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Home » Prehypertension: A little high, but a world of trouble

Prehypertension: A little high, but a world of trouble

    As the cumulative death toll reaches 13,713, the Ministry of Health names hypertension as one of the commonest underlying comorbidities, with studies showing that people with it have a higher risk of developing severe illnesses, intensive care admission and death.

    Three in 10 Malaysians have hypertension, and half of them are unaware of it. The term prehypertension is what some know as borderline hypertension. If hypertension is defined as pressures above 140/90 mm Hg, prehypertension ranges from 120 to 139 mm Hg. Pretty close right.

    What do you do if the next time you check your blood pressure and it consistently reads 120 to 139? Can you control it and avoid hypertension entirely?

    You can make a difference.

    According to experts, you can control your blood pressure. To help you on your journey, here are three lifestyle changes you can make to turn that frown upside down and live free of a potential myriad of chronic illnesses.

    #1 DASH

    DASH or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension involves reducing sodium intake to 2,300 mg a day or less. 2,300 mg means that your salt intake cannot be more that one teaspoon. For those with hypertension, a goal of 1,500 mg a day will do a world of good.

    The DASH diet also calls for a limited consumption of animal fat and processed foods. What can YOU eat? You can never go wrong with fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and, low or non-fat dairy products. Follow these recommendations and you may look at lowering your blood pressure.

    #2 Exercise

    Beating prehypertension does not mean that you have to slave away at the gym or train for Sparta. No, no no! All you have to do is get 30-minutes of moderate exercise nearly every day, to affect your prehypertension,.

    Studies have shown that even with moderate physical activity, you can lower blood pressure by 4 to 9 mm Hg.

    #3 Weight control

    Probably the hardest health-related recommendation ever is trying to lose weight, and there is no shortcut to it. The best way to approach this is to go on a calorie-restricted diet and regular exercise. If you can lose, say 10 kg, you are looking at a 5 to 20 mm Hg drop.

    #4 Stress control

    Studies suggest that meditation and other relaxation techniques can lower blood pressure. Though there are plenty of very laid-back looking people out there who have high blood pressure, it is important to note that when you are under stress, winding down may just be the fix you need.

    Yes! Ed Sheeran is not wrong when he says bad habits will lead to things you know that’s bad. Poor nutrition, lack of exercise and alcohol abuse is at the root of Malaysia’s rise in chronic diseases. Control them and stop racking up expensive hospital bills, you may not be able to afford.

    #5 Controlling bad habits

    Take the first step towards a healthier you. And if you are pessimistic about your chances of turning things around in time, be optimistic once again when you insure your health with Bjak. Affordable insurance at your fingertips. Choose our Life and Medical plans from as low as RM150 a month.