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Workshop on Hypertension & Heart Diseases

Hypertension, referred to as high blood pressure, is a condition in which the arteries have persistently elevated blood pressure. Every time the human heart beats, it pumps blood to the whole body through the arteries.

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing up against the blood vessel walls. The higher the pressure the harder the heart has to pump.

Hypertension can lead to damaged organs, as well as several illnesses, such as renal failure (kidney failure), aneurysmheart failurestroke, or heart attack.

The normal level for blood pressure is below 120/80, where 120 represents the systolic measurement (peak pressure in the arteries) and 80 represents the diastolic measurement (minimum pressure in the arteries). Blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 is called prehypertension (to denote increased risk of hypertension), and a blood pressure of 140/90 or above is considered hypertension.

Hypertension may be classified as essential or secondary. Essential hypertension is the term for high blood pressure with unknown cause. It accounts for about 95% of cases. Secondary hypertension is the term for high blood pressure with a known direct cause, such as kidney disease, tumors, or birth control pills.

What causes hypertension?

Though the exact causes of hypertension are usually unknown, there are several factors that have been highly associated with the condition. These include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesityor being overweight
  • Being obese/overweight as a child – a research team at the Indiana University School of Medicine found that obese/overweight children are much more likely to suffer from hypertension during adulthood.
  • Diabetes
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Lack of physical activity
  • High levels of salt intake (sodium sensitivity).
  • Insufficient calcium, potassium, and magnesium consumption
  • Vitamin Ddeficiency
  • High levels of alcohol consumption
  • Stress
  • Aging
  • Medicines such as birth control pills
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Adrenal and thyroid problems or tumors.

What are the symptoms of hypertension?

There is no guarantee that a person with hypertension will present any symptoms of the condition. About 33% of people actually do not know that they have high blood pressure, and this ignorance can last for years. For this reason, it is advisable to undergo periodic blood pressure screenings even when no symptoms are present.

Extremely high blood pressure may lead to some symptoms, however, and these include:

  • Severe headaches
  • Fatigueor confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Problems with vision
  • Chest pains
  • Breathing problems
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Blood in the urine.

Diet

If blood pressure is successfully lowered, it is wise to have frequent checkups and to take preventive measures to avoid a relapse of hypertension.

Beetroot juice – a research team from Queen Mary, University of London, wrote in the journal Hypertension that a cup of beetroot juice each day can reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients.

The researchers started off examining what the impact of consuming nitrates might be on laboratory rats, and then confirmed their findings with 15 volunteer humans, all with hypertension.

The following foods are high in nitrates:

  • Beetroot
  • Fennel
  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Radishes

Lead author, Amrita Ahluwalia, Ph.D., said “Our hope is that increasing one’s intake of vegetables with a high dietary nitrate content, such as green leafy vegetables or beetroot, might be a lifestyle approach that one could easily employ to improve cardiovascular health.”

Yoga & Hypertension

Yoga – Dr. Debbie Cohen and colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania reported at the “28th Annual Scientific Meeting” that yoga is effective in reducing blood pressure.

A daily practice of these postures for 15 – 20 minutes will considerably reduce your Hypertension and may even help you get rid of it.

Your control over Hypertension will let you choose how much you enjoy your life. With a potent shield like yoga, you can experience life in its totality and be carefree. Yoga lets you expand your capabilities and live life to its fullest.

Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and Experienced Yoga teacher. Do you need information on courses or share feedback? Write to us.