World Hypertension Day

Hypertension is a disease condition in which the blood vessels have persistently raised pressure. It is also known as high blood pressure. The heart pumps blood into the blood vessels, which in turn carries the blood throughout the body. When blood pumped by the heart pushes against the walls of the blood vessel, the force of the arteries due to blood flow can create blood pressure. This blood pressure damages the blood vessels in major organs such as the brain and the heart when high.
Hypertension may not show signs and symptoms in some fellows as it develops gradually over many years.  However a few people may have shortness of breath, dizziness, nose bleeds and bouts of headache as symptoms; these symptoms are not specific to just hypertension and will require test to confirm.
While some people require prescription medication to manage their blood pressure, others may just need to make some lifestyle changes such as avoiding the use of alcohol and tobacco, eating healthy foods and exercising regularly. Reduction in the intake of salt may also be helpful in the control of hypertension.
In the prevention of High blood pressure, it is important to start early in life to -
                  1.      Eat right.
·         Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
·         Reduce consumption of saturated, total fat and alcohol.
·         Reduce amount of salt intake.
·         Reduce consumption of alcohol.  
                2.      Quit the use of tobacco and its products.
                3.      Properly manage stress.
                4.      Engage in physical activities.
Hypertension is the most important preventable cause of heart disease and stroke. Uncontrolled hypertension could result in a heart attack, enlargement of the heart and eventually heart failure. It may also affect sight and lead to cognitive impairment.
As towns are linked up in a state, so are vital organs in the body linked to each other. When the heart is not pumping blood efficiently due to cardiovascular diseases (all diseases and conditions of the heart and blood vessels), it gets congested with blood. This result in less blood getting to the kidneys: the blood is meant to supply the kidneys with oxygen and nutrients. The kidneys then lose their ability to filter blood and regulate the fluid, hormones, acids and salts in the body. Therefore, the kidneys respond by retaining water and salt - resulting in fluid retention that could cause widespread damage that can result in kidney failure.

 By Ifeyinwa Ugo-Amadi


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