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How to Manage Hypertension
 
 
Diabetes
 
Diabetes mellitus is a clinical syndrome characterises hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) due to absolute or relative deficiency of insulin
The diabetics can be classified into two types...
a) Type 1 or IDDM (Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus) where the body is producing no insulin or there is an absolute dearth of Insulin in the body and this has to be supplemented by external Insulin Injections.
b) Type 2 or NIDDM (Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus)... ie the patients where the pancreas are producing insulins but either the quantity is less or the insulin is not being used properly. These patients are usually treated by various oral drugs.

The Normal Blood Sugar Levels are as under...
Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS) : 80 to 120
Post Prandial (Post meal) (PP) : Less than 180
 
Blood Pressure - The Silent Killer
 

Blood Pressure is the Pressure exerted by the Blood against the walls of the artery. It is normal to have a Blood Pressure but higher than normal values of BP i.e. Hypertension not only increase the Chances of New Disease in the Coronary Arteries but patients with higher values of BP also have higher chances of Restenosis.

So Post Angioplasty patients have to be even more careful in terms of maintaining Normal Blood Pressure Also, high BP patients may have a higher chances of getting a Heart Attack or Stroke.

Blood pressure is always given as these two numbers, the systolic and diastolic pressures. Both are important. When the two measurements are written down, the systolic pressure is the first or top number, and the diastolic pressure is the second or bottom number (for example, 120/80). If your blood pressure is 120/80, you say that it is "120 over 80." Blood pressure changes during the day. It is lowest as you sleep and rises when you get up. It also can rise when you are excited, nervous, or active.

The blood pressure level should be around than 120/8 When the level stays high, 140/9 or higher, you have high blood pressure. With high blood pressure, the heart works harder, your arteries take a beating, and your chances of a stroke, heart attack, and kidney problems are greater.

 
Control Your Diabetes
 
Keeping your blood sugar levels under control is of utmost importance especially if you have undergone an angioplasty because diabetes is one of the most critical risk factors for the "Cause of the CAD" as well as Re-blockage or the "Restenosis" of the Stent post angioplasty.

It is maintained that the Diabetic patients with Uncontrolled Blood Sugar levels have higher chances of Restenosis as compared to the diabetics with controlled blood sugar levels.

A few simple things one can make a part of their lifestyle for better control of diabetics are...
a) Keep your weight under normal limits....
  Obesity is one of the most common cause of uncontrolled diabetes. Keeping your body weight within normal limits does help to control Sugar levels better.
   
b) Exercise regularly....
  Exercise directly as well as indirectly helps you control sugar levels. It is believed that exercise increase the production of Insulin from the pancreas ans also makes, the insulin produced more effective.
   
c) Take your prescribed drugs regularly....
  It is essential that the diabetic patient takes the prescribed medicines, insulins etc. the way recommended by the physician. Any deviation from this will have an immediate effect on the sugar levels.
   
d) Quit smoking and Alcohol....
  Smoking and Alcohol have a very harmful impact on the diabetic patient. They not only result in increased sugar levels but also leads to complications of diabetes like diabetic foot etc.
   
 
Smoking
 
Most people know that cigarette and tabacco smoking increases your risk of lung cancer, but fewer realize that it also greatly increases your risk of heart disease and peripheral vascular disease (disease in the vessels that supply blood to the arms and legs).
  • Research has shown that smoking increases heart rate.
  • Tightens major arteries, and can create irregularities in the timing of heartbeats, all of which make your heart work harder.
  • Smoking also raises blood pressure, which increases the risk of stroke in people who already have high blood pressure.
  • Although nicotine is the main active agent in cigarette smoke, other chemicals and compounds like tar and carbon monoxide are also harmful to your heart in a variety of ways. These chemicals lead to the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries, possibly by injuring the vessel walls.
  • They also affect cholesterol and levels of fibrinogen, which is a blood-clotting material. This increases the risk of a blood clot that can lead to a heart attack.
You can continue Smoking after an Angioplasty only if you like the hospital ceilings. Tobacco in any form is disastrous for your health especially more after you have undergone an angioplasty.

Tobacco is supposed to contain about 4000 harmful chemicals and of these Nicotine is the most notorious one. Nicotine is a habit forming Chemical substance which is harmful for the Heart and the Coronary Arteries. Smoking of Tobacco increases the Heart Rate. Besides, it is a powerful Vasoconstrictor ie it Shrinks or Narrows down the arteries and all these factors lead to increased Blood Pressure or Hypertension. It is also said to make the Blood more sticky ie increase the chances of Clot Formation and hence heart attack.

All these factors are the strong predictors of Coronary Artery Disease and they are also associated with increasing the chances of Restenosis ie Re-blockage at the site of Stenting. So Quitting Smoking will reduce your chances of developing new disease as well as Restenosis.
 
How to Quit Smoking
 
Take a Stepwise approach to Quit Smoking. Lets see what we need to do to Quit Smoking and that too for ever.
STEP 1: PLAN TO QUIT
List down the reasons why you want to quit Smoking. This is important as you need to be convinced that you DO need to quit now. There can be no reason better than the fact that you want to live longer for yourself and your Family etc. Better still is to keep this list at places where you get to see it very often like Fridge door, on top of a TV, pin it up on your office pinboard etc.

STEP 2: DECIDE UPON A QUITTING DATE
You need to decide upon a date from which you are going to quit. The best thing is tell your friends, relatives and family about your plans and that you are quitting from this date. Peer pressure to keep to the commitment helps and makes your will stronger. They will make sure that they remind you about this every time they see you. As the day approaches, identify the factors, people or situations in which you smoke. Start carrying limited no of Sticks along, identify what you would do instead of smoking if you felt the desire.

STEP 3: HANDLING THE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS
The problem with the cigarettes or any form of tobacco is that after some time of consumption, they no longer remain a habit but they become an addiction.

When you are smoking, your body gets used to a certain levels of Nicotine in the blood which is a stimulant and if you Quit Smoking, the Nicotine levels in body go down and there is a Craving for nicotine in the body which is manifested as various symptoms like Headaches, Lack of Concentration, Fatigue, Frustration etc These are called as Withdrawal Symptoms . The best way to handle these is to use external Nicotine Supplements like Nicotine Patches, Nicotine Chewing Gums, Nasal Sprays etc and they take care of the withdrawal symptoms. As the time passes you can slowly taper down the dose of these and over a period of time stop them.

STEP 4 : MAKE SURE YOU QUIT FOREVER
A famous US President said, "Who says quitting smoking is difficult, I have myself done it a number of times".Yes, what is most important is to continue not to smoke forever. The best ways to do it is to develop habits which can replace smoking like Chewing Gums, Popcorns, Drinking lots of water or juices etc Indulge in activities which you like to do like playing some sports, watching TV, playing with kids etc Keep away from the friends, situations where you used to smoke earlier. Avoid falling into this common trap..." One Cigarette wont do any harm"
 
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