Hypertension (HTN), also known as high blood pressure(HBP), is a long-term medical condition in which the blood pressure in thearteries is persistently elevated. High blood pressure typically does not causesymptoms. Chronic high blood pressure, however, is a major risk factor and canlead to complications like, coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure,atrial fibrillation, peripheral vascular disease, vision loss, chronic kidneydisease, and dementia.
One in five young adults in India has high bloodpressure, according to research presented at the 70th Annual Conference of theCardiological Society of India (CSI). That equates to around 80 million people,which is more than the entire UK population.
High blood pressure is classified as either primary(essential) high blood pressure or secondary high blood pressure. About 90–95%of cases are Primary high blood pressure, which is due to nonspecific lifestyleand genetic factors. The remaining 5–10% of cases are categorized as Secondaryhigh blood pressure, which is due to an identifiable cause, such as chronickidney disease (CKD), narrowing of the kidney arteries, an endocrine disorder,or the use of birth control pills.
Having high blood pressure for a short time can be anormal response to many situations. Acute stress and intense exercise, forexample, can briefly elevate blood pressure in a healthy person.
For this reason, a diagnosis of hypertension normallyrequires several readings that show high blood pressure over time. Bloodpressure is expressed by two measurements, the systolic and diastolicpressures, which are the maximum and minimum pressures, respectively. For mostadults, normal blood pressure at rest is within the range of 100–130millimeters mercury (mmHg) Systolic and 60–80 mmHg Diastolic. For most adults,high blood pressure is present if the resting blood pressure is persistently ator above 130/80 or 140/90 mmHg. Different numbers apply to children.
Lifestyle changes and some medications can lower theblood pressure and reduce risk of complications. In lifestyle changes one canstart including, physical exercise (Walking, Yoga, Pilates), reduced intake ofsalt, alcohol, and increase the intake of healthy diet.
A number of risk factors increase the chances of havinghypertension.
- Age:Hypertension is more common in people aged over 60 years. With age, bloodpressure can increase steadily as the arteries become stiffer and narrower dueto plaque build-up.
- Sizeand weight: Being overweight or obese is a key risk factor.
- Alcoholand tobacco use: Consuming large amounts of alcohol regularly can increase aperson’s blood pressure, as can smoking tobacco.
- Sex:The lifetime risk is the same for males and females, but men are more prone tohypertension at a younger age. The prevalence tends to be higher in olderwomen.
- Existinghealth conditions: Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, chronic kidney disease(CKD), and high cholesterol levels can lead to hypertension, especially aspeople get older.
- Beingoverweight or obese
- Lackof physical activity
- Toomuch alcohol consumption (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
- Familyhistory of high blood pressure
- Chronickidney disease
- Adrenaland thyroid disorders
FOODSthat causes Hypertension:
- Excessive Salt
- Processed Meat/ Food
- Stale Food
- Packaged/ Canned Foods
Yogic Management for Hypertension:
- ArdhaKati Chakrasana
- NadiShudhi Pranayama
Relaxation techniques like Yoganidra, Meditation andsimple Shavasana relaxes your entire body and mind, hence keeps your bloodpressure under control.
Avoid inverted postures like Shirshasana (Headstand Pose)or Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand Pose). In these postures, head is at a muchlower than the heart which can lead to a sudden and uncontrolled rush of bloodto the head, arising further medical complications.
It is always best to combine yoga asanas along with pranayamapractice with healthy lifestyle choices. To control high blood pressure, dietmust be regulated and monitored, and must avoid habits such as smoking anddrinking. Taking one step at a time will help in getting into a healthyroutine, and the key to get results is to be consistent.