LET US TALK ABOUT HYPERTENSION ONCE AGAIN BY AANUOLUWAPO OLUDIRAN-AYOADE

Hypertension is simply high blood pressure (when the blood pressure is too high). It increases the risk of heart, kidney, brain and other diseases.  

RISK FACTORS OF HYPERTENSION

The following can increase the risk of high blood pressure:

1) Eating unhealthy diets (excessive salt consumption, intake of diets high in saturated and trans fat, low intake of vegetables and fruits, low intake of potassium)

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2) Consumption of tobacco, cocaine, amphetamines and alcohol

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3) Lack of physical activity which increases the risk of being overweight
4) Being overweight or obese

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5) Family history of high blood pressure

 

6) Age- the risk of high blood pressure increases with age.

7) High level of stress
8) Chronic conditions like kidney disease, diabetes
9) Pregnancy
10) Obstructive sleep apnea

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11) Certain medications like birth control pills, pain relievers, etc.
12) Congenital diseases like heart defects
13) Thyroid disorders like goitre (abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland)

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SYMPTOMS OF HYPERTENSION
1) Nosebleeds

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2) Shortness of breath

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3) Fatigue

 

4) Serious headaches

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5) Nausea

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6) Vomiting

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7) Chest pain

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8) Dizziness

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9) Irregular heart rhythm

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10) Tinnitus (buzzing/ringing in the ears)

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COMPLICATIONS
OF HYPERTENSION

Uncontrolled and untreated high blood pressure can lead to the following complications:

1) Heart failure (this happens when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to other vital organs)

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2) Heart attack (this happens when the blood supply to the heart is blocked and heart muscle cells die from lack of oxygen)

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3) Stroke

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4) Alzheimer’s disease

5) Rupturing of blood vessels in the eyes
6) Enlargement of an artery which can burst and lead to internal bleeding and stroke
7) Narrowing of one or more arteries that carry blood to the kidneys
8) Severe chest pain
9) Irregular heartbeats that can lead to sudden death

 

DIAGNOSIS OF HYPERTENSION

High blood pressure can be diagnosed with the use of sphygmomanometer.

Blood pressure is classified as follows by the American Heart Association:

1) Normal blood pressure= 120mmHg/80mmHg ( systolic is 120mmHg and diastolic is 80mmHg)

 

2) Elevated blood pressure= >120mmHg/< 80mmHg ( systolic is greater than 120mmHg and diastolic is less than 80mmHg

3) Stage I high blood pressure= 130-139mmHg/80-89mmHg( systolic is between 130-139mmHg and diastolic is between 80-89mmHg)

 

4) Stage II high blood pressure= >140mmHg/>90mmHg (systolic is 140mmHg or greater than 140mmHg and diastolic is 90mmHg or greater than 90mmHg)

 

PREVENTION OF HYPERTENSION

The following are ways by which hypertension can be prevented.

1) Eat healthy diets which contain fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry and low-fat dairy food

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2) Reduce salt intake
3) Low intake of saturated fat and trans fat

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4) Regular intake of diets containing potassium

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5) Maintain healthy weight

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6) Increase physical activity
7) Reduce alcohol intake
8) Avoid the intake of tobacco

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9) Manage stress by getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, breathing deeply and meditating

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10) Practise slow and deep breathing
11) Take food supplements like fibres, minerals, folic acid, garlic and cocoa.

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MANAGEMENT OF HYPERTENSION

For people with high blood pressure, the following can be done to control and manage it

1) Adopt healthy habits like eating healthy foods, losing excess weight, regular physical activity, reducing alcohol intake and avoiding the intake of tobacco
2) Take your medications regularly and properly
3) Maintain regular visits to the doctor

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4) Manage stress physically and mentally by sleeping more, relaxing your body and mind and maintain good relationships

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5) Check your blood pressure regularly

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6) Treat and manage other health conditions