Hypertension
Hypertension
High Blood Pressure (HBP) is a disorder, not a disease. It can be controlled with proper diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and proper medication.

Hypertension or High Blood Pressure (HBP) is when your blood pressure, the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high.

According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 1 in every 3 U.S. adults have high blood pressure. Surprisingly one-third (1/3) of U.S adults don’t even know they have it. No wonder this condition has long been called “the silent killer”.

Hypertension is a major risk factor for stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and kidney failure. Moreover, when it exists with obesity, smoking, high blood cholesterol or diabetes, the risk of heart attack or stroke increases several times.

In addition, high blood pressure can occur in both children and adults but people over age 35 are mostly affected.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, people who do not develop this disorder by age 55 have 90% chance of developing it at some point in their life later.

High blood pressure is commonly found in African Americans, middle-aged and elderly people, obese people, heavy drinkers and women taking birth control pills.

Although many people become hypertensive as they get older, some things like proper diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, proper medication regular check-up can go a long way to prevent and improve it.

You can also read Common symptoms, causes, and factors that lead to hypertension

How do I check my blood pressure level?

Having hypertension is not usually something that you feel or notice. It does not tend to produce obvious signs or symptoms.

So, the best way to know if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure checked by your doctor or health specialist.

When you visit a doctor for a check, they will take your blood pressure using an inflatable bag (cuff) that goes around your arm.

It is usually joined to a device that measures the pressure. Your doctor can also use an automatic device with sensors and a digital display to check you.

How often should I visit a doctor for check-up?

Adults who are healthy and are over 40 years should go for a check-up at least once every 5 years.

If you’re at an increased risk of high blood pressure, you should have your blood pressure checked more often, ideally more than once a year. Having this done is easy and could save your life.

However, Blood pressure can vary at different times of the day. Sometimes it can even go up just because someone is taking it, so it’s important to have an accurate measure of your blood pressure. So know what your blood pressure should be.

Aside from Seeing a doctor, How else can I get tested?

Blood pressure tests can also be carried out at home using your own blood pressure monitor.

Like 24-hour or ambulatory monitoring, this can give a better reflection of your blood pressure.

It can also allow you to monitor your condition more easily in the long term.
You can buy a variety of low-cost monitors so you can test your blood pressure at home or while you’re out and about.

Measure your blood pressure twice a day, ideally in the morning and the evening, while you’re sitting down.

Each time take 2 readings, 1 minute apart. Continue to measure your blood pressure twice a day for 7 days.

Your doctor will use this information to work out your average blood pressure.

It’s important to make sure you buy and use equipment that has been properly tested. Not every equipment available in medical supply stores today function to full capacity or provide you with an accuracy of result/s. Therefore the key is to use reliable equipment for your testing.

Where can I get a Blood Pressure Monitor for myself?

You can buy your home testing kit or blood pressure monitor from pharmacies, medical supply stores or online stores (such as Soamazingproducts and Healthproductsblog) but as mentioned earlier, make sure they are reliable brands like (Annsky, Yamay, Kiloid, Lovia etc.).

Click HERE to see different Trusted Brands you can go for.

How do I understand my blood Pressure Reading?

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and is given as 2 figures:

  • systolic pressure – the pressure when your heart pushes blood out
  • diastolic pressure – the pressure when your heart rests between beats

For example, if your blood pressure is “140 over 90”, or 140/90mmHg, it means you have a systolic pressure of 140mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 90mmHg.

As a general guide:

high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher (or an average of 135/85mmHg at home) – or 150/90mmHg or higher (or an average of 145/85mmHg at home) if you’re over the age of 80.

Ideal blood pressure is usually considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg, while the target for over-80s is below 150/90mmHg (or 145/85mmHg at home).

Blood pressure readings between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg could mean you’re at risk of developing high blood pressure if you do not take steps to keep your blood pressure under control. ( Source: NHS)

When is it perfect to go for a checkup?

High blood pressure (hypertension) as earlier mentioned does not usually have any symptoms, so the only way to find out if you have it is to get your blood pressure checked.

Therefore the perfect time for a check-up is NOW. No need to postpone it. You can either visit a doctor or you stay at home and check yourself.

What are the available treatments for high blood pressure?

Research scientists did not only develop non-drug products. They also developed drug products that can treat hypertension effectively.

These wide variety of medications are available today to medical professionals for treating high blood pressure.

Although other classes of medications are sometimes prescribed, the most commonly prescribed can be broken down into five different classes of medications that work in different ways to lower blood pressure. they include:

  1. Diuretics (water pills) – work in the kidney to get rid of excess water and sodium. They are often recommended as the first line of therapy for most people who have high blood pressure.

2. Beta-blockers – help reduce nerve impulses to the heart and blood vessels to cause the heart to beat more slowly and with less force.

3. Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors –  prevent the formation of a hormone called angiotensin II, which would otherwise cause vessels to narrow.

4. Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) – block the action of angiotensin II

5. Calcium Channel Blockers – Prevent calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels, causing blood vessels to relax.

Bottomline

The key to any high blood pressure treatment is to bring the condition under proper control. Treatment depends on how high your blood pressure is, whether you have other health problems such as diabetes and whether any organs have already been damaged.

Treatment begins with changes you can make to your lifestyle to help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease.

You want to achieve your treatment goal, but sometimes it seems your blood pressure just doesn’t want to budge. You and your doctor can carefully review your treatment and lifestyle to see what’s going on.

For hypertension that isn’t controlled by diet and exercise, The treatment for hypertension recommended above can be followed unless there is a compelling need for a different class of medications.

However, the biggest problem with treatment of high blood pressure is not a lack of knowledge, but a lack of the application of our current knowledge.

Last Updated on June 14, 2023 by shalw

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