What do you know of Hypertension?
Hypertension literally means high Blood pressure. To the layman, it is known as High Blood pressure or High BP for short. Blood pressure reading can be reported as two figures denoting the systolic and diastolic readings. It is written or reported as the systolic being the numerator and the diastolic as the denominator e.g. 120/80.
Hypertension is at times referred to as a silent killer for a good reason. It contributes to more than 200,000 deaths each year and afflicts more than 50 million individuals worldwide. It is can become chronic and lead to a long-term medical condition with complications.
Hypertension is most commonly due to the pressure exerted by the blood vessels in pumping or carrying blood in the body is increased/elevated as a result of constriction (reduction in size) of blood vessels. Medically, Hypertension usually defined as a blood pressure reading equal to or higher than 140/90mmHg.
Usually, hypertension can be grouped into 3 different categories based on severity blood pressure readings. They are;
- Mild hypertension- systolic- 140-159 Diastolic – 90-99
- Moderate hypertension- systolic- 160-179 Diastolic- 100-109
- Severe hypertension- Systolic- > 180 Diastolic > 120
There are 2 types or forms of hypertension namely;
- Primary hypertension- the cause or origin of this type of hypertension is not known. In most cases, individuals with this type of hypertension feel no different than those with normal blood pressure.
- Secondary hypertension- the type of hypertension is usually as a result of other medical problems such as kidney diseases or medications.
Symptoms may include; High blood pressure at onset usually present with no symptoms or non-specific symptoms such headaches, palpitation and blurry vision.
The symptoms of hypertension are usually due to the complications of the disease. The following may cause hypertension or may be a risk factor for the condition; adrenal tumor, Kidney diseases, obesity, Liver diseases, Acromegaly (a condition caused by excessive growth hormone), certain medications (such as birth control pills), age, sedentary lifestyle and alcohol.
Hypertension can be managed by getting dietary advice, regular aerobic exercises, brisk walking for at least 30 minutes, weight loss for obese individuals, reduced salt intake to about 1 teaspoon or less, etc.
It is advised you visit your doctor or physician for regular health checks and before commencing any medication.
Arrive Alive Diagnostics & Imaging Services (AADIS) is a wholly owned indigenous company with a vision to be the foremost in quality healthcare delivery to the people of Nigeria in a timely and affordable manner