Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps out blood into the arteries. The blood pressure is highest when the heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When the heart is at rest, between beats, the blood pressure falls.This is the diastolic pressure. It is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). High blood pressure (or hypertension) is defined in an adult as a blood pressure greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg systolic pressure or greater than or equal to 90 mm Hg diastolic pressure. 120/80 mm Hg or lower is normal blood pressure and 120 and 139 mm Hg systolic or between 80 and 89 mm Hg diastolic is pre-hypertension.
High blood pressure directly increases the risk of coronary heart disease (which leads to heart attack) and stroke, especially when it’s present with other risk factors. One can control high blood pressure through healthy lifestyle habits and taking medicines, if needed. We bring to you all that you need to know about high blood pressure this World Hypertension day 2017.
What are the symptoms?
Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels. Although a few people with early-stage high blood pressure may have dull headaches, dizzy spells or a few more nosebleeds than normal, these signs and symptoms typically don’t occur until high blood pressure has reached an advanced – possibly life-threatening – stage.
What is the cause?
In 90 to 95 percent of high blood pressure cases, there’s no identifiable cause. This type of high blood pressure, called essential hypertension or primary hypertension, tends to develop gradually over many years. The other 5 percent to 10 percent of high blood pressure cases are caused by an underlying condition. This type of high blood pressure, called secondary hypertension, tends to appear suddenly and cause higher blood pressure than does primary hypertension. Various conditions can lead to secondary hypertension, including kidney abnormalities, tumours of the adrenal gland or certain congenital heart defects. Certain medications including birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers and some prescription drugs may cause secondary hypertension. Various illicit drugs, including cocaine and amphetamines can also increase blood pressure.
What are the risk factors?
The risk factors for high blood pressure include: Heredity Obesity Heredity Smoking Age Stress Excessive alcohol Secondary causes include disease conditions that can result in high blood pressure. These are kidney diseases and hormonal diseases such as hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome.
How can high BP be controlled? Follow these steps: Stop smoking Maintain a normal body weight – reduce if over-weight. Eating too much salt makes high blood pressure worse. Low-sodium diets are prescribed to help control high blood pressure. These limit the amount of sodium in the diet to less than 2 grams per day (about half the amount of sodium in the average diet). Eat a healthy diet containing soluble fibre, such as fruit and vegetables. Avoid high fat foods. Avoid coffee and colas Do not drink excessive alcohol. Exercise regularly to keep fit. Reduce stress and relax after work. Follow-up regularly with the doctor.
Lifestyle changes can help control and prevent high blood pressure, even if one is on blood pressure medication: Eat healthy foods – try a diet, which emphasises fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy foods. Get plenty of potassium, which can help prevent and control high blood pressure. Eat less saturated fat and total fat. Limit the amount of sodium in the diet. Avoid coffee and colas. Maintain a healthy weight – if overweight, losing even 5 pounds can lower blood pressure.
Increase physical activity – regular physical activity can help lower blood pressure and keep weight under control. Strive for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Limit alcohol – even if you’re healthy, alcohol can raise your blood pressure. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Don’t smoke – tobacco injures blood vessel walls and speeds up the process of hardening of the arteries. So quit smoking. Manage stress – reduce stress as much as possible. Practice healthy coping techniques, such as muscle relaxation and deep breathing. Getting plenty of sleep can help, too.
Changing your lifestyle can go a long way toward controlling high blood pressure. But sometimes lifestyle changes aren’t enough. In addition to diet and exercise, the doctor may recommend medication to lower blood pressure. Which category of medication the doctor prescribes depends on the stage of high blood pressure and whether or not you also have other medical conditions. To reduce the number of doses you need a day, which can reduce side effects, the doctor may prescribe a combination of low-dose medications rather than larger doses of one single drug. In fact, two or more blood pressure drugs often work better than one. Sometimes finding the most effective medication – or combination of drugs – is a matter of trial and error.
How can the sodium in the diet be reduced?
How can the sodium in the diet be reduced? This is how: Use little or no salt to food. Develop a taste for low salt in food. Do not use table salt. Avoid fast foods and restaurant foods as they use very high salt. Avoid ketchup, pickles, olives, all sauces, commercially prepared or cured meats or fish, canned foods (eat fresh foods), salted nuts, peanut butter, chips, popcorn and snacks. Diet suggestions: Use herbs and spices instead of salt for seasoning. Use onions, garlic, lemon and lime juice and rind, dill weed, basil, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, black pepper, or vinegar to enhance the flavour and aroma of foods. Mushrooms, dhania, red chillies, green chillies, and dried fruits also enhance specific dishes. Add a pinch of sugar or a squeeze of lemon juice to bring out the flavour in fresh vegetables. Rinse canned vegetables with tap water before cooking. Substitute unsalted, polyunsaturated cooking medium for butter or ghee.
This Protein Not Only Helps In Losing Weight Quickly But Is Good For The Heart Too!
Protein is a macronutrient which is extremely important for the overall development of the body. It is essential for the growth and repair of muscle tissue, cellular health and function. But whenever we talk of protein foods, some common foods that come to our mind are chicken, eggs, dairy products, nuts and cheese. In the following article, let us introduce to a new plant-source of protein. An excellent source of protein which can be easily included in your diet is soya protein.
Soya is high in protein and is derived naturally from soya beans. It is a great option for vegetarians and lactose intolerant people. Soy generally contains fibre and isoflavones. Vegetarians can easily include them in their diet to increase the consumption of proteins. Soya has transcended its Asian origins to become the most widely cultivated legume all across the globe. Soy protein can said to be the best source of plant protein as it contains all the essential amino acids in right quantities which are required in order to place the body into an anabolic state.
Delhi-based nutritionist Monisha Ashokan said, “Soya protein is a complete protein with all the nine essential amino acids. This is the reason why it is easily utilised by the body for growth and repair. It is high in fiber and low in calories which makes it an essential food item for those looking to shed a few kilos.
Furthermore, it also helps to prevent ageing. The phytoestrogen present in soyabean helps the body to produce more estrogen which reduces fine lines and wrinkles.So add this to your diet and reap its benefits!
Foods that contain high amounts of soya are naturally low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Whereas animal sources of protein like chicken, fatty fish, beef, pork and lamb are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. This may increase your risk of developing several cardiovascular diseases. However, substituting them with soya could help cut saturated fats and reduce your overall risk for disease.
Also, soya based foods are a great way to boost your fiber intake. They are rich in dietary fiber. Fiber promotes a healthy gastrointestinal system, reduces cholesterol, is associated with a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease and aids in quick weight loss. You could try including green soya beans, black beans, soya nuts and soya flour into your diet. Moreover, soya foods have high amounts of polyunsaturated fats. These fats can be beneficial for your heart as they help in lowering the cholesterol. As an added benefit, soya foods are a great source of essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B, B12, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin E, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and antioxidants add the nutritional benefits of soya. These vital vitamins and minerals help boost the immunity of the body.
Top 5 foods rich in soya protein:
Soya milk and yoghurt
(Monisha Ashokan is a nutritionist at Nourish Me)
Exercise may help increase cancer patient’s chance for survival
Regular exercise before and after a cancer diagnosis significantly improves odds of survival, a new study finds.
According to HealthDay News, among more than 5,800 US patients with a range of early- to late-stage cancers, those who exercised three or four times a week before and after their diagnosis had a 40 percent lower risk of death than inactive patients, researchers reported.
But survival gains were strong even for patients who began exercising only after their cancer diagnosis.
“Patients who reported never doing any type of exercise until they were faced with a cancer diagnosis cut their risk of death by 25 percent to 28 percent compared to those who remained inactive,” said first author Rikki Cannioto. She’s an assistant professor of oncology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, NY.
Patients who exercised once or twice a week also had a much lower risk of death than inactive patients, suggesting that any amount of regular, weekly activity is better than no activity, according to the researchers.
Study participants had blood or head and neck cancers, as well as breast, prostate, lung, colon, kidney, esophageal, bladder, ovarian, endometrial, pancreatic, liver or stomach cancers. Others had sarcoma or cervical, thyroid, testicular, brain or skin cancers.
The strongest link between exercise and reduced risk of death was seen with eight types: breast, colon, prostate, ovarian, bladder, endometrial, esophageal and skin cancer, the research team said.
The results “solidify the importance of the message that when it comes to exercise, some weekly activity is better than inactivity,” Cannioto said in a Roswell news release.
The finding that low-to-moderate weekly exercise is associated with improved survival is particularly encouraging, Cannioto said, given that cancer patients and survivors can be overwhelmed by the current recommendations of at least 30 minutes of daily moderate-to-intense physical activity.
The study was published recently in the journal Cancer Causes and Control.
There is a link between obesity and the ability to smell: Study
Not many people would have thought that obesity and the ability to smell are related. But in an interesting study, a surprising link has been discovered by a team of researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand. A sample of around 1,500 individuals were gathered for the purpose of the study.
“After compiling our evidence, we found there is, in fact, a strong link between a person’s body weight and their smell ability – the better a person can smell, the more likely the person is to be slim, or vice versa,” says Dr Mei Peng, lead author of the study, according to a report in the Medical News Daily.
Adding that smell plays a vital role when it comes to choosing our flavours and our foods, Dr Peng said, “For example, they might choose, or be more attracted to, saltier and tastier foods such as bacon and maple syrup instead of blander foods, such as low-fat cereal with less sugar.”
The researchers concluded from the study that people who have obesity or were closer to it had a reduced ability to smell flavours. Based on these findings, as per Medical News Daily, it was induced that obesity “alters a person’s metabolism, which affects communication pathways between the gut and brain”.
To connect the link between the gut and brain, researchers considered the effects of two surgical obesity treatments – stomach removal and gastric bypass. “Cutting the stomach could change nerves in the stomach that affect the gut-brain pathway, so smell changes could be the key to the difference between the two surgeries — essentially, the smaller size of the stomach might not be the factor that leads to weight loss, it is more likely due to the gut-brain pathway being reset,” Dr Peng concludes.