In India, at least 23.10% of men and 22.60% of women above 25 years of age are patients with high blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure is also known as the silent killer as it goes undetected until a considerable amount of damage has been done to the arteries before it is detected. Roughly, about 15 lakh Indians suffer from this condition.
Dealing with high blood pressure can be a pain as it needs a change in the lifestyle, eating habits and a strict medical regime. It is important that one sticks to the routine check-ups and medical follow-ups religiously to avoid life-threatening after effects.
Blood pressure (BP), should normally be below 120/80 mmHg most of the time, anything more than that, needs medical attention. As a patient with hypertension and high blood pressure, please take note of the health precautions to be followed:
- Stick to a diet plan and exercise daily. Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day is mandatory.
- Salt intake should be strictly monitored. Sodium intake on any given day should be kept below 2.4 gm.
- Ask your doctor about salts that are sodium free and can be used to replace common table salt. Go through the components (minerals) present in the substituted products and cross check that they don’t have any harmful effects on your health.
- Stick to your medication schedule and preferably have a fixed time for taking your pills.
- Hypertension can have a negative impact on the blood vessels and other organs. Doctors recommend getting a routine check-up and tests done from time to time.
Medical follow-ups that are required are:
- Blood Tests – This would also include measurement of electrolytes in the blood and the blood urea nitrogen and the creatinine levels.
- Urine Tests – These need to be done regularly to observe the electrolytes and hormone levels present in the urine.
- Ultrasound or a CT Scan of the abdomen is needed to check for any enlargement of the kidneys and adrenal glands.
- Tests need to be done to check the hormonal activity of thyroid and the adrenal glands.
Regular eye checkups are recommended to check if there is any ocular damage.
- Lipid profile needs to be checked to check the cholesterol levels.
High BP can cause damage to the heart and the blood vessels and hence, it is recommended that an ECG (Electrocardiogram), echocardiogram or a Doppler Ultrasound is when the doctor finds it necessary.