World Hypertension Day: Read this, and keep calm

May 13, 2014, 07:16 IST | Nevin Thomas

From erectile dysfunction to heart attacks, hypertension can affect the young and the old. It was World Hypertension Day yesterday, the guide got Dr Hozefa Bhinderwala, consultant psychiatrist, to bust a few existing myths

Hypertension only affects older people
Truth: It is true that with age the blood vessels weaken and hence chances of hypertension get higher. But nowadays, due to our lifestyle and lack of physical activity, we see more young people being affected by the disease.

World Hypertension Day

Hypertension starts with a headache
Truth: Hypertension does not show any symptom until it starts affecting organs such as heart and kidney. It’s detected only by a visit to the doctor; reason why it is often discovered late in the young population.

Hypertension doesn't affect other organs
Truth: Hypertension increases the chances of heart attacks, heart failure, stroke and chronic kidney disease. It can also affect your sex life.

High blood pressure can't be prevented
Truth: Even if you have many risk factors, such as a history of the disease in the family, there are certain steps you can take to prevent high blood pressure. Firstly, keep your weight at a healthy level. Compliment this by eating a healthy diet and limiting salt intake. Chances of hypertension also increase with alcohol and tobacco consumption. Exercise regularly, and don’t let stress build up.

— Dr Hozefa Bhinderwala is consultant psychiatrist at Saifee Hospital

What is hypertension?

Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure.  It is the continuous elevation of systemic arterial blood pressure to a level likely to induce cardiovascular damage or other harmful consequences.

Food items to keep your blood pressure in check
* Skim Milk z Spinach z Bananas z Soya Beans z Berries
* Potatoes z Beetroot z Oatmeal
* Dark chocolate and red wine (in limited quantity)

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