Hypertension will not kill you

People with high blood pressure, diabetes – those are conditions brought about by life style. If you change the life style, those conditions will leave. Dick Gregory

The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. Hypertension otherwise called high blood pressure is the force that a person’s blood exerts against the walls of their blood vessels.

This is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries.e.

It is a primary risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders like aneurysm, stroke, heart failure, heart attack, diabetes.

American Heart Association AHA identified the following guidelines as ranges of blood pressure.

CAUSES

It could be primary or secondary; while primary or essential hypertension is not related to any underlying pathology or condition, secondary hypertension has a factor or underlying factor that triggers it off.

Primary hypertension could have the following causes:

●  Blood plasma volume

●  Hormonal related issues due to medication

●  Environmental factors arising from stress and poor exercise

Secondary hypertension has the following causes:

●  Chronic kidney disease whereby the kidneys cannot efficiently filter fluids

●  Diabetes

●  Pheochromocytoma, a rare cancer of the adrenal gland

●  Congenital hyperplasia, a cortisol-secreting adrenal glands disorder

●  Cushing syndrome

● Hyperthyroidism

●  Pregnancy

●  Sleep apnea

●  Obesity

A lot of people in my family have high blood pressure. Dre told me I better start hitting the gym… so I took his advice. Warren G

RISK FACTORS

–  Age especially people above 60 years

–  Ethnicity of African American descent

–  Alcohol and tobacco use

–  Sex, men have more tendency while women come up after menopause

–  Underlying health conditions like cardiovascular diseases, kidney issues, cholesterol

related problems, diabetes.

–  Sedentary lifestyle

–  Inadeguate diet

–  Family history of high blood pressure

MANAGEMENT

Having identified the causes and risk factors of hypertension I believe the management is not far fetched. However for clarity I would specify primary ways to manage hypertension based on my academic and clinical experience in the health sector.

In addition to my graphical representation I would underline the importance of the following factors:

Adequate sleep​ – Owing to the changing socio economic conditions a lot of people do not sleep well. This further creates stress and nervous breakdown and eventually improper functioning of the body system leading to stress.

Stress reduction​ – Try to identify your personal stressors ,( they may not be the same for everyone) and work on them. Practice meditation, yoga, long walks, music therapy,prayers or even calling or texting a loved one. Organize vacations once in a while if possible. Spend time out with friends and family.

Religiously adhere to your medications​ – Prevention is always better than cure and “had I known”. Follow your prescriptions and don’t interrupt them when you feel you’re ok without the consent of your doctor. Medications frequently proven to be effective include diuretics, beta blockers, alpha blockers, vasodilators, angiotensin-converting enzyme, calcium- channel blockers, central agonists.

Regular medical check up​ – Apart from the routine control of blood pressure in the house, it is very pertinent to go for periodic medical check up. Lay emphasis on heart scan, chest x-ray, blood tests, electrocardiogram.

Correct information is necessary – ​Try and source reliable information from medical research journals, seminars/ webinars and experts. Avoid roadside and unverified information. Such can be very harmful. Equip yourself with signs, symptoms and risk factors of hypertension. Watch reliable videos on how to manage emergency cases.

 

Sources
Everything you need to know about hypertension by Adam Felman (2019)

Fundamentals of Medical-Surgical Nursing : A Systems Approach by Anne-Marie Brady, Catherine McCabe, Margaret McCann (2014)

American Heart Association (AHA)


Hypertension will not kill you was written by Udoamaka Elenwoke. A professional Italian nurse and you can follow her on Social media

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