Poor lifestyle leading to high BP: Expert
Director of Lady Hardinge Medical College Subash Giri said that the need of the hour is to focus on physical exercise and a change in lifestyle
Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) Director, Subash Giri listing a wide range of issues that result in high blood pressure, or hypertension, especially among women, emphasised that the need of the hour is to focus on physical exercise, and a change in dietary habits and lifestyle.
In an interaction with IANS, Giri said: "Blood pressure symptoms are common whether it is man or woman. There is hardly any difference on that. Usually people will start having headache, heaviness in the head in the early morning hours. This is a common symptom which we find. Additionally, there is sometimes swelling of the body, increase in weight. Some people start having chest pain also.
"Even without a symptom, the blood pressure can be higher in a person. So, we recommend, at certain age, one should regularly get their blood pressure checked. Beyond 40 years, men or women both should go for a full body checkup once in a year."
Citing the causes leading to high blood pressure among women, Giri said: "The blood pressure problem is increasing in our society. There are several reasons. One is the stagnation of females at the home and lesser manual work for them is more contributing blood pressure. Earlier, women used to do lot of manual work in the home, now many of the things have mechanised. There are also changes of diet and lifestyle."
"In the service sector also, women are sitting and working for long hours which lead to increase in weight. Once they come from the office, they usually not able to go to the park, do exercise. Exercises have gone reduced. All these habits leads to obesity and then resulting to high blood pressure."
"Obesity is a major factor in our body which causes the rise in blood pressure. When obesity is rising, especially most of the women in 40 plus in India have truncal obesity . So, the truncal obesity is always strongly associated with the hypertension.
"A balanced diet should be taken. Balanced diet will keep the body healthy, besides regular exercise. If somebody has a sitting job, he/she has to stand and walk for some time in the office. If one remains stagnant sitting for hours, surely it may cause obesity, hypertension and other diseases including the diabetes."
Highlighting the link between obesity and high blood pressure, Giri told IANS: “Blood pressure’s primary factor is obesity. People should eat vegetables, fruits, sprouts... But, we are eating lesser of these. They should eat the amount required. Trans fat cause hypertension, obesity and diabetes."
He cautioned that "if someone is taking late night dinner it should be very light" as having a meal late night without any work is likely to deposit in the body in the form of fat.
"We are inviting hypertension and diabetes. In the long run, it will also cause multiple diseases."
Giri also red-flagged excessive salt intake, saying: "People are in habit of taking more salt. So the person who is not working manually he/she should take lesser salt and the person having blood pressure should take lesser salt i.e less than three grams."
In response to a question how high blood pressure increases risk of complications in pregnancy, he said: “In pregnancy, higher blood pressure can cause lot of complications. From 20 weeks onwards, some women start having blood pressure, we call it gestational hypertension. In cases of gestational hypertension, if the blood pressure is not controlled, it can lead to problems with the foetus as its growth will be hampered. It can cause severe damage. One can have loss of pregnancy due to this kind of blood pressure."
He also informed that women with hypertension getting pregnant, also needs to be taken extra care.
“There should be a regular check upfront for the pregnant female for blood pressure since conceiving. Beyond 20 weeks, one has to be very vigilant and if the blood pressure is going very high, one has to immediately rush to the hospital.
“Pregnant females should be given extra care. Adequate rest is mandatory. The should sleep in the day time also as adequate sleep causes relaxation of the blood pressure and blood pressure. A cordial atmosphere should be maintained in. The home, there should not be any stress, in addition to diet and regular walk," he added.
On impact of the weather on blood pressure, Giri said: "During summer there is an increase in temperature and humidity also, so we keep on losing salt and water from the body. It can push our blood pressure to the lower side. During winter due to the low temperature, our blood vessels get constricted and this increase blood pressure. So, during winter the the blood pressure is always higher even in healthy person."