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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Proper Diet For Hypertension

Hypertension is usually controlled with a combination of drugs and some special diets; this is because drugs alone do not really help the patient achieve all the needed relief. Since the condition is incurable, the patient is placed on a carefully planned nutrition devoid of the ingredients that aggravate the disease.

When the right type of food is given to the sufferer, he/she would least experience some of the complications; and the rate of relapse is minimized. Diet is of importance in the management of hypertension because if the right drugs are prescribed and the right type of exercise is adhered to, and the patient does not eat the right type of foods, he/she is likely to get little or no relief from the condition.

The proper diet for the hypertensive patient should therefore have less sodium. Sodium is known to retain fluid; it should be reduced but not completely eliminated from the diet since it still has some roles to play in electrolytes balance. It should rather be reduced to about 4gm per day.

The food should also be natural and not artificial because of the fact that artificial foods have a lot of chemical addictives that make the individual’s health condition worse. Canned foods should not be eaten due to their high sodium content as well.

A proper hypertensive diet should also contain little or no spices which act as stimulants due to the fact that stimulating the patient would lead to extra adrenaline discharge and further elevation of his/her blood pressure.

Foods containing caffeine should also be eliminated from his food regimen. Coffee and strong tea must not make the list. Alcoholic beverages must not be taken as part of the meal or after the meal.

Saturated fats should not be included in the food as they increase the cholesterol level of the blood and worsen the already existing atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis as the case may be. Red meats and fatty meats like pork should generally not be included in the meal.

While planning the meal therefore, you should remember that foods with a stimulating effect; foods with the ability to retain fluids and foods with artificial addictives do not actually help the patient; rather they worsen his condition. Once you have this at the back of your mind, you will be able to come out with a natural diet best suited for him/her.

The diet for hypertension should contain protein, carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals, water and fats in their right proportion. In other words, he/she should eat balanced diets so long as they do not contain those forbidden items

Sunday, October 31, 2010

High Diastolic Blood Pressure - What Is It, and Should You Be Trying to Lower It?

Diastolic blood pressure is the lower reading that you get when you take somebody’s BP. It is usually measured in ranges, depending on the individual’s age, sex, position and sometimes health condition.

It is the rhythmic expansion of the chambers of the heart at each heartbeat, during which they fill with blood. Ideally, the Diastolic pressure for a young adult should be around 60 – 85 mmHg, with 90 mmHg considered as borderline.

The reading could get a little higher as the individual’s age increases. This means that the diastolic blood pressure of a man of 60 years and above should be higher than that of a 40 year old, though the variation should not be too much.

High diastolic blood pressure occurs when the reading goes above 90mmHg and remains sustained on repeated checks. When the reading for a man of 40 years goes up to 95 or 100 and above, we can say that the reading is high.

In other word, with the elevated BP we can say that the individual has diastolic hypertension. The difference between this and primary hypertension is that there is a noticeable change in the walls and inside of the arteries in diastolic hypertension.

When the reading is high, and with the changes in the walls of the vessels, the individual is at risk. With such a high reading, the individual could be at the risk of developing a stroke or he could suffer from heart attack. Everything has to be done to prevent a further rise; and also to reduce the already elevated pressure to an acceptable level.

The individual should see the doctor who would in turn prescribe drugs that would help lower the elevated blood pressure. The prescribed drug regimen must be strictly followed if one hopes to get a positive result.

Other ways to lower it also include using a planned programme of exercise and controlled diet to improve the heart and the condition of the blood vessels. Some of the drugs would help to dilate the vessels, while others help to relax the vessels and reduce the frequency of the heart beats.

Certain diets are withdrawn to reduce the rate with which fats are deposited on the walls of the arteries and veins. With the combined therapy, it is easier to lower the elevated blood pressure and the individual could lead a normal life again.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How To Check Someone's Blood Pressure To Check For Hypertension

How To Check Someone’s Blood Pressure To Check For Hypertension
Blood pressure should be taken in such a way as to ensure that you do not come up with the wrong result, especially when you are suspecting that the individual may be having hypertension. When the right procedure is followed you are sure to avoid errors that could prove expensive in the long run.

What should you do before taken the blood pressure?
1. Ensure the individual is not over excited. If he/she is excited the secretion of adrenaline increases and this would give you a wrong result.
2. Be sure the individual has not just finished a rigorous exercise. This would increase the heart rate and alter the result as well.
3. Ensure the person has also not just finished eating a heavy meal. This would increase the work load of the heart as it attempts to digest the heavy meal.
4. Make sure he/she rests for at least 2-5 minutes after arriving in your clinic before taking the blood pressure.

To find out if someone has hypertension, you need to check his/her blood pressure for the first time and record the result. The individual should then be advised to repeat the check daily (at the same time) or on alternate days for at least one further week to be sure there is a sustained elevation before you could come up with a diagnosis.

How should you check the blood pressure?
1. Make the person sit up in a chair or lie down on a bed.
2. Squeeze the cuff to expel air if you are using the analog sphygmomanometer.
3. Wrap the arm cuff around his/her upper arm, at least half an inch above the elbow joint, with the air tube over the brachial artery.
4. Press the ‘start’ button (if you are using the digital sphygmomanometer); and the cuff is inflated automatically. Allow it to deflate on its own and when the measurement value is displayed, you have to take down the reading. Press the ‘stop’ button and return the equipment to a safe place.
5. If you are using the analog sphygmomanometer, you have to place the diaphragm of your stethoscope over the brachial artery (after procedure number 3 above) and place the ear tubes over your ears; tighten the knob of the sphygmomanometer and then pump with the inflator.
6. Listen to the heart beat as you pump. Take note of the point at which you stopped hearing the sound. Pump a little further before releasing the knob to deflate the cuff.
7. Take note of the first heart sound (systolic) as you deflate the cuff; and also the point at which the heart’s sound finally disappears (the diastolic).
8. Remove equipment and record your findings.

The upper sound is referred to as the ‘systolic’ while the lower sound is referred to as the ‘diastolic’ sound. If the reading for an average adult is in the range of 140-159 over 90-99 (140/90 – 159/99), ‘stage 1 hypertension’ is said to exist. But if the reading is above 160/100, ‘stage 2 hypertension’ is said to exist.

Note: Nobody should be termed hypertensive except after the readings have been taken for a period of one or more weeks and they are consistently elevated. You should also cross check using both arms.

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