Do you know that many Nigerians are suffering from Hypertension today? Do you know many more dying from this deadly disease which is also called High Blood Pressure?
Lagos doctor & Consultant Cardiologist, Dr Lasisi Gbolade Taiwo told City People a few weeks back that many people over 40 should be aware of this deadly disease which shows no sign. He said that Hypertension has been on the increase for some time now, and many don’t know.
“It is believed that Blood “pressure increases with age” he revealed. It starts picking by 40. A Quarter of all adults all over the world are hypertensive. What makes the incidence of Hypertension, prevalent in Nigeria we asked him? “A lot of reasons,” he explained. “Majorly Diet, Salt Intake, Family History, Stress, Urban Life, Obesity. All these will contribute to Hypertension. So, everybody above 40 should have their blood pressure checked at least twice a week, and if you are not hypertensive you should at least screen for Hypertension frequently, meaning make sure you do your blood pressure, on 3 consecutive occasions. Do it on 3 consecutive occasions every week, if you are more than 40, because High Blood Pressure or Hypertension will not show any symptoms. So you can catch it, you can treat it and prevent the complications”.
For those who don’t take the issue seriously, let’s tell you a bit more about Hypertension which is another name for High Blood Pressure. It can lead to severe health complications and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and sometimes death.
Let’s also tell you about Blood pressure, which is the force that a person’s blood exerts against the walls of their blood vessels. This pressure depends on the resistance of the blood vessels and how hard the heart has to work.
Doctors say Hypertension is a Primary Risk Factor for Cardiovascular disease, including stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and aneurysm. So, keeping blood pressure under control is vital for preserving health and reducing the risk of these dangerous conditions.
How does one keep the Blood pressure in check you may wonder?
(1) REGULAR PHYSICAL EXERCISE
Current guidelines recommend that all people, including those with Hypertension, engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, aerobic exercise every week, or 75 minutes a week of high-intensity exercise.
People should exercise on at least 5 days of the week.
Examples of suitable activities are walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming.
(2) STRESS REDUCTION
Avoiding or learning to manage stress can help a person control blood pressure. Meditation, warm baths, yoga, and simply going on long walks are relaxation techniques that can help relieve stress.
People should avoid consuming alcohol, recreational drugs, tobacco, and junk food to cope with stress, as these can contribute to elevated blood pressure and the complications of hypertension. Smoking can increase blood pressure. Avoiding or quitting smoking reduces the risk of hypertension, serious heart conditions, and other health issues.
People can use specific medications to treat hypertension. Doctors will often recommend a low dose at first. Antihypertensive medications will usually only have minor side effects.
Eventually, people with hypertension will need to combine 2 or more drugs to manage their blood pressure.
Medications for hypertension include: diuretics, including thiazides, chlorthalidone, and indapamide
beta-blockers and alpha-blockers, calcium-channel blockers, central agonists, peripheral adrenergic inhibitor, vasodilators, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers
The choice of medication depends on the individual and any underlying medical conditions they may experience.
Anyone on antihypertensive medications should carefully read the labels of any Over-The-Counter (OTC) drugs they may also take, such as decongestants. These OTC drugs may interact with the medications they are taking to lower their blood pressure.
People can prevent high blood pressure by following a heart-healthy diet.
(5) REDUCING SALT INTAKE
People’s average salt intake is between 9 grams (g) and 12 g per day in most countries around the world.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommend reducing intake to under 5 trusted Source a day to help decrease the risk of hypertension and related health problems.
Lowering salt intake can benefit people both with and without hypertension.
(6) MODERATING ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
Moderate to excessive alcohol consumption can increase blood pressure.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.
Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. A blood pressure reading is given in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). It has two numbers.
Top number (systolic pressure). The first, or upper, number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
Bottom number (diastolic pressure). The second, or lower, number measures the pressure in your arteries between beats.
You can have high blood pressure for years without any symptoms. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your doctor to control it.
Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.
A few people with high blood pressure may have headaches, shortness of breath or nosebleeds, but these signs and symptoms aren’t specific and usually don’t occur until high blood pressure has reached a severe or life-threatening stage.
You’ll likely have your blood pressure taken as part of a routine doctor’s appointment.
Ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading at least every two years starting at age 18. If you’re age 40 or older, or you’re 18 to 39 with a high risk of high blood pressure, ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading every year.
Blood pressure generally should be checked in both arms to determine if there’s a difference. It’s important to use an appropriate-sized arm cuff.
Your doctor will likely recommend more frequent readings if you’ve already been diagnosed with high blood pressure or have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Children age 3 and older will usually have blood pressure measured as a part of their yearly checkups.