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2018
Oct-23
Hypertension - Certain facts
By Dr. S M KARTHIK, DM (Endo)| 0 Comments

Blood pressure by definition is the pressure exerted by the blood on its walls. When it is greater than age and sex appropriate standards, we call it hypertension (HT). HT is the most common reason worldwide for causing stroke, heart failure, kidney failure and dementia. So, I would brief the readers regarding few important things to be kept in mind in relation to hypertension.

Measuring blood pressure requires training regarding handling the instruments and certain precautions have to be taken. Slightest of variation in the cuff size, degree of inflation, posture etc, will lead to substantial variability in readings. Hence, before taking a call on the readings, it has to be verified that the BP was measured in right manner. And remember to get the BP checked in both arms, as there will be mild variation between both arms and the arm with higher reading has to be used in future recordings.

Sodium intake has been undoubtedly related to HT. Current recommendations advice to restrict sodium way below to 1.5g/day and to increase potassium intake. Sodium that is intrinsic in water, vegetables and cereals will by itself amount to the above said recommendation. Hence, there is absolutely no need to add salt to main dishes, curries, sambar etc. Of course chutnies, pickles, flavoured snacks, pappad etc need to be completely avoided.

When a condition is curable it gives immense pleasure to treat both for the doctor and individual experiencing the condition.  It is estimated that about 1-2 per 10 individuals with HT may have curable forms of HT. Almost all of these curable conditions are related to hormonal excess. So it is always better to consult an endocrinologist at least once to look for the causes of treatable HT. I hope that this would have helped the readers in knowing at least a few aspects of HT. 

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