Hypertension and High Blood Pressure
Also known as high blood pressure, a common trend these days amongst young and middle aged adults is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the artery is elevated.
High blood pressure is blood pressure that is 140/90 mm Hg or above each time it is taken at the hospital or at home randomly with readings always more than 135/85 mm Hg ( sustained at this level).
If your blood pressure is always in this range you will normally be offered treatment to bring the pressure down, particularly if you have:
- A high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases
- An existing cardiovascular disease
- Damage to the heart or kidney (organ damage) due to high blood pressure.
Though the exact causes of hypertension are usually unknown, there are several factors that have been highly associated with the condition. These include:
- Obesity or being overweight
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Lack of physical activity
- High levels of salt intake (sodium sensitivity).
- Insufficient calcium, potassium, and magnesium consumption
- Vitamin D deficiency
- High levels of alcohol consumption
- Medicines such as birth control pills
- Genetics and a family history of hypertension
- Chronic kidney disease
- Adrenal and thyroid problems or tumors
A one-off blood pressure reading that is high does not mean that you have ‘high blood pressure’ you must have at least three or more different readings over a period of time that are high. Your blood pressure varies throughout the day. It may be high for a short time if you are anxious, stressed, or have just been exercising.
There are 2 types of hypertension,
1. Primary Hypertension; also known as essential hypertension, the cause of this is usually unknown.
2. Secondary Hypertension; this occurs due to other conditions, for example, certain kidney or hormone problems can cause high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is usually without symptom and can only be detected when you have your blood pressure checked. Therefore, everyone should have regular blood pressure checks. Extremely high blood pressure may lead to some symptoms, however, and these include: Severe headaches, Fatigue or confusion, Dizziness, Nausea, Problems with vision, Chest pains, Breathing problems, Irregular heartbeat, Blood in the urine.
High blood pressure is a risk factor for developing a cardiovascular disease (such as a heart attack or stroke), and kidney damage, sometime in the future. If you have high blood pressure, over the years it may do some damage to your arteries and put a strain on your heart. In general, the higher your blood pressure, the greater the health risks, but, high blood pressure is just one of several possible risk factors for developing a cardiovascular disease.
The main goal of treatment for hypertension is to lower blood pressure to less than 140/90 – or even much less in some groups such as people with diabetes, and people with chronic kidney diseases. Treating hypertension is important for reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart failure.
There are two ways in which blood pressure can be lowered:
- Modifications to lifestyle (weight, exercise, diet, salt, caffeine and alcohol), if any of these can be improved upon.
– LIFESTYLE TREATMENTS TO LOWER HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Ø Lose weight if you are overweight
Ø Regular physical activity e.g brisk walking, swimming, dancing etc.
Ø Eat a healthy diet
Ø Have a low salt intake
Ø Restrict your number of caffeine drinks
Ø Drink alcohol in moderation
Ø Lifestyle – in summary
– TREATMENT WITH MEDICATION
Medication to lower blood pressure is usually advised for:
· All people who have a blood pressure that remains at 160/100 mm Hg or above after a trial of any relevant lifestyle changes.
· People with blood pressure that remains at 140/90 mm Hg or above after a trial of any relevant lifestyle changes AND who have:
o Diabetes; or
o An existing cardiovascular disease; or
o A 2 in 10 risk or more of developing a cardiovascular disease within the next 10 years.
· People with a blood pressure of 130/80 mm Hg or more who have certain diseases. For example, people who have certain complications from diabetes, people who have had a recent heart attack, stroke or Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) – sometimes called a mini-stroke. Also, some people with certain chronic (ongoing) kidney diseases.
Some supplements for a healthy heart include;
Herbal teas that you can take. If you are on any medication, we advice that you consult your Doctor or Pharmacist first.
There are also handy blood pressure monitors you can have at home to keep track of your blood pressure and they do not require a specialist to operate them;
On Thursday the 17th of May was globally marked as “WORLD HYPERTENSION DAY” people around the world were encouraged to be more conscious of their blood pressure and to maintain a healthy heart.
As part of the celebration MEGACARE PHARMACY at both our Ikeja and Awolowo branches offered 5% discount on all blood pressure monitors and are currently still running free blood pressure checking, counseling on lifestyle modifications and health tips.
Hurry now to any of our branches at;
1, Isaac John, Ikeja GRA, Lagos State.
96, Awolowo road, Ikoyi, Lagos State.
MEGACARE…… A HEALTHIER YOU
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