Can lifestyle modifications manage hypertension?

Lifestyle Manage Hypertension Treatment | Coronavirus Pandemic

Every single individual around the globe have been trying to deal with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. While some of us have already made amends with the “new-normal”, others are still struggling to get hold of things happening around them. Looking on the bright side of these months of lockdown will make you realize that we are now more concerned about her health than ever. In the past few months, we came across several media reports substantiating the fact that comorbidities made people more vulnerable to COVID 19.

A study conducted at twelve hospitals in New York highlighted, “Hypertension, obesity, and diabetes found to be the most prevalent comorbidities among 5700 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in the New York City Area.Drawing the parallels with India where the number of active cases is gradually escalating and most of the population suffer the above-mentioned comorbidities, we definitely need to take quick actions.

This year on World Hypertension Day, a statement released by the Health Department, Punjab stated, “A total 12,64,713 individuals have been screened in 2019-20 under the Non-Communicable Diseases Screening Program, out of which 1,94,528 persons diagnosed with hypertension and all patients immediately put on treatment by the health department.”

Most of the patients need to stick to their medication schedule and other recommendations suggested by their doctors; however, the dietary recommendations and other lifestyle changes could be really effective in lowering a person’s blood pressure levels. People who are in their pre-hypertensive stage or stage-1 of hypertension are recommended some lifestyle changes to manage their blood pressure levels.

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These lifestyle changes include some reductions or additions to their routine activities such as dietary intake, exercise, behavioural modifications etc. Here are some of the recommended lifestyle changes:

Addition to the diet and lifestyle:

  • Fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Walk for atleast 30 minutes a day at a speed of 6 km/hr for at least 5 days a week
  • Drink at least 8-10 glass of water a day
  • Fish and poultry products
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Garlic (one clove a day)
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Aerobic exercises(optional)

Reduce:

  • Salt/Sodium intake
  • Trans fatty acids.
  • Unsaturated fat
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Non-vegetarian diet such as meat and chicken
  • Sugar, sugary drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Weight
  • Quit smoking

Hypertensive patients are strictly suggested to stick to their medications and introduce some lifestyle changes in their day-to-day routine. Now, here’s the question of the hour: How effective are these lifestyle changes?

The British Hypertension Society (BHS) guidelines, point out that an effective lifestyle modification can lower blood pressure by at least as much as a single hypertensive drug. It also states that it will be better that pre-hypertensive and those with strong hypertension family history should be provided with advice for prevention as well as treatment of hypertension.

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According to Dr SS Sodhi (Cardiologist, President, IMA Mohali), “Lifestyle modifications can lead to a fall of up to 10 or more mm of Hg in the systolic (upper) blood pressure. This applied to a pre-hypertensive can delay the onset of medicine requiring hypertension, reduce the requirement of medicines in hypertensives and also reduce the incidence of complications of hypertension. Apart from hypertension, a healthy lifestyle helps maintaining good health.”

-PTC News