High blood pressure or hypertension is simply when the blood pressure is too high. Blood pressure is the force the blood exerts against the walls of the blood vessels.
High blood pressure generally develops over many years. Blood pressure is expressed using two measurements, the systolic (maximum pressure) and diastolic (minimum pressure). 
Normal adult blood pressure is defined as a blood pressure of 120mmHg when the heart beats (systolic) and a blood pressure of 80mmHg when the heart relaxes (diastolic) i.e. 120/80 mmHg.
 According to World Health Organization Hypertension is diagnosed if, when it is measured on two different days, the systolic blood pressure readings on both days is ≥140 mmHg and/or the diastolic blood pressure readings on both days is ≥90 mmHg.


SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

There are no specific signs and symptoms for hypertension, according to WHO most people with high blood pressure are usually unaware of the problem, although in some cases, a person may experience morning headaches, irregular heart rhythms, vision changes, etc. and in severe cases, hypertension can cause fatigue, nausea, vomiting, muscle tumors, etc.
It is therefore advisable to have your blood pressure evaluated by a health professional regularly.


RISK FACTORS

There are many factors that puts a person at risk of having high blood pressure, they include;


  •  Age; the tendency of developing a high blood pressure increases with age, the older one gets the higher the chances. However, children can also develop a high blood pressure  
  • Being over weight or obese; when there is presence of excess body fat, the heart works harder to pump blood and oxygen in the body, and this can stress the heart and blood vessels.
  • Physical inactivity ( i.e. Not being physically active ); physical activity helps in keeping the heart and blood vessel strong and healthy, and in maintaining a healthy weight which can in turn help lower blood pressure. 
  • Stress; to much stress may also contribute to and encourage behaviours such as poor diet, physical inactivity, smoking e.t.c that increases blood pressure.
  • Unhealthy diets; such as, excessive consumption of salts, high intake of foods with saturated fats, low intake of fruits and vegetables.
  • Consumption of tobacco and alcohol; too much consumption of alcohol ( women should not have more than one drink in a day while men should not have more than two drinks per day) can raise the blood pressure. Tobacco use/smoking can cause damage to the blood vessels.
  • Presence of certain co-existing diseases; such as, kidney disease, diabetes e.t.c.

Some of these factors are. modifiable while some are non- modifiable.


How can I Prevent High Blood Pressure?

It can be prevented by having a healthy lifestyle, such as;

Healthy diet/ Eating habit; limiting the amount of sodium (salt) intake, eat foods low in fat as well as plenty whole grains, vegetables and fruits.


Maintaining a Healthy Weight; avoid being overweight or obese.


Stress management; relaxing and managing stress can help improve the health and help lower high blood pressure. 


Exercising regularly; this also helps to maintain a healthy weight and lower high blood pressure.


Avoiding smoking and too much intake of alcohol;


Regular monitoring of blood pressure; this can be done at home by using a home blood pressure monitor or by regular visits to the doctor for check up.


2 Comments

  1. Great article .. thanks alot Doc...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lovely, seems my endless search for a reliable health article has been solved.
    Thanks DrPHB Nwodo for the information.

    ReplyDelete

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