Evolution has made a lot of changes in the human body. Development has occurred physically and mentally to adapt to the environment and changes in it. Changes in posture from Walking on four limbs to two legs have been a big milestone in our history. The erect posture has caused a change in the blood circulation and heart functioning because it has a lot of pressure to exert a lot against gravity. In the last two or three decades, the world has developed many machines and equipment to make human life better and easier. Even the development in transport and communication with faster vehicles and internet & mobile phones respectively help us to save our time a lot. Day to day activities and chores require less physical effort nowadays. Many automatic machines help us not to worry about washing dishes or clothes and people can utilise their time and energy in a more productive area. But as a result, we are following a sedentary lifestyle in the modern world. Walking has been replaced by vehicles, and people use walking or cycling as a measure for exercise or work out, not transport. Even small kids have very convenient transportation to and from school to home, lacking chances for the long walking their parents had in their childhood. In such a situation, people started to develop diseases due to their sedentary lifestyle. The list is a big one but the main members among lifestyle disorders are diabetes, hypertension, and thyroid diseases.
Globally, there is an immediate and drastic change in the climate in recent years. To add to this, changes in our diet and lifestyle. From natural ways of agriculture and daily farm fresh food items, we changed into chemical fertilisers for better yield and preserved foods for convenience. In the old urban living, people used to cook with fresh and available ingredients mostly from gardens or from the fields around. Nowadays we check for the recipe on google and order the ingredients online. In such a case, preservatives are a must. In agriculture also, people started crops in a large quantity for selling and they started using chemical fertilisers. In the mid years of this century in India and other such countries, poverty was a big issue. True that chemical fertilisers were needed at the time to get rid of poverty but in the long run it has affected the soil and the body of consumers in a bad way.
In a modern and urban society with less physical activities who eats chemically preserved food items, hypertension has become very common. Hypertension or high blood pressure is a value of pressure against the vessel walls exerted by the blood column in a higher-than-normal amount. It can develop in anyone due to various reasons. But the condition is more seen in elderly people especially obese ones. Most of the cases can be managed by medication and lifestyle modifications. But hypertension is acute and highly dangerous in pregnancy. Blood pressure is highly variable due to hormone changes and changes in the center of gravity. Defective postures and emotional stress can add to it. Any serious or underlying conditions like kidney or liver diseases will cause hypertension. Some women tend to have thyroid diseases during pregnancy leading to hypertension. Some medicines also cause hypertension like steroids or NSAIDs. In women blood pressure in pregnancy varies due to small reasons yet unhealthy lifestyles and habits add to it. These include excessive salt intake, obesity, lack of fiber and green leafy vegetables in the diet, alcohol intake and smoking, excess use of caffeine and other stimulants, sleep deprivation, etc. A family history of hypertension is considered a risk factor along with mental stress.
Blood pressure in pregnancy should be monitored and regulated closely. Hypertension treatment in pregnancy needs medical advice and professional guidance. But women who are prone to the condition can take measures to prevent the condition. These mainly include diet and lifestyle changes. First and foremost, the pregnant woman should be happy and peaceful. In any situation, the pregnant woman should be kept away from physical and emotional stress.
Another preventive measure is to maintain a healthy weight. Normally a woman should gain 10-12 Kg weight in pregnancy, dividing it into three trimesters. Excess weight gain and abnormal fat deposits in the body parts should be avoided. A healthy and nutritious diet in regular intervals should be taken, considering the digestive power. Ayurveda medicines , the ancient Indian holistic and herbal medicinal system advises the pregnant woman to take fresh, warm, and oily food, rich in proteins. Intake of caffeine, alcohol, and other beverages should be cut off. Smoking also should be strictly avoided. A proper and comfortable sleep schedule is compulsory for a healthy pregnancy. Late night sleep will cause severe and acute raises in blood pressure and may lead to fatal complications. It is advised that pregnant women should sleep early at night and wake up early in the morning. Long hours of sleep during the daytime makes the person prone to blockage in the channel walls leading to hypertension. So, in tiredness or any other discomfort, take a short nap only. Regarding the obstructions in channels, regular exercise is a must in pregnancy if not advised otherwise by the doctor.
Unless in complicated pregnancies, regular stretching exercises and mild breathing techniques are helpful to control blood pressure and maintain a healthy pregnancy. In the food, reduce the use of salt and try to eat a balanced diet. Do not eat one food item in excess but include a variety of fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses, and more. High blood pressure diet advises intake of green leaves, barley, ash gourd, carrots & beetroots, ragi, Indian gooseberry, cucumber, and green gram as they are considered good in controlling blood pressure in pregnancy. Avoid constipation with healthy food with fibers & avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Proper and regular bowel movements are needed for the maintenance of blood pressure in pregnancy. Avoiding or limiting food items bad for health is also important in a high blood pressure diet, like junk food, fried items, salted pickles, and carbonated drinks. Doing Yoga and meditation regularly under professional supervision may help manage the blood pressure in pregnancy.