Covid-19 Pandemic Raises Blood Pressure

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With the COVID-19 epidemic, hypertension is spreading in homes. Anadolu Medical Center Cardiology Specialist, who stated that weight gain, stress and inactivity as a result of unhealthy nutrition have turned into a great risk especially for those with chronic diseases. Ersin Özen said, “The prevalence of hypertension in female patients is 8-10 percent higher than in men. If your parents or close relatives have hypertension, there is a high probability that you also have it.

However, let's not forget that; "lifestyle choices protect many people with a family history of high blood pressure from hypertension." Cardiology Specialist Dr. Ersin Özen gave important information on the occasion of April 12-18 Heart Health Week…

It is predicted that 27 percent of the adult population in the world has hypertension and this rate will increase to 2025 percent in 29. According to the guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology and the Turkish Society of Cardiology, blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg is considered a blood pressure disease. Anadolu Medical Center Cardiology Specialist Dr. Ersin Özen said, “Today, there are around 130 billion hypertension patients in the world. In Turkey, the prevalence of hypertension in studies previously between 80 to 1,5 percent, while control of hypertension have been reported to vary between 25- 32 percent. Although the cause of hypertension is largely unknown, many factors that facilitate the occurrence of the problem are mentioned; "Heredity, excessive salt use, age increase, race, gender, stress, smoking, obesity, air pollution, high cholesterol and diabetes" he said.

Care should be taken not to gain weight during the pandemic period

Underlining that it is important for everyone with a chronic disease, especially hypertension and heart patients to do their best to avoid COVID-19, Cardiology Specialist Dr. Ersin Özen said, “The disease is more severe in those with chronic diseases and the elderly. Accordingly, the recovery time is also longer. Therefore, the only and most important suggestion is not to get sick. For this, staying at home, being isolated, eating a balanced diet and regular medication use are of critical importance, ”he said.

Emphasizing that hypertension patients should avoid gaining weight, especially on pandemic days, Dr. Ersin Özen said, “With spending more time at home, intense pastry consumption has reached an extremely dangerous level for all of us. As much as possible, it is best to prefer Mediterranean cuisine that is low in calories, fat-free and carbohydrate. Patients in the prehypertensive stage should try to protect themselves from this situation by applying lifestyle changes. It would be appropriate for hypertensive patients to exercise for at least 15-20 minutes a day by taking advantage of simple physical movements at home, some beginner-level pilates, aerobics or yoga classes online on social media.

Underlining that there are many common opinions about hypertension in the society, Dr. Ersin Özen shared legends and correct information about blood pressure:

Legend: I have high blood pressure in my family. There is nothing I can do to prevent this.

Real: High blood pressure can run in families. If your parents or close relatives have high blood pressure, chances are you have it too. However, lifestyle choices protect many people with a family history of high blood pressure from hypertension.

Legend: I do not use table salt, so I control my sodium intake and blood pressure.

Real: In some people, sodium can increase blood pressure. Labels must be checked to control sodium. Because 75 percent of the sodium we consume is hidden in processed foods such as tomato sauce, soups, condiments, canned foods and instant mixes. Read labels when purchasing a packaged product. If you see the words "soda" and "sodium" and the symbol "Na" on the labels, it means that sodium compounds are present.

Legend: As low sodium alternatives when cooking, I use kosher or sea salt instead of regular table salt.

Real: Chemically, kosher salt and sea salt are the same as table salt - 40 percent sodium - and equal to total sodium consumption. Table salt is a combination of two minerals sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl).

Legend: I feel good. I don't have to worry about high blood pressure.

Real: About 103 million US adults have high blood pressure, and many do not know it or experience typical symptoms. High blood pressure is also an important risk factor for stroke. If left unchecked, high blood pressure can lead to serious health problems.

Legend: People with high blood pressure experience problems such as nervousness, sweating, difficulty sleeping, and their faces turn red. I don't have these symptoms, so I'm fine.

Real: Many people have high blood pressure for years without realizing it. It is often referred to as the "silent killer" because it usually has no symptoms. You may not be aware that it is damaging your arteries, heart, and other organs.

Legend: I have high blood pressure and my doctor is checking this. This means I don't need to check it at home.

Real: Because blood pressure can fluctuate, monitoring and logging blood pressure readings at home can provide valuable information to your healthcare provider to determine if you really have high blood pressure and whether your treatment plan is working. It is important that you take readings at the same time each day, such as morning and evening, or as your healthcare provider recommends.

Legend: I've been diagnosed with high blood pressure, but my blood pressure is low, so I can stop taking my medication.

Real: High blood pressure can be a lifelong illness. Follow your healthcare provider's recommendations carefully, even if it means taking medication every day for the rest of your life. By establishing strong communication with your healthcare team, you can successfully achieve your treatment goals and take advantage of a better health.

7 steps to a brand new lifestyle!

  • Restrict salt.
  • Maintain your ideal weight.
  • Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables and reduce saturated fat intake.
  • Do regular physical activity.
  • If you have a habit of tobacco products, stop.
  • Reduce your caffeine intake.
  • Try stress-reducing methods. Mindfullnes exercises, breathing therapies and yoga, which are very popular recently, have been shown to help reduce blood pressure.
  • Do not consume plenty of mineral water or soda just because it is "healthy". These contain salt and raise blood pressure.

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