The contemporary work culture demands young professionals invest more time at work and are sleep deprived. Sedentary lifestyle, immense work pressure followed by unhealthy food and erratic eating patterns can contribute to the increased risk of hypertension among young adults. To make things worse, smoking, alcohol and stress add to the cause of hypertension.
Dr Santosh Kumar Dora, Senior Cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute of Mumbai shares that some youngsters may have secondary hypertension. It is a type of hypertension that is present due to some underlying cause. Some of these causes could be present from the time of birth i.e. coarctation of the aorta. Sometimes hypertension may be related to some endocrine disorder (hormonal disorder) and kidney diseases. On the other hand, primary hypertension is the most common types of old people are usually diagnosed with this type of hypertension. The urban prevalence is somewhere around 30-40% in adults.
Dr Santosh emphasises on the importance of good sleep. Sleep plays a vital role in controlling and regulating hypertension. Sleep deprivation leads to an imbalance in the stress hormone levels and leads to hypertension. Once sleep is corrected, the blood pressure level regulates automatically. Less sleep thus increases the risk of hypertension. Lifestyle modification can bring about a remarkable change.
Some important recommendations to prevent and treat hypertension:
Follow a DASH diet: Ensure that your diet contains low fat, less salt and more of vegetables, fruits along with whole grain cereals. DASH (Dietary approach to hypertension) eating pattern helps in regulating hypertension.
No substitute for regular exercise: Regular exercise is as important as taking medicines. Physical activity not only helps in maintaining the blood pressure but also accelerates the process of weight loss, blood sugar regulations and effective stress management. Exercise is the key to a healthy heart. Try the aerobic exercise for 45 minutes or 1 hour for 5 days a week. Brisk walking, stair climbing, jogging, running and swimming can help you stay fit.
Weight loss is a must: Obesity is one of the major risk factors for high blood pressure, diabetes and heart diseases. Your blood pressure can rise with an increase in your body weight. It, therefore, becomes imperative to control your body weight to regulate your blood pressure. Body weight is considered healthy when the body mass index ranges from 20 to 25.
Stress management is the key: According to Mayo Clinic, there is no proof that stress by itself causes hypertension but can increase the risk of hypertension. For example, stress-inducing habits such as smoking, drinking and junk food consumption can have a cascading effect on your blood pressure. If required it is advisable to get in touch with stress management expert.
Avoid alcohol: Excess alcohol consumption can lead to hypertension. Therefore, if you can avoid alcohol altogether is will be beneficial. If consumed, it is advisable to limit the intake to one to two drinks per week.
Say no to smoking: Smoking can aggravate hypertension and various other issues. Research suggests that each cigarette you smoke temporarily increases the blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. To reduce the chances of stroke avoid tobacco.