World Hypertension Day: How You Can Keep The Time Bomb Disease In Check

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As the world celebrates hypertension day this day, Wednesday, May 17, people are reminded of how fatal the disease can be if left unchecked. Also, know as high blood pressure, HBP, it is a leading cause of stroke, diabetes, kidney disorders, cardiovascular disease foetal and maternal death in pregnancy, dementia, sexual dysfunction and sudden death if left untreated over a prolonged period.

Hypertension is described as a condition in which the arterial blood pressure rises to high level from the normal level (120/80mmHg).

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Symptoms of severe Hypertension

The symptoms of hypertension are usually conspicuous but awareness can help individuals to recognise the signs and prevent it or get medical treatment. Experts have discovered that it usually goes unnoticed as it diminishes the body. That is why prevention is the only key. It includes:

  • dizziness, tiredness, weakness
  • blurred vision
  • Early morning headaches
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Buzzing in the ear
  • Nausea, confusion, anxiety
  • Chest pain, muscle tremor, breathlessness

Hypertension is a lifestyle-related health issue. The disease has become very common among the population – affecting both old and young living a hazardous and stressful lifestyle.

Lifestyle to prevent Hypertension

Careless lifestyle is a major reason why millions of people suffer from hypertension. In Nigeria, it is discovered that 7 out of 10 citizens are suffering from the ‘silent killer.’ But certain habit

Good food

Avoiding diet packed with calories, fat, sugar and salt will help lower your high blood pressure to the barest minimum. Cutting down on salt content is a must to control hypertension. Diet rich in potassium and magnesium, such as fruits and vegetables. Then consumption of fish oils with omega-3 fatty acids are extremely good.

Exercise

Physical activity is highly imperative for every individual, but not necessarily a vigorous exercise regime. A 20-30 minute daily exercise is enough to stay fit and keep high blood pressure at bay and reduces the chance of developing blood pressure by up to 40-50 percent.

Weight Management

Overweight individuals are prone to hypertension because they tend to have disrupted breathing during sleep which causes the blood pressure to rise. Also, people should keep a tab on the size of their waistline since too much flab around this area increases the risk of high blood pressure. The normal waist size of men should be 40 inches and that of women should be 35 inches.

Smoking and Alcohol

The habit of smoking and excess alcohol consumption leads to constriction of the blood vessel and results in HBP. Such individuals are even more at risk if they don’t get a medical checkup to know their hypertensive status.

Stress Management

Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, flooding blood with chemicals that accelerate heart rate and narrows the blood vessels, causing the blood pressure to rise. For those living sedentary lifestyle such sitting in the office chair for hours, it would be beneficial to get up every hour and walk around, take a couple of deep breathing and chart with colleagues to ease up the stress.

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But more than living a good lifestyle, also go for routine medical checkups to keep a tag on your health. According to a medical expert, If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, the aforementioned habit can help in managing it, but medication may be required.

Since blood pressure medicines don’t cure hypertension but help to control it, patients are to be taking the medicine for the rest of their life according to their doctor’s advice.