Manohar Jaiswal is a patient of hypertension.
After the lockdown, he consulted Dr Shailendra Prasad Kushwada, Consultant Physician and Cardiologist at Norvic, regarding his medicines for blood pressure.
“I have been taking medicines for the last four years. Since the hospital’s Out Patient Department is closed, I consulted my doctor over the phone,” informs Jaiswal.
As per the doctor’s suggestion, Jaiswal has been taking his medicine every night, decreasing salt consumption and engaging in physical exercises to maintain his blood pressure. He says, “I have also been checking my pressure at home, which is normal. But having said that, I can’t discontinue my medicine without consulting my doctor.”
Dr Kushwada echoes Jaiswal and says chronic patients should not stop medicine without consulting doctors even if one’s pressure is normal. He suggests such patients to continue the medicine(s) they were prescribed before the lockdown.
Senior Consultant Cardiologist Dr Prakash Raj Regmi also stresses that patients of blood pressure should continue their medicine even if their pressure is maintained as it is a chronic disease.
For patients whose pressure keeps fluctuating, both cardiologists recommend consulting their doctors to either reduce or increase the dose of medicine(s) that they are taking.
They share patients of pressure normally have a blood pressure machine at home, which they can use to check pressure themselves and share the result with their doctors to get needed medicines. “Patients who don’t have a pressure gauge or can’t tell their pressure from the gauge, we suggest them to visit nearest pharmacies to get their pressure checked.
Those who can use the gauge, we request them to send their blood pressure result and photos of medicine (if they are taking any) through Viber chat,” shared Dr Regmi.
Dr Kushwada informs that blood pressure from 110/70 mmHg to 130/90 mmHg can be taken as normal, though the American Heart Association’s cardio guidelines state 120/80 mmHg as normal.
He says, “People showing symptoms of high blood pressure, or whose pressure level reaches urgency level — 160/100 mmHg, we suggest them to visit hospital Emergency for immediate treatment.”
Dr Regmi says, “Usually patients of high blood pressure do not show symptoms, but sometimes 10 per cent of patients in cases of extreme low or high blood pressure show symptoms like dizziness, headache, shortness of breath and chest pain. In such cases, they should visit hospitals as the Emergency are open in many hospitals.” A patient of high blood pressure from Kirtipur Bikash Shakya, 40, was worried when he experienced chest pain. “I have been taking medicines for four years. But on April 24, I felt a kind of pain in my chest. I thought it was because of my blood pressure.”
He consulted a doctor through Teleconsulation Service, an online health service of Star Hospital, Sanepa on April 25. He was assured the pain was not caused by the pressure but due to improper sleep posture.
Like Shakya there are many blood pressure patients consulting cardiologists over phone or Internet. Dr Regmi and Dr Khuswada individually are receiving up to 10 phone calls on average per day from such patients.
They both suggest pressure patients to be careful regarding their diet, physical activity and mental health.
“Fruit consumption is beneficial to fight coronavirus and balance pressure level,” shared Dr Kushwada adding, “Adopting a healthy lifestyle like doing yoga, physical exercises, short walks even within one’s own compound will boost immunity.
Physical exercise helps in proper circulation of the blood which will help in maintaining blood pressure.”
Defining blood pressure as a disease caused by many factors including lifestyle, Dr Regmi suggests avoiding junk food and high amount of salt. He stresses on doing exercises and yoga in the morning or evening.
“People can continue their professional work or engage in activities to keep the mind fresh and help maintain blood pressure,” he shares.
He suggests accessing online health services in case of any health issues during the lockdown.