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Understanding and Managing High Blood Pressure

What is Blood Pressure?
When your heart pumps blood through the blood vessels, the blood pushes against the walls of your blood vessels. This creates blood pressure. Your body needs blood pressure to move the blood throughout your body, so every part of your body can get the oxygen it needs.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to help keep your blood pressure in that range. 
We’ll talk about that more later in this guide.
For some people, blood pressure can get too high. This is true for about one-third of Nigerian adults (33.0%). This can cause health problems that need to be dealt with 
as you work with your healthcare provider. We’ll talk about this, too, later in the guide

How Blood Pressure is Measured
How can you tell what your blood pressure is? By using a device called a blood pressure monitor, your healthcare provider can measure your blood pressure to see if it’s 
in a healthy range. You’ve probably had your blood pressure taken during a visit to your healthcare provider’s office.

Your blood pressure is recorded as two numbers. The systolic blood pressure (the “upper” number) tells how much pressure blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is pumping blood. The diastolic blood pressure (the “lower” number) tells how much pressure blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats. Blood pressure is measured in units of millimeters of mercury, or mm Hg. For example, a blood pressure reading might be 120/80 mm Hg.
A healthy blood pressure is under 120/80 mm Hg. 
A blood pressure reading of 120-139 systolic 
or 80-89 diastolic is defined as 
“prehypertension.” This means that the blood pressure is not high  enough to be called high blood  pressure (hypertension), but that it is higher than  normal. If systolic blood pressure is 140 or greater, or diastolic blood pressure is 90  or greater, it’s high blood pressure.
Causes of high blood pressure
High blood pressure cannot be cured. It can, however, be managed very effectively 
through lifestyle changes and, when needed, medication.
In most cases, the cause of high blood pressure is not known.

Risk factors that are outside of your control
 1. Family history: Just as hair and eye color can run in families, so can high blood 
pressure. If your parents or other close blood relatives have high blood pressure, 
there’s an increased chance that you’ll get it, too. This is why it’s important to get 
your blood pressure checked on a regular basis. The American Heart Association 
recommends checking at your regular healthcare visit or every two years for people 
whose blood pressure is in a normal range.
2. Age: The older you are, the more likely you are to get high blood pressure. As we age, 
our blood pressures gradually lose some of the elastic quality, which increases blood 
3. Gender: Until age 54, men are more likely to get high blood pressure than women 
are. But that changes as we age. From age 55 to 64, men and women get high blood 
pressure at similar rates. And at 65 and older, women are more likely to get high blood 
pressure than men are.
4. Race: Africans tend to develop high blood pressure more often than 
Caucasians. For Africans, high blood pressure also tends to occur at 
younger ages and to be more severe.

Risk factors that you can control
Lack of physical activity: Not getting enough physical activity as part of your 
lifestyle increases your risk of getting high blood pressure. Physical activity is great for 
your heart and circulatory system in general, and blood pressure is no exception. 
n An unhealthy diet, especially one high in sodium. Good nutrition from a variety 
of sources is critical for your health. A diet that is too high in salt consumption, as 

Overweight and obesity: Carrying 
too much weight puts an extra strain 
on your heart and circulatory system, 
and can cause serious health problems. 
Being overweight increases your risk of 
cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It 
also increases your risk of getting high blood 
 Drinking too much alcohol. Regular, heavy use 
of alcohol can cause many health problems, including 
heart failure, stroke, and irregular heartbeats. Drinking 
too much alcohol can increase your risk of cancer, obesity, 
alcoholism, suicide, and accidents. It can also cause your blood pressure to increase 
In addition to these risk factors, there are others that may contribute to high blood 
pressure, although how is still uncertain. These include: 
 Smoking and tobacco use: Using tobacco can cause your blood pressure to 
temporarily increase and can contribute to damaged arteries, which can make high 
blood pressure worse. 
 Stress: Stress is not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself. But too much stress 
may contribute to increased blood pressure. 
 Sleep Apnea: This is a condition in which some of the tissues in the throat 
collapse during sleep and block the breathing passageway. In response to that, 
the brain awakens the sleeper, who then gulps for air in order to open the trachea 
again. This cycle often repeats many times a night, leading to severe fatigue the 
following day from a lack of good sleep. Sleep apnea can be a contributing factor 
to high blood pressure

Monitoring, treating, and managing high blood pressure
  1. Eating healthy
  2. Physical activity
  3. Parking farther away from your 
    destination to walk a bit more
  4. Taking the stairs instead of the  
  5. Taking your dog out for a stroll
  6. Walking instead of driving:
    To get the greatest benefits  
    from physical activity, the 
  7. American Heart Association 
    Aim for 3 to 4 40-minute sessions per week of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity
  8. Getting at least 10 minutes of physical activity per episode It’s a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before beginning a physical activity program.
  9. Maintaining a healthy weight
Reducing stress:
Giving yourself time to get things done. Over scheduling yourself can increase 
your stress load.
1. Not overpromising what you can do. There’s nothing wrong with saying “no” if
adding one more responsibility would be too much for you.
2. Understanding your stress triggers. Knowing what causes you to become
stressed and taking steps to avoid or manage (when you can’t avoid) those triggers
can help you control stress.
3. Planning to address what you can change, and accepting what you can’t 
change. No one can do it all. Some things must be dealt with, and it’s good to have 
a plan in place for doing just that. But some things are out of your control. Learn to let 
those go.
4. Taking time to relax.
5. Building relationships with people who care about you.
6. Taking care of yourself
7. Limit (or avoid) alcohol
8. Avoid or quit tobacco
We are not in the position to prescribe drugs for you. You can as well talk to GP or personal doctor.
Please not that, the doctors might not educate you on the side effect of HBP medication, some leads to impotence, kidney failure, heart palpitations, Stuffy 
nose, diarrhea, or heartburn, constipation, fever, or anemia. asthma symptoms.
There are some that are not advisable for the pregnant women or those who may want to get pregnant.
Open up to your doctor and you will get the best health care.
Lastly, "Your health is your wealth"  when your health is on the line please forfiet gratuity and choose your health.

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