Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a common disease in the society and has been having an impact on about 1 billion people around the world.
Hypertension that is uncontrolled could cause heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and other severe threats in life. Approximately half of the American adults have hypertension and 45.6% of them have uncontrolled hypertension.
Besides, hypertension also greatly affects families and communities since it might lead to paralysis/hemi or death, to high treatment costs, and decreased income.
Therefore, patients should readjust their life by changing lifestyle, diet, and taking medications as prescribed.
Lifestyle changes play a crucial role in the prevention and treatment of hypertension. A healthy lifestyle would provide a number of benefits:
– Reduce the blood pressure
– Prevent or postpone the progression of hypertension
– Enhance the effect of medicines for hypertension.
– Reduce risk of complications of hypertension.
Similar to a lot of other diseases, hypertension would get worse if you are frequently stressed out.
You should reduce stress by relaxing with your friends, playing sports or watching your favorite TV channels.
If you have any emotional discomfort or have to work in a high-pressure environment, you better consult a psychologist and ask for advice.
Keeping/improving your physical health by exercises is an inevitable part of changing lifestyle and managing hypertension. However, patients should choose proper exercises in order to balance the blood pressure depending on hypertension stages.
Particularly, patients should further discuss with their doctor about mild-intensity physical activity (e.g. walking) appropriate to their blood pressure condition.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Overweight and obesity are leading factors causing hypertension. Consequently, it is necessary for you to maintain a healthy weight (or body mass index – BMI), and avoid overweight and obesity in order to reduce the chances of hypertension.
Limiting Alcohol and Coffee Consumption
Drinking too much alcohol or coffee could raise your blood pressure. Accordingly, for the purpose of keeping your blood pressure at normal ranges, you should only drink 200 mg of coffee per day and 20–30 mg of alcohol per day.
Besides, it is reported that smoking increases complications of hypertension such as heart attack and stroke. So in the race of avoiding hypertension or its complications, patients should completely quit smoking for the sake of their well-being.
It is highly recommended to follow a proper diet that provides enough calories, vitamins, and minerals.
Here are some suggested diets to manage hypertension:
- A diet with low salt (< 5 gram per day), high potassium, high fibrous matter, low saturated fat and low cholesterol food.
- DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) being rich in vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products.
- Segmented fruits in lieu of squeezed ones.
- Omega-3 fatty acid-rich food such as salmon, mackerel, and catfish.
- Botanical oil such as soybean oil, peanut oil, sunflower and sesame oil.
It is not recommended to consume fat, animal internal organs, processed food, fast food, instant noodle, fried chicken, salty cake, tuna, bacon, pickled tomato, food cooked with sauce, or salty dipping sauce.
In conclusion, in order to limit complications of hypertension, we highly encourage you to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle as well as have a regular check-up and follow-up treatment if needed. At Family Hospital, your health is our happiness.