Do you know that more people die of hypertension world wide, than those who die of cancer and road traffic accidents combined. Wait a minute, do you know that three – quarters of mankind above 40 is hypertensive. Do you also know that more than half of all hypertensive patients do not know that they have it.
Hold on a bit, above assertions were published by the medical journal Lancet and made public by WebMD. Let me explain – high blood pressure (hypertension), is generally a symptomless condition in which abnormality high pressure in the arteries increases the risk of problems such as stroke, aneurysm, heart failure, heart attack and kidney damage.
To many people, the word hypertension, suggests excessive tension, nervousness or stress. In Medical terms, however, hypertension refers to a condition of elevated blood pressure, regardless of the cause. It has been called “the silent killer”, because it usually does not cause symptoms for many years – until a vital organ is damaged.
Blood pressure varies naturally over a person’s life. Infants and children normally have much lower blood pressure than adults. Activity also affects blood pressure, which is higher when a person is active and lower when a person rests. Blood pressure varies with the time of the day too. It is highest in the morning and lowest at night during sleep.
Regular moderate exercise not only helps bring down pressure, it strengthens your heart, zaps stress, and helps you stay at a healthy weight. If you have high blood, consult your doctor what kind of exercise to do and how much.
Your blood pressure may go up for a while, when you are under stress, but stress by itself does not cause long-term high blood pressure. Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, being obese, and not being physically active do raise your chance of high blood pressure. If hypertension runs in your family, your risk is also higher. Blood pressure also tends to go up with age.
You can have high blood pressure for years without knowing it. In fact, about 1 in 5 Africans with high blood pressure does not know it. Even if you feel fine, it can damage your heart and other organs. Get your blood pressure checked by your doctor twice a year if below 40, and quarterly if above 50, that is if you are not a diagnosed hypertensive.
Life style changes are the first step for blood pressure that is a little high. You may not need medicine if you exercise, eat healthy lose weight, quit smoking, limit alcohol intake and cut salt. Essential hypertension cannot be cured, but it can be treated to prevent complications, because high blood pressure itself has no symptoms, doctors try to avoid treatments that make people feel bad or interfere with their lifestyle. Before any drugs are prescribed, alternate measures are usually tried.
Untreated high blood pressure increases a person’s risk of developing heart disease such as heart failure, heart attack, kidney failure, stroke at an early stage. High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for stroke. It is also one of the three major risk factors for heart attack (myocardial infarction) that a person can do something about: the other two are smoking and high blood cholesterol levels. Treatment that lowers high blood pressure greatly decreases the risk of stroke and heart failure.
Always be medically guided
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