Almost one in every three Indian adults is affected with hypertension, a condition where the blood flow in the arteries is rather fast and rigorous, causing damage to the walls of the arteries.
Arteries are the tubes that transport oxygen-rich blood from the heart and to the rest of the body thus, the effects of damaged arteries can lead to – decreased blood flow and oxygen in the heart and other parts of the body. Globally, people with high blood pressure (46% approx) are unaware of their disease and less than half of the adults (42%) with hypertension are diagnosed and treated.
Stages of High Blood Pressure
- Normal Blood Pressure – When the systolic range measures 120 while the diastolic range measures 80
- Pre Hypertension – When the systolic range measures between 121-139 while the diastolic range measures between 81-89
- Stage 1 Hypertension – When the systolic range measures between 140 -160 while the diastolic range measures between 90 – 100
- Stage 2 Hypertension – When the systolic range exceeds 160 while the diastolic range exceeds 100
Symptoms to watch out for
It is advised to control blood pressure before it spirals out of control. While there is a chance of being asymptomatic, you should look out for some easy-to-spot warning signs —
- Constant Headache— If you feel pulsating sensations in your head more frequently than usual, it can indicate high blood pressure. The greater the severity of the headache, the higher the blood pressure.
- Sleep Apnea— The inability to get a good night’s sleep is another warning sign of high blood pressure. Sleep disorders, especially sleep apnea, in which breathing stops abruptly for a second or two can lead to high blood pressure. The problem can magnify if not taken care of in time.
- Anxiety— Whether it’s sweaty palms during an exam or trembling legs before walking up to your boss, anxiety manifests itself in various ways. Cortisol and catecholamines are stress hormones, also termed hypertensive hormones, which have been linked to an increase in blood pressure. If you are under constant stress, feel jittery and have a hard time de-stressing, chances are that you might also have blood pressure ranging on the higher side.
High blood pressure is known as a silent killer because of its effects on the whole body. It is preferable to take necessary precautions and incorporate lifestyle changes in diet and nutrition to lead a life free from hypertension. What exactly are these lifestyle changes? Stay tuned to find out in our upcoming blogs.
With inputs from Dr Abhay Somani (MBBS DNB – Cardiology, General Medicine – Interventional Cardiologist)