foods. If you aspire to strengthen your hair follicles, add more protein and iron rich foods in your diet. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, walnuts and curd are also good for hair health.
(Dr. Kiran Lohia Sethi is a dermatologist at Isya Aesthetics Pvt Ltd)
People with wrinkled eyes appear more sincere
Do you use anti-ageing creams? Besides hiding your wrinkles, they may also negatively impact people’s perception of your sincerity, say researchers. The findings showed that human brains are pre-wired to perceive wrinkles around the eyes as conveying more intense and more sincere emotions. This eye-wrinkle feature, called the Duchenne marker, occurs across multiple facial expressions, including smiles, expressions associated with pain, and expressions of sadness. When participants were shown images of faces grinning and frowning with and without eye wrinkles, the participants focused on which one their brain deemed most important.
They systematically ranked the Duchenne smiles and Duchenne sad expressions as more sincere and more intense than the non-Duchenne expressions, the researchers said. “The expressions involving the Duchenne marker were always dominant,” said Julio Martinez-Trujillo, Professor at Western University in Ontario, Canada.
“So if the emotion is more intense, your brain actually prefers to bring it into perceptual awareness for longer time.” The results, published in the journal Emotion, are a step toward understanding the more general questions of why facial expressions contain the specific facial actions they do, and how that contributes to our understanding of emotion, the researchers said.
“These findings provide evidence of a potential universal language for reading emotions. In other words, a given facial action may have a single role across multiple facial expressions — especially if that facial action shapes your social interactions,” said Nour Malek from the university. “My interest now is, what will be the results if we do this same test with people with autism spectrum disorder. “They often have trouble reading out emotions from other people, so we wonder if that might have to do with their ability to read this marker for sincerity,” he said.
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