Educate Your Patients About Hypertension

May is considered as a National High Blood Pressure Education Month. There are various campaigns initiated by several healthcare organizations. May Measurement Month (MMM) is a global awareness campaign is initiated by the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) which aims at increasing awareness about Blood Pressure (BP) as it is a key to fight against raised BP.

Here is the list of questions said to be frequently asked by the patients and their answers.

  1. What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force that the heart utilizes to pump blood around the body. This force is required to deliver oxygen and nutrients necessary to nourish organs and tissues in the body.

  1. What is hypertension?

Every individual may have low, average, or high blood pressure levels. When your blood pressure is higher than normal, the condition is known as hypertension.

  1. What are systolic and diastolic pressure?

  2. Systolic- When the heart contracts, it pushes the blood out to supply it to the organs and tissues, during which the blood pressure increases.

  3. Diastolic- The heart relaxes to fill blood into it and the blood pressure decreases during this action.

  4. What are the types of hypertension?

  5.  Primary/ Essential hypertension: high blood pressure with no established cause

  6.  Secondary hypertension: an underlying health issue causing high blood pressure

  7. What should be the normal blood pressure range?

  8. Normal blood pressure: 120/80 mmHg

  9. High blood pressure: systolic pressure – between 120 to 129 and diastolic pressure- below 80

  10. Stage 1 hypertension: systolic pressure – between 130 to 139 and diastolic pressure- between 80-89

  11. Stage 2 hypertension: systolic pressure – 140 or more and diastolic pressure- 90 or more

  12. Hypertensive crisis: systolic pressure – 180 or above and diastolic pressure- 120 or above

  13. What are the factors that increase the risk of developing hypertension?

  14. Age: risk increases with growing age

  15. Family history

  16. Lack of physical activity

  17. Tobacco smoking

  18. Alcohol consumption

  19. Increased salt and reduced potassium in the diet

  20. Obesity

  21. Chronic conditions: diabetes, kidney disorders, thyroid problems, and sleep apnea can increase the risk

  22. Stress

  23. What symptoms can patients with hypertension experience?

  24. Chest pain

  25. Fatigue

  26. Dizziness

  27. Difficulty in breathing

  28. Blurred Vision

  29. Headache

  30. What tests are done to diagnose hypertension?

  31. Blood pressure monitoring

  32. Blood and urine tests

  33. Stress test- to monitor electrical activity of the heart as well as blood pressure while exercising

  34. Electrocardiogram- evaluates the electrical activity in the heart

  35. Echocardiogram- to detect defective heart valves, thickening of the heart wall, presence of excessive fluid around the heart, and blood clots

  36. Holter monitoring- examine blood pressure and its changes during the day and with physical activities

  37. How can blood pressure be kept under control?

  38. Regular monitoring of blood pressure levels

  39. Reduce salt and fat intake

  40. Exercise regularly

  41. Maintain a healthy weight

  42. Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption

  43. Manage stress

  44. If diabetic, reduce sugar intake

  45. Have routine check-ups to detect complications

  46. What complications can hypertension lead to?

  47. Heart attack

  48. Stroke

  49. Heart failure

  50. Blood clots

  51. Kidney disease

  52. Memory problems

  53. Metabolic syndrome- a group of conditions affecting the body’s metabolism

  54. Narrow, thickened, or torn blood vessels of the eye

  55. Aneurysm- weak and bulging blood vessels

  56. What are the treatment options for managing hypertension?

  57. Lifestyle modifications: regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight, following DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, avoid smoking and alcohol intake.

  58. Relaxation techniques: meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, etc

  59. Medications

  60. What is a DASH diet?

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension or DASH diet is recommended for individuals who need to control or manage hypertension. The diet plan recommends:

  1. Including vegetables, whole grains, and fruits

  2. Avoiding sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages

  3. Including fish, poultry, beans, vegetable oils, nuts, fat-free or low-fat dairy products

  4. Limiting fatty meats, and tropical oils (coconut, palm, palm kernel)

  5. Selecting food lower in sodium


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