In the summer, heat and humidity can be dangerous for adults with hypertension. Here is what you need to know to protect yourselves.
The occurrence of hypertension, which is one of the most important health problems today, increases frequently. This insidious disease is seen in one out of three adults in Turkey. As it does not have any symptoms, it is described as the “silent killer.” If this condition is not taken under control, it can cause some other deadly problems like renal impairment, cerebral hemorrhage or heart attack. When summer heat, which may harden the body balance of normally healthy people, combines with excessive moisture, the alarm bells start to ring for patients with hypertension.
In summer, the body loses salts such as sodium and potassium, which are vital, and water due to sweating and vasodilation. Then, blood pressure also decreases. Indeed, it is possible to spend the summer months healthily for patients with hypertension with some precautions. Acibadem Kadikoy Hospital Cardiologist Dr. Ulaankhuu Batgerel gave the 10 golden rules that should be paid attention to in hot weather.
Eight glasses of water
The body starts to sweat in order to prevent the negative affects of hot weather. As dehydration in the body increases, serious hypotension can be seen in patients with hypertension with the effect of diuretics used to regulate the blood pressure. As a result of it, people can faint and develop some important problems like renal dysfunction. Do not neglect to drink eight glasses (two liters) of water at least.
Smoking reduces the efficiency of the anti-oxidant substances that the body needs and disrupts the stretching capacity of the vessels. Low consumption of alcohol also reduces blood pressure with the effect of relaxing the vessels. However, if the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption increases and smoking comes with this consumption, blood pressure increases.
Risky hours outside
If it is possible, do not go outside between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when sunlight reaches the earth at the steepest angle during the summer months. If you stay under the sun during these hours, blood pressure decreases thanks to the astringent effect of hot on the veins and your fluid loss increases due to sweating.
Avoid tea, coffee
Especially in summer months, you should restrain from consuming tea and coffee because of their diuretic effects. You can drink one-two cups of tea and one cup of coffee a day.
Sports at night
Exercise is vital for cardiovascular health. However, exercises should be performed regularly, at the right time, and in sufficient quantities for a lifetime. Especially in summer, these rules are very important. Hypertension medications with diuretic effects are added to the loss of fluid in the body caused by sweating while exercising in hot weather. Therefore, you should avoid doing sports between 10 p.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun comes upright and pay attention to do your exercises in the evening hours and two hours after a meal.
Hot or cold shower?
Cold water shrinks and narrows the veins, resulting in increased blood pressure. If your blood pressure is under control and you are taking your medication regularly, it is okay to take a shower with cold water. However, if you have uncontrolled blood pressure, a cold shower is not recommended because it will increase your blood pressure values even further. In addition, if you are taking medication and doing intense sports, you lose more fluid. If you do not get enough liquid and have a hot shower, your blood pressure values may decrease too much.
If you have to go out, choose cotton and light clothes with air permeability against sweating. Since the feet are one of the most sweaty areas, shoes that are suitable for summer and which can get air will be the right choice. Do not forget to protect your head with a hat. Use creams that contain the appropriate protective factors for your skin.
Foods with fiber, pulp
Since the summer months are also holiday months, the diet of patients with hypertension can be disrupted, convenience foods and foods with extended shelf-life (salted) consumption increases. But these foods have too much salt. This causes water and sodium to be kept in the body, resulting in increased blood pressure. In the summer months, wheat and oat bran, fruits (fresh, dried, boiled, cooked) and such as foods with fiber and pulp which are easy to digest like green leafy vegetables should be consumed. Instead of animal proteins, prefer vegetable proteins. It will help both blood pressure control and intestinal health.
In the summer, physician controls are often disrupted due to long-term holidays. As a result, especially in elderly patients who use multiple medicines and have more than one chronic disease, side effects may develop and serious decreases or increases in blood salt levels may occur. Therefore, if you use more than one medication, including diuretics, and have a blood pressure-related kidney problem or other chronic diseases, you should visit your doctor every month.
Remember to take your medication and blood pressure monitor with you on a long-term journey or during holidays.
Source: Daily Sabah