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Low or high pressure - which is more dangerous and how to deal with this problem?
Low or high pressure - which is more dangerous and how to deal with this problem?

It turns out that every third Ukrainian suffers from drops in blood pressure, especially in winter. Both hypertensive patients and hypotensive patients are equally sensitive to cold snaps and magnetic storms.

Inna Kovaleva, an expert of the Useful Program project on the Inter channel, a cardiologist, told how high and low blood pressure is dangerous for health, how to measure it correctly, and also how to normalize blood pressure with the help of a healthy diet and avoid serious complications.

Inna Kovaleva
Inna Kovaleva

Which is worse - an increase or decrease in pressure?

If we talk about the risks of cardiovascular complications, then high blood pressure is worse. It is believed that low blood pressure is a variant of the norm. If there are no complaints and the person leads a normal life, is not limited in anything, low blood pressure should be called normal. There is no reason or evidence that it is harmful. This condition does not require any treatment. But if this is one of the manifestations of the disease, then both high blood pressure and low blood pressure can cause serious harm. This means that a mandatory correction of its level is needed.

How to choose an electronic tonometer?

For home blood pressure measurements, an electronic tonometer is more suitable. You need to choose a tonometer in which the cuff is put on the shoulder. The pulse wave, especially in elderly people, comes with rhythm disturbances, it does not reach the periphery equally, therefore, tonometers that are worn on the wrist will distort the readings. The pressure should be measured without clothes on the arm. The inflatable portion of the cuff must cover at least 75% of the circumference of the upper arm.

To get accurate results, it is important to follow these basic rules:

  • The pressure should be measured in a calm state. To do this, half an hour before the measurement, exclude any physical activity and irritating factors.
  • Sit so that all muscles are relaxed: neck, shoulders, back, arms. The back should be flat, have support, the shoulders should be at the same level so that they are not skewed. The cuffed arm should be firmly supported over the entire forearm. Legs are straight, you do not need to cross them, so as not to squeeze large vessels.
  • Place the cuff over your arm and tighten it firmly, but not tightly. The cuff should be at the level of the heart, the lower edge should be 2-3 cm above the elbow bend of the arm. Do not put the cuff on tight clothing or roll up the sleeve.
  • Press the “start” button of the tonometer and wait while the device takes a measurement. During this time, you cannot move or speak.
  • Repeated measurements are taken at intervals of at least 2 minutes to restore blood flow in the vessels.
girl gets blood pressure
girl gets blood pressure

How to eat right to control blood pressure?

There are many medicines available to help keep your blood pressure under control. However, it is no less important how a person eats: in order for the treatment to give the maximum effect, one cannot do without a correction of the diet.

The DASH diet was developed by American scientists to combat hypertension. Based on the studies carried out, it turned out that the supply of the body with potassium, magnesium, and calcium contributes to lowering blood pressure.

In addition, excessive salt intake must be avoided, most of which comes from processed foods. Therefore, you should avoid foods with a lot of salt and sugar, hydrogenated and saturated fats - chips, sausages, french fries and fried foods in general.

To sustainably lower your blood pressure, you should eat a whole plant-based diet - eat unprocessed foods without preservatives or additives. Eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, and reduce your intake of meats, sausages, smoked meats, cheese and bread.

As far as coffee is concerned, in most cases this drink increases a person's blood pressure. However, this process gradually becomes less noticeable, because the body gets used to caffeine and is less susceptible to its effects. In general, the reaction of the body is individual. The main thing is not to abuse or drink more than 3 cups a day, and then there will be no noticeable effect on blood pressure.

coffee in a cup
coffee in a cup

Be active

According to the expert, in the presence of arterial hypertension, it is clearly not enough just to consume products to lower blood pressure. Regular physical activity in our life decides a lot - walk at a fast pace for at least 30 minutes a day. To normalize blood pressure, we try to eat right, not overeat and move more.

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