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FAQ about high blood pressure

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What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure (BP) is the force exerted by the blood on the walls of the artery (blood vessels carrying blood away from the heart).

The contraction of the heart pumps blood through the blood vessels. The pressure of the blood on the arterial walls is greater, each times the heart contracts and is known as the systolic pressure. The diastolic pressure is the pressure during the resting phase between contractions, and is lower than the systolic pressure. The blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) is measured by an apparatus known as the sphygmomanometer. It is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg, where 120 denotes the systolic pressure and 80 denotes the diastolic pressure. High blood pressure is known as hypertension and is defined as a BP greater than 140 mmHg systolic or greater than 90 mmHg diastolic.


What are the risk factors?

The risk factors for high blood pressure include:

  • Heredity
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Age
  • Stress
  • Kidney diseases and hormonal diseases
  • Use of oral contraceptives in women


How can high BP be controlled?

High BP can be controlled by the following measures.
  • Maintain a normal body weight
  • Low-sodium diets
  • Eat a healthy diet containing soluble fiber
  • Avoid high fat foods
  • Avoid coffee and colas
  • Do not drink excessive alcohol
  • Reduce stress and relax after work
  • Follow-up regularly with the doctor

How can the sodium in the diet be reduced?

  • Use little or no salt to food. Avoid fast foods and restaurant foods, as they contain very high salt levels.
  • Avoid ketchup, pickles, olives, cured meats or fish, canned foods, salted nuts, peanut butter, chips, popcorn and snacks.
  • Rinse canned vegetables with tap water before cooking.
  • Substitute unsalted, polyunsaturated cooking medium for butter or ghee.


What are the symptoms of blood pressure?

High blood pressure shows symptoms which include the following:
  • Headaches (pulsating headaches behind the eyes).
  • Visual disturbances.


Do medicines cure blood pressure?

Medicines do not cure blood pressure but control it. Medicines should be taken throughout the life.


Do what is the Dash eating plan?

‘DASH’ stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension”. A diet of fruits, vegetables, fat-free milk, and food low in saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol can reduce high blood pressure.

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: April 06, 2013