Lifestyle

High Blood Pressure – Cause , Symptoms , Medication , Diet & Everything You Need To Know With An Ayurveda

Introduction:

Health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental, spiritual & social wellbeing. Hypertension is one amongst the most alarming health problem of present era due to sedentary lifestyle and environmental factors. Hypertension is silent killer of mankind. It is considered as an independent predisposing factor for heart failure, coronary artery disease, stroke, renal disease and peripheral arterial disease.

Hypertension (HTN or HT), also known as high blood pressure or arterial hypertension, is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated. Hypertension which is a common disorder rising in incidence and once established treatment is obligatory. It is growing the incidence globally particularly in developing countries like India.The WHO has rated HTN as one of the most important cause of premature death worldwide.

However a suitable term for the disease condition hypertension is not directly mentioned in the Ayurvedic classics, its symptoms can be found in the chapters of vatavyadhi, prameha and hridroga. A disease condition vyanabala vaishamya, has been correlated with hypertension, seems to be resulted from the vaishamya vikriti of vyana vayu. This condition of vaishamya(Disharmony/Disproportion) can be of two types either vriddhi(Increase) or kshaya(Decrease). Hypertension comes under vriddhi type of vaishamya.

What is Hypertension??

Abnormally high blood pressure is called hypertension. Normal level of blood pressure is said to be 120/80 mmHg. More than 140/90 mmHg in those who are at risk (like existing vascular disease, diabetes, liver or renal or heart disease) and more than 160/100 Hg in all considered BP.

Types of hypertension:

There are two types of hypertension.

  1. Primary hypertension
  2. Secondary hypertension

Each type of hypertension has a different causes they are as fallows:

Primary hypertension causes:

Primary hypertension is also known as essential hypertension. This kind of hypertension can develop in over time with no unknown cause. Most people have this type of high blood pressure.

Researchers are still looking for the mechanism which causes blood pressure to slowly increase. A combination of factors can play a role.

These factors include:

  • Genes: Some people are genetically predisposed to hypertension. This may be from gene mutations or genetic abnormalities inherited from your parents.
  • Physical changes: If something in your body changes, you may begin experiencing issues throughout your body. High blood pressure may be one of those issues. For example, it’s thought that changes in your kidney function due to aging may upset the body’s natural balance of salts and fluid. This change may cause your body’s blood pressure to increase.
  • Environment: Over time, unhealthy lifestyle choices like lack of physical activity and poor diet can take their toll on your body. Lifestyle choices can lead to weight problems. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for hypertension.

Secondary hypertension causes:

Secondary hypertension often occurs quickly and can become more severe than primary hypertension. Several conditions that may cause secondary hypertension include:

  • kidney disease
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • congenital heart defects
  • problems with your thyroid
  • side effects of medications
  • use of illegal drugs
  • alcohol abuse or chronic use
  • adrenal gland problems
  • certain endocrine tumors

Symptoms of high blood pressure:

One of the most dangerous thing about hypertension is that you may not know you have it that’s the reason it’s called silent killer

symptoms of Severe High Blood Pressure

If your blood pressure is extremely high, there may be certain symptoms to look out for, including:

  • Severe headaches
  • Nosebleed
  • Fatigue or confusion
  • Vision problems
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears

People sometimes feel that other symptoms may be related to high blood pressure, but they may not be:

  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Sweating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Facial flushing
  • Blood spots in eyes

Risk factors

High blood pressure has many risk factors, including:

  • Family history. High blood pressure tends to run in families.
  • Being overweight or obese. The more you weigh, the more blood you need to supply oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. As the amount of blood blow through your blood vessels increases, so does the pressure on your artery walls.
  • Not being physically active. People who are inactive tend to have higher heart rates. The higher your heart rate, the harder your heart must work with each contraction and the stronger the force on your arteries. Lack of physical activity also increases the risk of being overweight.
  • Using tobacco. Not only does smoking or chewing tobacco immediately raise your blood pressure temporarily, but the chemicals in tobacco can damage the lining of your artery walls. This can cause your arteries to narrow and increase your risk of heart disease. Secondhand smoke also can increase your heart disease risk.
  • Too much salt (sodium) in your diet. Too much sodium in your diet can cause your body to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure.
  • Too little potassium in your diet. Potassium helps balance the amount of sodium in your cells. A proper balance of potassium is critical for good heart health. If you don’t get enough potassium in your diet, or you lose too much potassium due to dehydration or other health conditions, sodium can build up in your blood.
  • Drinking too much alcohol. Over time, heavy drinking can damage your heart. Having more than one drink a day for women and more than two drinks a day for men may affect your blood pressure.If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
  • Stress:High levels of stress can lead to a temporary increase in blood pressure. Stress-related habits such as eating more, using tobacco or drinking alcohol can lead to further increases in blood pressure

Complications

While elevated blood pressure alone is not an illness, it sometimes requires treatment due to the following short and long term effects like:

  • Cerebrovascular accidents (CVA) or strokes
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Hypertensive cardiomyopathy (heart failure)
  • Encephalopathy
  • Congestion in the lungs
  • Left ventricular hypertrophy
  • Epistaxis
  • Blurring of vision owing to retinal changes
  • Impotence
  • Angina pectoris

Management approaches

a. Prevention

  • Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables such as apple, banana, blackberries, broccoli,cabbage, carrot, garlic, grape fruit, green leafy vegetable, onion, pea, tomato etc.
  • Consume preferably vegetarian, low fat, low calory diet rich in whole grain, high fibre and nuts
  • Use of garlic and onion in regular diet
  • Practice physical exercises such as brisk walking daily for 30-45 minutes
  • Weight reduction (in obese)
  • Limit use of salt (<5 gm/ day), fats and sweets
  • Avoid day sleep, anger, anxiety, hyper activity, over exertion
  • Avoid use of caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.

b.medications

Medications for hypertension include:

  • diuretics, including thiazides, chlorthalidone, and indapamide
  • beta-blockers and alpha-blockers
  • calcium-channel blockers
  • central agonists
  • peripheral adrenergic inhibitor
  • vasodilators
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • angiotensin receptor blockers

Line of treatment in ayurveda view (Charaka Chikitsa.28/92)

  1. Nidana parivarjana (avoidance of aetiological factors) -According to Ayurveda, avoidance of the causative factor is the first line of treatment for all diseases. Excess intakes of salt and fatty substance should be avoided and certain medicines such asNSAIDS, steroids, cough syrups etc. are also to be taken carefully.
  2. Samshodhana chikikitsa (Bio-cleansing therapies) followed by Samana chikitsa (Palliative therapy) should be advocated.
  • Lekhana Vasti 350-500 ml for 8 days.
  • Virechana karma (Purgation) with Eranda taila 15 – 30 ml with half glass of milk at night
  • Shirodhara with medicated liquids (milk/ water/ oils (Narayana taila) daily 45-90 minutes for 21 days
  • Takra dhara daily 45 minutes for 14 days

Home remides for managing hypertension:

  1. Olive Oil

Use extra-virgin olive oil in place of other fats. It’s been shown that 40 grams of this oil a day may reduce your need for blood pressure medication.

  1. Dark Chocolate

If you are indulging in dessert, eat only dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate. Dark chocolate’s antioxidant flavonoids may lower blood pressure, improve blood vessels and reduce inflammation. Eat about 30 calories a day and choose a type that’s at least has 70 percent cocoa.

  1. Skim Milk

Switch out your milk for skim or one-percent milk. This milk provides you with both vitamin D and calcium. These all nutrients work together to lower your blood pressure by upto 10 percent.

  1. Salt Substitute

Using a salt substitute. Reducing your overall sodium intake can help lower your blood pressure. The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture suggest that adults should limit their sodium to no more than 2,300 milligrams a day.

  1. Beans

Adding beans into your diet will provide you with fiber, magnesium and potassium; These may work together to lower your blood pressure.

  1. Berries

As little as one serving of blueberries a week can help lower your blood pressure, research suggests. Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries contain anthocyanin, which are natural compounds that protect against high blood pressure.

  1. Spinach

Add more spinach to your diet. Spinach contains blood pressure lowering nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and folate, as well as being high in fiber and low in calories. Gently sauté your spinach with extra virgin olive oil in order to get a double-dose of blood pressure-lowering help.

  1. Watermelon

Add powdered watermelon seeds to 2 cups of water

Boil for 15 mins, strain & drink daily to control blood pressure

  1. Ginger and cardamon tea

The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)

It is a dietary pattern promoted by the U.S.-based National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services) to prevent and control hypertension.

The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods. It includes meat, fish, poultry, nuts, and beans, and is limited in sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, red meat, and added fats. In addition to its effect on blood pressure, it is designed to be a well-balanced approach to eating for the general public.

5 Yoga poses to control hypertension

  • UTTANASANA
  • HALASANA
  • ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA
  • UTTANA SHISHOSANA
  • SETU BANDHASANA

CONCLUSION:

Hypertension is a silent killer

Hypertension is a worldwide epidemic

It’s a disease which is responsible for 3 million death annually

HTN is very poorly controlled- < 25% in developed & < 10% in developing countries

Early diagnosis & management can prevent end organ damage from HTN

Lifestyle modification is the universal “Vaccine” against Hypertension

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About author
Deep Thacker is an BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery) Undergraduate in Rajiv Gandhi University of Health sciences. Deep has published many articles on health and aims to provide the public with the information they need to know for their health decisions.
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