Beware mums! Hypertension and diabetes are proving to be India's two silent killers

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As the numbers of urban women and men suffering from hypertension and diabetes escalate, so does the need to change our lifestyles. Here's how.

Are you having a hard time balancing work and life? Do you often feel fatigued and have weight issues? Well then, its time you get yourself checked for hypertension and high blood pressure, India's two silent killers.

A recent study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reveals that "Rates of diabetes and hypertension are high among middle-aged and elderly people across all geographic measures and sociodemographic groups in India."

6.1 percent women have diabetes, 20 percent have hypertension

In fact, it also shows a division of hypertension and high blood pressure among men and women in India.

that the "Overall prevalence of diabetes was 6.1 percent among women and 6.5 percent among men; for hypertension, 20.0 percent among women and 24.5 percent among men."

Ashish Awasthi, co-author and faculty at the Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar, India, was also quoted as explaining in the release.

“Diagnosis of hypertension and diabetes is straightforward but mostly untapped due lack of awareness and regular medical checkups. India needs to focus on these two silent killers as well as other non-communicable diseases to reduce the burden of preventable premature morbidity and mortality," he shared.

"If unchecked, we will see a lot more victims of these two diseases in next two decades,” Awasthi added.

These findings were first published in the US journal JAMA Internal Medicine and unfortunately have not come as a shock.

Most urban women seem to agree that pressures from demanding jobs and erratic eating habits as well as lack of sleep couple be possible causes.

Urban Indian women are not surprised!

Malini Deshpande (name changed), a Delhi-based media professional shares, "I spend about 12 hours on work on a regular basis. Out of which, five to six hours are spent reporting on the field. I often forget to eat on time. And am not the only one with this kind of routine. Most of my friends also go through the same, so am not surprised that these numbers have escalated."

She added that she was recently asked by her doctor to get a proper health checkup owing to her constant weight gain.

"My weight has increased substantially in the past two years and my doctor also suspects hypertension. I will go for a checkup when I get the time," she adds.

Deshpande is not only, as she said. There are many urbanites who are going through the same 9-11 routine, wherein they also spend time travelling from office to work and vice versa.

The study also reiterates that urban women and men are suffering more from hypertension and diabetes.

"Household wealth and urban location were positively associated with both conditions, and the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension among middle-aged adults in the poorest households in rural areas was also high (5.9 percent had diabetes and 30 percent had hypertension)," the study revealed.

So how can you lower the risk of diabetes and hypertension? Well, there are natural ways to take on these two silent killers.

5 ways to naturally lower the risk of hypertension and diabetes

  • Exercise regularly. By getting into the habit of regular exercise and losing fat from the body you can lower your blood pressure and resultantly, hypertension. By just indulging in 30 minutes of exercise your blood pressure comes down by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Strength training can also help you bring those odd numbers down.
  • Lower intake of salt and sugar. Ideally, you should not consume more than one tablespoon (1,500 mg) of sodium per day, especially if you want to keep your blood pressure down. So try to cook at home, read food labels and add other spices instead of salt to adjust to your taste. Similarly, lower your sugar intake to tackle diabetes.
  • Divide your meals. When you sit down for your meals, imaging the plate with four to five divisions. In each division you should include proteins, green vegetables, grains and even carbohydrates. Opt for brown rice instead of white and eat more proteins and green vegetables. Essentially try to eat a meal that looks more green.
  • Cut back on caffeine. Intake of coffee and tea can raise your blood pressure by as much as 10 mm Hg. You can also check how much caffeine affects your body. Take a cup of coffee and check your blood pressure after 30 minutes. If it rises above 5 to 10 mm Hg, then you should immediately stop consuming coffee.
  • Monitor your blood pressure and diabetes. In order to understand your body, you should first monitor it properly. Make sure that you take your blood pressure as well as diabetic readings on a daily basis and keep a log for reference. This will also help you analyse if certain foods do not agree with your body.

At a time when competition is high, jobs are demanding, stress and lifestyle diseases can creep into our homes. So it's best to take some time off to practice gratitude and meditation. Both of which are also essential to keep the body happy and healthy.

Also read: These health problems may be linked to your blood type