On May 21, 2022, Seniors Today hosted the weekly Health Live webinar with Dr Behram Pardiwalla, who spoke on and answered questions about Hypertension in Senior Citizens in view of World Hypertension Day which was observed on May 17, 2022.
Dr Pardiwalla After schooling in La Martiniere Kolkata, Dr Pardiwalla did his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai. Dr Pardiwalla was awarded the Lord Sandhurst Gold Medal and Vasant Khanolkar Prize and was also the recipient of the Bombay University Merit Scholarship for Postgraduate studies and was voted the Best Resident at the KEM Hospital. Dr Pardiwalla is also a postgraduate teacher in medicine for the Diplomate of National Board (DNB) examination at Breach Candy Hospital and is also Unit Head at the Parsi General Hospitals.
Dr Pardiwala is Regional faculty for the International Diabetic Federation Course in Diabetes. He is Life Member, Association of Physicians in India. He is Founder, Life Member, Indian Society of Critical Care and Committee Member, Indian Burns Research Society.
Hypertension is known as a silent killer because it works in the background. It can affect your brain and give you a stroke, it can affect your heart and cause a heart attack or what we call a myocardial infarction. It can also be acting on your kidneys, giving rise to renal impairment. It can present as a multitude of symptoms and target organ damage.
In cases with hypertension, there is a common saying which goes; only 50% of the individuals know that they have a high blood pressure, out of the 50% who know that they have hypertension only 50% are taking treatment for blood pressure, out of the 50% who are taking treatment for high blood pressure, only 50% are under control. Which means that hardly 5 to 7.5% people in actuality, are in control of their blood pressure.
There are 2 ways to control one’s blood pressure, one is by lifestyle modifications which include
Dietary changes and a healthy diet, this should be the Mediterranean diet or what we call the DASH diet. In this, you can have dairy but low fat dairy, lean meat, fish and chicken. Avoid red and processed meats. increase your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Quit smoking if you’re a smoker
Control your alcohol consumption to 3-4 units per week
Regular exercise, around 150 mins of exercise per week
The second way is by medication. Medication will depend on what your physician prescribed you keeping your comorbid conditions in consideration.
If you have the feeling of numbness under your wrist, it can be because of carpal tunnel syndrome, where your median nerve is being pinched. Which can be easily found out by performing a nerve conduction test. This can also be due to hypothyroidism and if it is unilateral, it could mean that it is due to decreased blood supply to the one side of the brain which can also be due to blood pressure.
If you are having a disturbed sleep, here are a few things you can do to ensure a good nights sleep and maintain a good sleep hygiene:
Prepare for bed
Avoid exercising or any exertional activities before going to bed
Take a warm bath before your bedtime
Clear your head of any unwanted thoughts
We also need to be careful of hidden contents of salt that are present in bread, cheese, preserved food items, etc.