If you have hypertension, you know that nasty headache at the back of your head. You may often experience the flushing of your face. Or you may not experience any symptom if you are an old patient of hypertension. Whether you are a newly diagnosed hypertension patient or an old one, you should never underestimate the extent of damage it can do to your body.
Hypertension is increased blood pressure in the blood pipelines. The common pressure is measured in arterial blood pressure. It is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and has a normal range of 120/80 mmHg approximately.
Uncontrolled blood pressure and constant hypertension can be life-threatening. Therefore, if you are a hypertension patient, you must know these 5 essential life-saving steps.
5 Essentials to Learn If You Are Hypertensive:
1. Monitor Your Blood Pressure Regularly
The self-check policy is the best method to remain informed about your blood pressure. You can regularly monitor your hypertension levels and give yourself tasks of maintaining the blood pressure limit. There are various digital devices available that keep the record of your blood pressure.
You must know your normal range of blood pressure which may vary from person to person. But normally, this is 127/79 mmHg for males and 122/77 mmHg for females, on average.1
Checking your blood pressure with a faulty sphygmomanometer, commonly known as blood pressure apparatus, can give you false results. It can be super dangerous to get consistent wrong results.
A few top-rated blood pressure apparatus are;
- Omron Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor
- Blood Pressure Monitor by Paramed
- LOVIA Accurate Automatic Digital BP Machine
A few tips to about blood pressure apparatus;
- Always keep it calibrated with a professional hospital use apparatus. You can go to a nearby clinic and ask the health care provider to check your blood pressure with their apparatus and comparing it with yours.
- Ask your health care provider which apparatus is best for you.
- Try getting a brief training about checking the blood pressure and its interpretation.
- Always follow the manufacturer guidelines.
A few tips to about blood pressure apparatus;
2. Know Signs of Heart Attack and Stroke
The most lethal event that often occurs in hypertensive patients is a heart attack or stroke. Both of these can be deadly or can convert you handicapped for the rest of your life. Knowing the initial signs of a heart attack or cerebrovascular accident can be a lifesaver at the moment. The initial time after the onset of the problem is the golden hour.
Signs of a heart attack may vary. A person can experience moderate to severe pain in the chest with pressure, radiating towards arm and shoulder.
Unable to speak, slurred speech or blurred vision with the inability to move body parts can be a sign of stroke.
It is best to attend workshops regarding the initial management of heart attack and stroke so you can act fast until the medical help arrives.
3. Change Your Lifestyle
Sometimes simple lifestyle modifications are enough to control the blood pressure. Losing a few kgs can make a big difference in your hypertension status.
Sometimes doctors advise a combination of diet with exercise and medications. The doctors usually advise to limit the intake of sodium enriched products like canned foods and adding salt to meals. American heart association often refers to stop or minimize the intake of “salty six”. These are foods that contain a high amount of sodium.2
4. Reduction of Stress
Stress is a major driver of hypertension. Chronic stress can lead to permanent increased blood pressure. You must recognize what causes stress in your life. By counseling and eliminating the cause, you can control hypertension.
A few tips are;
- Work Stress- Learn to say no: The work stress can be crazy sometimes. If you are a responsible worker, you may always get that “extra work”. Remember, your health always comes first. So it’s okay to say no sometimes and make yourself at ease.
- Avoid stress starters: You must learn what triggers the stress in you. If it’s a person, avoid them. Is this the traffic? Try to leave a little early so you may bypass the peak time rush.
- Give yourself and your loved one’s time: You are not a machine. You should try to schedule your work and always spend time with your family. A relaxing time significantly lowers your stress and blood pressure.
5. Always Have Someone Responsible At Your Side
You can have the number on speed dial. Or it can be a bell in your room that is designated for an emergency push. Set a protocol for yourself that if something goes wrong, you will try to follow those steps. A mock drill for this purpose can be super beneficial.
The Bottom Line
Hypertension is a lethal disease of the modern world. World health organization states that 12.8 % of all deaths worldwide are due to hypertension issues. 3
Checking your blood pressure and keeping a record makes you a self-monitor. That is a key requirement in managing blood pressure.
Learning the signs of worst-case scenarios like heart attack and stroke can be a lifesaver step. The initial hours are the golden hours for the victim.
Dietary modifications and an active lifestyle are key elements in controlling a raised blood pressure. A protocol developed for an emergency can be too helpful.