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World Hypertension Day 2021: From hypertension to 'No tension' - The pandemic episode

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Studies show that the severity of COVID-19 is higher in people with higher blood pressure levels.

World Hypertension Day 2021: From hypertension to 'No tension' - The pandemic episode
While COVID-19 is a new arrival in the medical discovery, hypertension or high blood pressure has been there for ages. Hypertension is associated with an increased level of blood pressure. It leads to severe headaches, fatigue, chest pain, difficulty in breathing, and dizziness. Generally, people diagnosed with hypertension by a physician have these difficulties.
However, with the increasing number of COVID cases in the recent past, studies show that the severity of COVID-19 is higher in people with higher blood pressure levels than those who have not. Having said this, one should not misinterpret that hypertension would eventually lead to COVID-19.
The symptoms of COVID-19 in a hypertension person will create more uneasiness and discomfort. It is natural for anyone to feel that way. They should take additional care and get urgent medical advice. A hypertension patient needs to get the proper medical consultation and medication on time.
Here are a few precautionary steps that a hypertension person can follow in breaking this chain.
  • Regular exercise and monitoring body weight:
  • Regular exercise in COVID-19 times especially during the lockdown is difficult due to the closure of parks and gyms. However, you can set up a home gym or workout indoors. Yoga and meditation, which can be done indoors will help in managing your stress and BP reduction.
    Stress levels are high during the pandemic due to socio-economic reasons. It is seen that people gain weight during lockdown due to various reasons. Regular monitoring of your weight, following a healthy diet and exercising, will help in maintaining BP levels.
    • Avoid salt and salty foods: A hypertension person reacts much faster to sodium than a normal one. Sodium that is present in salts peaks the blood to a higher pressure. Therefore, keeping salt intake between 1500 mg to 2000 mg a day is ideal for adults.
      • Breathing exercises: Regular breathing exercise is good to practice to have a healthy life. A breathing pattern determines the heart rate; the calmer it is, the better for the heart. A time-to-time meditation and simple relaxation exercises are even more advisable.
        • Follow the COVID ethics: One of the best ways to stay safe during the pandemic is to follow the medical protocols and COVID-19 guidelines. The simple wearing of the mask, physical distancing, and regular washing of the hands are primary techniques to counter the virus.
        • Hypertension and COVID-19 may not be directly related to each other. However, sufficient medical care and constant health monitoring are precautionary remedies to stay away from COVID-19.
          -by Dr Keshava R, Director - Cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Cunningham Road

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