High blood pressure does not produce bothersome clinical symptoms, so many people are unaware of their disease for years. It is increasingly common in people even after the age of 40. Among the symptoms of the disease are: morning headaches, dizziness, redness of the face, neck, nose bleeding, some people are worse off with physical exertion. However, when having hypertension in time we do not take treatment, there are many dangerous organ complications.
What is blood pressure anyway? - with this question we turn to cardiologist Dr. Piotr Flis.
- Figuratively speaking, it is a force that makes the blood in the vessels flow through more arteries. This force not only moves the blood in the vessels, but presses on the vessel walls. Increased arterial pressure in the vessels, or hypertension, causes excessive pressure on the walls of the arteries. The longer this situation lasts, the more damage occurs in the vessels, resulting in dangerous changes in the internal organs.
What promotes the development of hypertension?
- We speak of two types of hypertension - primary and secondary. Primary, otherwise known as idiopathic, has an unexplained cause. It is favored by age over 60, overweight, improper diet with excessive salt, heavy eating, lack of exercise, alcohol, smoking, stress. Hypertension also often has a family history.
Secondary hypertension is the result of an existing disease. It can occur with kidney disease, vascular disease, heart defect or diabetes. That is why it is so important to make a correct diagnosis and undertake effective treatment.
The cardiologist decides on the treatment and he oversees the whole process. In some cases, weight reduction, proper diet, exercise are enough. More often, however, it is necessary to introduce pharmacological agents, which does not relieve the patient from the obligation to follow a healthy lifestyle.
What tests are indicated for people with hypertension?
- Since hypertension causes changes in the retina, a fundus examination by an ophthalmologist is indicated. Periodically, a general examination and urine culture should be performed, and blood levels of potassium, sodium and creatinine should be determined to check kidney function. In all patients, it is recommended that total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglyceride levels be checked. Those with hypertension should have an ECG test.
What recommendations would the Doctor have for patients with hypertension?
- If you suffer from hypertension, systematically check and record your blood pressure value. Measurements should be taken in the morning, at noon and in the evening.
- Control cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
- Take prescribed medications regularly. Discontinuing them on your own can lead to a worsening of your condition.
- Increase physical activity as recommended by your doctor.
- Give up smoking cigarettes.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
It is worth adding in conclusion that taking medication does not exempt you from maintaining a proper diet, and it does not end when your blood pressure normalizes.
Hypertension and diet
Nutritionists recommend, above all, a healthy and well-balanced diet. It is generally known that with hypertension, salt intake should be limited, but what should you eat to actually make your diet healthy?
It is recommended to eat about 400 g of vegetables and fruits daily ( 3/4 of which are vegetables). They are a source of vitamins, minerals (including magnesium and potassium, deficiencies of which cause cardiovascular imbalances, and the role of potassium is, among other things, to regulate blood pressure), dietary fiber, flavonoids, which support normal heart function and help maintain normal blood pressure. This has been confirmed in studies of people on an egg-based diet, whose cardiovascular risk was lower than on a meat-based diet. And the groats? Like vegetables and fruits, they are a source of dietary fiber, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals.
As little as 200 grams of fruits and vegetables per day reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Particularly beneficial are green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, apples, black currants, whole grain cereal products or nuts.
Limit fatty animal products in favor of fish and vegetable oils and lean dairy.
Fatty meat and animal fats are sources of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol. Their excessive consumption results in an increase in blood cholesterol levels and the appearance of vascular incidents, including hypertension. Also avoid processed meats.
OMEGA acids for hypertension
Sources of unsaturated fatty acids are fish and vegetable oils. They contain unsaturated-omega-6 and omega-3 and monounsaturated acids, which lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, reduce the risk of atherosclerotic plaque deposition in the blood vessels, and thus prevent the closure of the lumen of the vessels, which is the cause of hypertension.
Marine fish, a source of omega-3 fatty acids - DHA, should be consumed at least twice a week to provide adequate amounts of DHA acids and reduce cardiovascular risk. It is recommended that vegetable fats be consumed raw and as a side dish.
Dairy products are a source of protein and calcium. However, choose those with reduced fat content. Among dairy products, fermented ones (natural yogurts, buttermilk, kefir) are worth consuming, as they contain probiotic bacteria, which have a beneficial effect on the digestive tract, lower blood cholesterol levels and affect fat metabolism in the body.
The introduction of all these components in the daily diet benefits the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system and protects against its dysfunction.
How to maintain a high blood pressure diet
Unfortunately, following all the recommendations can be difficult and cumbersome, but we are not alone with all this, becausedietitians come to ouraid. For example, you can follow an individual diet plan, which the specialist arranges for our specific needs and health condition, or a ready-made diet plan. Ready-made diet online is a favorable option because it does not require visits to the clinic, and the plan is arranged for a particular disease entity by an experienced nutritionist. There is always the possibility to consult, for example, during a Teleporada with the specialist who prepared the diet.
By following dietary recommendations and incorporating daily physical activity, you can improve your quality of life, support the treatment of hypertension or lower the risk of developing it, while effectively preventing cardiovascular disease.