High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition that occurs when the heart works extra hard to pump blood so that it can be distributed to various parts of the body. This essentially means that the pressure being applied to your artery walls is too high during blood circulation.
A person with high blood pressure will have a regular blood pressure reading of 140 over 90 or even higher, for several weeks.
What exactly causes high blood pressure is something that still hasn’t been accurately established, but a few pointers that have been correlated with an increase in the blood pressure are an excessive salt intake in the diet, inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables, not being physically active enough, being overweight, drinking too much alcohol and smoking.
Other factors that could contribute to high blood pressure could also be advancing in years, family history of high blood pressure, too much stress and some chronic conditions like kidney disease and sleep apnea.
If you have a someone in your family who is experiencing High Blood Pressure, then here’s what you should know about the condition so that you can assist and support your loved one in managing the disease and recovery:
- Encourage physical activity and exercise: One of the many causes of hypertension is minimum or no physical activity. People who suffer from this ailment need to move around more.
An increase in physical activity will elevate their heart rate which makes the heart stronger and requires less effort to pump blood, putting less pressure on arteries and therefore lowers blood pressure.
- Encourage weight loss: Losing weight is an excellent way to lower high blood pressure. A reduction of 5 to 10 kilos will bring about a decrease in blood pressure and will also cut down the risk of other health problems.
Encouraging your loved one to lose weight by giving them company when they exercise, helping them with meal preparations and diet planning etc., are all things you can do to motivate them for losing weight.
- Recommend healthy eating options: Poor eating habits are what might have contributed to a hypertension diagnosis in the first place.
So help your family member reduce their sugar consumption (white sugar), refined carbs (most types of bread, noodles, and pasta) salt consumption most of which comes from processed foods and restaurant meals.
Introduce more leafy vegetables, oats, bananas, fish or fish oil products, fat-free yogurt and wholegrain products.
- Discourage smoking: The nicotine in cigarettes raises blood pressure and heart rate, constricts arteries and hardens their walls, causing blood to clot. Discuss these issues to increase awareness regarding the health risks involved pertinent to High Blood Pressure.
- Be alert to stress: Stress in itself has not been shown to cause hypertension but the build-up of stress over a long period could prove harmful.
Helping your loved one recognize their stress triggers could prevent further episodes and lower blood pressure and other health complications, you can do this by being there for them during times of high stress and making sure that they remain well-grounded and at peace.
Further, visits to the doctor are always made better when a family member comes along. So if you’re someone who is in a position to assist a family member who is suffering from High Blood Pressure, try to accompany them on their medical visits.
For a person with High Blood Pressure, a little bit of support from the family can go a long way in ensuring better health, both physically and mentally, and can make the condition a lot easier to deal with.