Treatment of high blood pressure in children

Just because a child has hypertension does not mean that he or she will immediately trigger life-threatening problems. He is young and has his whole life ahead of him. So we will have to get down to work to prevent that pesky cardiovascular risk factor called high blood pressure (HTA) stop chasing our son.

And the first thing that they are going to recommend us, while we look for the cause of HT, is the most difficult: non-pharmacological measures. Because taking a pill and that's it, it's easy. But we have a whole life ahead of us, and we will have to correct some habits first that we already imagined that they were anything but healthy. These measures are basically four:

1. Weight loss. Obesity has been shown to be directly related to hypertension in children. Also that weight loss leads to an improvement in blood pressure control in hypertensive children and adolescents, regardless of other factors. So, in a regulated way, if we are overweight we have to lose a few kilos. I say in a regulated way, because that of radical Dunkan type diets or similar, never in children. Always diets prescribed by your pediatrician or specialist in child endocrinology.

2. Physical exercise. Sustained aerobic exercise is associated with improvement in blood pressure control in children and adolescents with essential HTN. As a general approach, group and outdoor activities should be encouraged in schools and combat sedentary lifestyle (time in front of television, computer or video games). So, if your child is one of those who can't take their eyes off their smartphone or tablet, at least download an application that encourages them to exercise.

3. Dietary modifications. You must follow a healthy and varied diet, rich in fruits, vegetables and cereals and, above all, reducing salt intake. The salt in the world is a problem derived from not seasoning food well over many years and in certain cultures. It is a flavor enhancer, but at high doses what it does is change the taste of the dishes, and in the end everything tastes salty. There are entire families who do not know the true taste of food. It is time to change and re-educate the palate. To remove the salt shaker from the table. To show the world that we are so salty that we do not need even a bit more sodium chloride in our body. It is also recommended avoid excessive consumption of refined sugars, soft drinks and saturated fat, that is, buns, sweets and bread with sauces. Do not be surprised that in this you already knew that you were passing ...

4. Stress reduction. You're a child? So why are you stressed? We have forgotten that childhood is to be enjoyed so, for a moment, let's bury exams and competitions. Let's give the 'pause' five minutes and rethink how we want to remember the best years of our lives. Does your child relax this or that? Let him do it. Let him ride a bike. Let him play a musical instrument. Let him write. Feeling comfortable has also been shown to improve blood pressure levels. But it is not worth cheating. It is useless for your child to come and say that the most comfortable he feels is watching TV, playing with the Play and eating chocolate palm trees. That is not worth it.

The next step is the pharmacological. And yes, there are medications that help control hypertension, but that is already a matter for the pediatrician, nephrologist or child cardiologist. And always remember that, if your child does not comply with the non-pharmacological measures, the antihypertensive can do only little.

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