Compliance to Hypertension Treatment and Impact of Salt in BP Management by Dr. P Manokar
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a long-term medical condition where blood exerts pressure against the blood vessel walls. If left untreated, it can cause severe health problems such as stroke, heart attack, and in some cases, even death. As there is no cure for hypertension yet, following an ideal treatment is the only solution. It consists of:
To keep the blood pressure under control, it is essential to follow the treatment plan and take the medications on time. Missing even a single dose of the medications can hamper the drug’s efficacy and prove to be counter-effective, i.e., as good as not taking any medicines at all.
Hypertension medications are as important as brushing teeth or taking a bath. Owing to their hectic lifestyle and a tight schedule, many people tend to forget to take their medications.
Dr. P Manokar advises that following the treatment plan and taking medications regularly is far more critical than the choice of drugs itself. He believes that antihypertensive drugs work efficiently only when complied with the treatment plan—a fixed-dose combination or taking the medications once a day is recommended and suggested.
Impact Of Salt In Hypertension Management
Salt helps our nerves transmit impulses, balance out the fluids in our body, and enable the muscles to contract and relax. However, in hypertension patients, an excess amount of salt can cause several complications.
Clinically, there are two types of salt:
- Sodium chloride: table salt used in cooking food
- Sodium bicarbonate: found in sodas and preservatives
Sodium bicarbonate, used to preserve food, has a higher chance of increasing blood pressure than the table salt added to food. Aerated drinks and sodas contain an increased amount of salt in sodium bicarbonate, which is harmful to the heart and has a significant impact on blood pressure.
Food items such as pizza, cakes, bread, and biscuits that need to be preserved for a long time contain a higher salt content or preservatives. Salt is added to these food items to increase their shelf life.
Doctors and healthcare professionals advise reducing table salt intake and any other type of salt in food items that are not prepared at home. Any non-homemade food item has preservatives and contains salt or sodium.
For example, a 50 gm bottle of pickle may contain a maximum of 5 grams of salt. On the other hand, a medium-size pizza may have up to 8 grams of salt. A person may not be able to consume 50 grams of pickle in one go but can eat the whole medium-size pizza!
Any food item that is made to preserve for a longer time contains a higher amount of salt. Along with reducing salt intake, hypertension patients must regularly take medications and follow their treatment plan.