Hypertension (HTN), or high blood pressure, is a common but serious chronic disease where there is an abnormal increase in pressure in the arteries of the body. Generally HTN does not have symptoms but some people may experience headache or vomiting, or may feel unwell, weak, or even faint when their blood pressure is elevated. A normal Blood pressure (BP) reading is less than 120 over 80 and varies throughout the day and with activity.
Who is at risk:
· Persons who are overweight or obese
· Persons with heart problems, high cholesterol levels, diabetes
· Persons with a lot of stress
· Older persons (although you can get HTN at almost any age)
. Women on birth control or some diet pills
· Persons with a family history of HTN
. Chronic kidney diseases or some other chronic illnesses
How to reduce your risk:
· Eat a balanced diet by incorporating proteins, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables
· Drink a lot of water
· Quit smoking
· Reduce your stress levels
· Reduce fat and salt intake
How to control your BP if you are hypertensive:
· Visit your doctor regularly
· Check your blood pressure as needed
· Reduced your salt intake
· Take your medication as prescribed
· Do some form of exercise like mowing the lawn, climbing stairs, playing a sport, etc. unless otherwise indicated by your physician
· Reduce stress
Lifestyle change, for instance a change in eating habits and exercising, is the first step in controlling your blood pressure. If it is still not controlled with these changes, your doctor will determine what medication is best for you depending on your age and other underlying illnesses, if any. ALWAYS consult your doctor before deciding to change or stop any medication that was prescribed to you.
It is therefore recommended that you visit a doctor at least once a year if you are not hypertensive and more often as indicated by your health care provider if you are to ensure that your BP is controlled.