High blood pressure or hypertension is the leading cause of disability or death in the world. In Canada, almost 23% of adults are living with hypertension, and only about 2/3rds of this population have blood pressure under control.
High blood pressure, once diagnosed, can be effectively treated with lifestyle measures and medications. However, if blood pressure stays persistently elevated, it can lead to a number of complications including heart diseases (such as heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and heart attack), kidney impairment, dementia, and stroke, etc. Therefore, it is imperative to achieve blood pressure targets (less than 135/85 mmHg in most people and less than 130/80 mmHg in people with diabetes) in order to have a healthy heart and a good quality of life. Listed below are some useful tips regarding the management of blood pressure.
1. Avoiding risk/exacerbating factors
Certain lifestyle factors are known to have a role in hypertension and can lead to
poorly controlled blood pressure. Most important of these are cigarette smoking,
obesity, and excessive alcohol intake. Avoiding or addressing these factors may
be hard for some people but it can really help improve blood pressure control.
Smoking and alcoholism are characterized as mental health conditions and can
be treated with medical help. You may reach us at Guildview pharmacy for more
information about quitting therapies and improving mental health. Our
pharmacists can prescribe medications to help you quit smoking.
2. Staying physically active
Physical activity is also known to improve blood pressure control. Moderate-
intensity cardio exercises for at least 30 minutes 3 times a week to every day if
possible can reduce blood pressure by 10.3/7.5 mmHg. In addition, it also
improves mental health and helps in weight management.
3. Diet management
The most important intervention in terms of diet management is to reduce the
intake of sodium. Reducing sodium intake as advised by your health care
providers can result in a blood pressure-lowering of up to 5.8/2.5 mmHg.
Additionally, people with hypertension are also encouraged to incorporate the
DASH diet into their routines.
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4. Monitoring blood pressure
Keeping a diary of your blood pressure readings can help you gauge the
effectiveness of your therapy. It will also enable your healthcare providers to
evaluate your treatment and make appropriate adjustments. So, not only is it
good for the health of your heart but it will also keep mental health issues, such
as anxiety, at bay.