Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer – By Dr. Ashwani K. Malhotra
Surjit ( name changed ) is 53 years old and works in a private bank as a Senior Manager. One day he consulted me for an off and on headache for the last couple of days that wouldn’t go away with over the counter medicines, I took a detailed history and examined his pulse and blood pressure which was very high at 200/120 mm of Hg. When I told him so, he was quite surprised and went on to add that he had never suffered from high blood pressure, that no one in his family had hypertension. He didn’t smoke nor drink, but yes, his work at the bank kept him so busy at office and at home too that he had no time for food, relaxation or exercise. Well all work and no play had made Surjit a work alcoholic.
This is the lifestyle of every other banker or corporate executive and the business man or factory owner, who due to pressure of work, competition and long hours lead erratic, sedentary and stressful lifestyles for the last decade or so. Working at odd working hours, they would often gorge on a burger or pizza. Add chole bhature or butter chicken in their diet every now and then, partying often with drinks late at night, they sleep late high on alcohol or take a sleeping pill and get up late- the perfect and vicious cocktail for lifestyles diseases including high blood pressure.
High blood pressure or hypertension may be due to a family history, primary hypertension due to an unknown cause and secondary hypertension due to a kidney disease, thyroid and adrenal gland dysfunction, due to pregnancy or high cholesterol and lipid levels and many do not even know that they are hypertensive and are shocked when told that they have a high blood pressure ! Most people are accidentally diagnosed with a hypertensive condition when they come to the doctor for another illness like Surjit Singh. In such persons who are at a high risk, unhealthy and fast food laden with dollops of ghee, high in salt, alcohol and smoking, inactivity, lack of 7 to 8 hours of sleep and high stress levels act as catalysts.
An estimated 3 persons in 10 of the adult population above 30 years suffer from high blood pressure, but this may just be the tip of an ice berg. Unaware that they are suffering from high blood pressure and those take hypertension casually or skip medicines for days could land up in the emergency with complications of a heart and kidney disease, stroke, heart attack, heart failure or an aneurysm or coma. Ever since the Corona pandemic hit the globe over a year ago, those with high blood pressure are at an increased risk.
World Hypertension Day is celebrated every year on 17th May to create awareness about the disease, the causes, complications and the preventive measures about the disease and this year the theme is ” Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer..
Hence it is imperative to get your blood pressure checked from time to time and adopt a healthy life style and healthy eating along with exercises and being active with a good night’s sleep and anti stress measures such as yoga, meditation, music , sport and inculcating a hobby.
Dr Ashwani K. Malhotra MBBS, PGDMCH, PGDMLS, is a retired Senior Medical Officer,Punjab Government,and can be reached @M-9417188867 E-mail : email@example.com
He is also an alumnus of SCD Govt. College, Ludhiana.