Hypertension is a condition in which blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated. High BP is also a major risk factor for stroke, heart diseases. Lifestyle changes and medications can lower blood pressure and risk of heart health conditions. At Medicircle we're presenting World Hypertension Day Awareness Series, wherein we are featuring eminent Cardiologists to create awareness amongst the general population about the prevention and action.
Dr. Ebrahim Patel is one of the youngest and dynamic Consultant Cardiac surgeons in India. His spectrum of surgeries ranges from newborn to 80 plus age group. He is primarily located in Pune. He currently performs surgery in more than 11 hospitals in and around Pune. He also started his two Cardiac Surgery units, one at Ratnagiri Parkar Hospital and the other at Ahmednagar Surbhi Hospital. He specialized in Beating Heart bypass Surgery, minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery and Congenital Heart Surgery. He was trained in Cardiac Surgery at Narayana Hrudayalaya, Bangalore.
What causes Hypertension
Dr. Ebrahim speaks, “Major causes of high blood pressure can be divided into two broad categories
Age - As the age advances, the patients will have high blood pressure conditions. So, most of the blood pressure condition increases with age.
Genetics - If there is a trait in the genetics of a family, then more likely those patients will develop high BP in theirs 40s or 50s.
Essential Hypertension – The reason is not known hence it is termed essential hypertension.
Modifiable Factors – Things are there in our hands, we can help ourselves from getting hypertension in our lives. For ex - obesity, we can reduce and keep our weight in control, smoking, tobacco, alcohol, high salt intake, kidney disease, or liver disease. So, all these things can be prevented.”
Home-based food is best for hypertensive patient
Dr. Ebrahim advises, “The most important thing is we should have a home-based diet. Packaged food items like chips, biscuits, in which the salt content is very high, and other packaged fried foods are very harmful to the whole body and may cause harmful effects for the next one or two months. Many people like putting some extra salt or taking extra salty things while eating, these things are good for the tongue but they're not good for the heart and blood pressure. So, the best food is home food. When you cook food at home, mostly it is cooked for all age groups and the quality of food, the oil, and salt what we use is enough graded and limited manner. Especially in COVID times, you should strictly eat only home-based food,” mentions Dr. Ebrahim.
Taking regular medicine without skipping is most important
Dr. Ebrahim mentions, “It’s a misnomer that systems other than allopathic have no side effects. Even there is a side effect of eating extra food, drinking extra water. So, blood pressure medicines also have a few side effects but if you are taking them on a regular basis with the minimum dose that is required for your BP to get controlled, then you will not have side effects for 25 – 30 years also. On the contrary, if you don't take regular medicines, and your blood pressure keeps on increasing, then within 4 - 5 years, there will be a lot of adverse and side effects of blood pressure itself, on your kidneys, on your heart and on your blood vessels. Fluctuating BP causes more side effects. You may end up having those problems, which are more dangerous than the side effects of the drugs,” talks Dr. Ebrahim.
High BP is a major risk factor for COVID
Dr. Ebrahim says, “When this pandemic started one year back, COVID was new to everyone. But now as we know from a lot of data that high BP itself is a major risk factor for COVID. It is six times more deadly than in the normal population not having high blood pressure. COVID is creating more problems in diabetic and hypertensive patients. Otherwise, 90 - 95% of patients, if they're not having blood pressure, they recover very fast without any hospital admission or any oxygen requirement. Regular medicines will definitely prevent it. And if your blood pressure is under control, you will not end up having kidney problems, liver problems which will help you when you are infected with COVID,” shares Dr. Ebrahim.
(Edited by Renu Gupta)