What most Nigerians do not know about hypertension

Blood pressure is the pressure exerted against the walls of the arteries and veins as the heart pumps blood.

Blood pressure is normal to every human; be it child, youth or adult. However, something goes wrong when the pressure at which blood is being pumped becomes too high. In such situations, a person is said to have high blood pressure.

That said, high blood pressure is when the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries becomes too high. High blood pressure is synonymous to hypertension.

Blood pressure readings are written as systolic blood pressure / diastolic blood pressure: for instance, 120/80 mmHg.

Systolic blood pressure – is the blood pressure when the heart contracts, or pumps blood.

Diastolic blood pressure – is the blood pressure between heartbeats, i.e. when the heart relaxes or rests.

Stages of High Blood Pressure.

Normal blood pressure for adults should not exceed 120/80 mmHg, it should be between 90/60 to 120/80. Anything above this is considered abnormal.

There are three categories :

1. Prehypertension : Blood pressure readings between 120/80 and 139/89 fall in this category.

2. Stage 1 high blood pressure : Blood pressure readings between 140/90 and 159/99 are categorized here.

3. Stage 2 high blood pressure : Blood pressure readings between 160/100 or higher fall in this category.

People can have high blood pressure for a long time without them knowing. However, symptoms may begin to show if the blood pressure increases. Some of the symptoms are; headache, feelings of dizziness, nausea, etc.

Categories of High Blood Pressure.

There are two categories of high blood pressure, based on causes, and they are:

1. Primary high blood pressure – it’s the most common type, and no cause has been found for it yet.

2. Secondary high blood pressure – it is usually caused by a medical condition such as kidney disease, or a certain medication the individual is taking.

Causes of High Blood Pressure.

Some of the causes of high blood pressure are:

1. Age : The older you get, the higher your blood pressure gets, and the higher the risk of having high blood pressure.

2. Ethnicity

3. Obesity

4. High salt intake

5. Too much alcohol intake

6. Lack of physical activity

7. Diabetes

8. Smoking

9. Diets high in fat

10. Family history.

The risk of stroke or cardiovascular disease from high blood pressure can be reduced by making necessary lifestyle changes. It is also advised that you check your blood pressure regularly even if you do not have high blood pressure.

Question: What effect do you think the economy is having on the blood pressure of Nigerians? Feel free to share your comments in the section below. You can also ask follow up questions here.

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