Sunday, December 13, 2015

How to manage your blood pressure and be a winner

By Dr Surendra Kumar Varma
Managing blood pressure for most seniors is a lifelong commitment.
What do the blood pressure (BP) readings mean? The upper figure in your BP measurement is your systolic (when the heart contracts to supply blood to the body, this is known
as a beat) and the lower figure is your diastolic (when the heart returns from its contraction to "relax" and receive the oxygenated blood from lungs) blood pressure. Thus, a normal BP will be expressed as 120/80. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
Electronic blood pressure measuring devices are now available in the market at very affordable prices. These devices may not be as accurate as you would expect, but their readings are within the range of +/- 5 units, and are, thus, very helpful. What if there was a need for you to measure your BP at midnight? Would you be prepared to go to a doctor/hospital at that un-Godly hour? No.
Our blood pressure keeps on changing every minute if not every second, like the speed of our car when we drive through a chaotic traffic here. So, if you check your BP before and after reading an abusive e-mail, the readings will be different within a minute or two. Worry not. As soon as the abusive e-mail gets out of your system, your BP will return to normal. In such situations, listen to some songs/music of yesteryears, which you loved, or, better still, watch their clips.
For seniors, above 60, the threshold BP is 140/90. If it st​ays  ther​e​
or goes up, your doctor will most likely prescribe medication and/or lifestyle changes, including what you should and should not eat. Salt is the biggest culprit in causing high blood pressure.
High blood pressure could be caused by problems related to one's kidneys, liver and heart. But, the most common cause is hypertension. Your doctor will figure out what the real cause of your high blood pressure is from your lab tests and from your answers to his questions. Medication, thus, will vary from one individual to another.   
Whatever the root
​ ​
cause of a high blood pressure may be, it increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, vision loss, and metabolic syndrome.
While medications and lifestyle changes, suggested by your doctor, must be followed, the following "Grandma's Nuskhas", using herbs, as adjuncts, can help in dealing with high BP:
Basil (Tulsi): Drink Tulsi leaves chai 2-3 times a day.
Cinnamon: Increase the use of cinnamon in your recipes.
Garlic: Other than in your curries, roast and eat garlic cloves every day. Or, use garlic in a supplement form everyday.
Before I leave you, let me not forget to say that a low blood pressure should also not be ignored. It can cause dizziness, fainting, fatigue, problems concentrating, blurry vision, etc. But you can treat it very quickly with anything salty. How about Haldiram's Dalmoth or Balaji's Samosa?.
PS: Stay tuned for more from me on health issues. I said in my intro to sss-global that my M.Sc. and Ph.D. are both very closely related to medical science and I taught Pre-Medical students for 15 years. That should explain my interest in medical science. My posts are intended only to improve knowledge about health issues, and no more.

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