MANAGEMENT OF HYPERTENSION
The management of hypertension involves both lifestyle modifications and medications. The aim is to reduce complications by maintaining the blood pressure consistently within the normal range.
- Weight Management : Maintaining weight within the desirable range reduces the chances of hypertension and it’s complications.The best index to indicate efficacy in terms of weight management is currently believed to be Body Mass Index. Weight loss should be done by taking proper meals and regular exercising, not by crash dieting or using food supplements.
- Dietary Changes : Restriction of salt and fat, adequate intake of potassium, calcium and magnesium in diet are the recommended modifications. Eating a balanced diet in terms of nutrition with fruits, vegetables, grains, skimmed milk and lean meat is advised as well.
- Stop Smoking : Smoking reduces the blood supply to various part of the body, especially to the heart. In fact the risk of heart attacks is reduced by as much as 50% after one year and is nearly eliminated after 3 years of quitting smoking. It’s never too late to give up the habit.
- Reducing Alcohol Consumption : Alcohol intake must be limited to less than 30ml (1 ounce) per day, if it cannot be stopped. This amount is equal to approximately 1-2 glasses of beer, 2 glasses of wine or 2 pegs of whisky. The amount for women or people with lesser weight is 15ml (1/2 an ounce) per day. Pregnant women should not drink at all. Due to high calories, alcohol may also worsen the weight problem.
- Exercise :Exercise reduces the dose of medication, induces a sense of well being, reduces stress levels and builds up your stamina. Aerobic physical activities improve circulation and decrease blood pressure as well. Doing 30-45 minutes of these exercises at least 4-5 times in a week has proven to effectively reduce the blood pressure, weight and levels of fat in the blood. Exercises like weight lifting are not usually recommended, nor is vigorous exercising. All exercises should be done only after consulting the physician and at a pace suitable to the individual. Some good aerobic activities are- walking, swimming, riding a bicycle, jogging.
Stress reduction : Stress management is best done by non pharmacological measures that includes exercise, yoga, meditation, music, hobbies and biofeedback techniques