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How can I keep my blood pressure under control?

Q: I am 29 years old, I am 165 cm tall and I weigh 86 kg. I have a problem of hypertension from last two months. I feel very weak at times, as if I don't have any strength. I think this is due to hypertension. My BP is 140/160. When I take Aten 50, I have no weakness. I underwent the lipid profile test, which was normal. What all tests, do I need to undergo to know the reason behind hypertension? I don't take much tension. I don't smoke or drink. If I keep on taking Aten 50, will I get addicted to it? Can I control BP by regular exercise and yoga?

A:You are very much overweight and if you gradually decrease your intake & increase exercise you can safely & slowly reduce your weight by 10% every 3-6 months till your body mass Index (weight in kg/ height in meters square) is around 23. You can check for the DASH eating plan for hypertension on the Internet. With weight loss, exercise and yoga your BP will reduce significantly and it is not very uncommon for people to be able to come off the drugs (there is no addiction of the body to your medicines. On the other hand if hypertension is left uncontrolled initially it produces more permanent changes increasing hypertension). If Atenelol is working well, then there is nothing to worry about. Otherwise there are lots of other drugs your doctor may choose from for a young person like you. As for cause of high BP, I think weight is the most important cause for you. However secondary causes can be ruled out by the following tests - serum Potassium, ESR, Urine examination, Serum Creatinine, ultrasound of abdomen to rule out renal artery stenosis/ suprarenal mass and 24 hours urinary metanephrine. In most cases hypertension has no detectable cause.

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