In the United States, more than one in every three adults has high blood pressure and it is almost the same in other countries, including Ghana, and is sometimes known as hypertension. Many of these folks are unaware that they have it because there are usually no symptoms. This is risky because high blood pressure can lead to life-threatening diseases such as heart attack or stroke. The good news is that high blood pressure may often be prevented or treated. Early detection and heart-healthy lifestyle adjustments can help prevent high blood pressure from causing major health problems.
What is the definition of blood pressure?
The force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries is known as blood pressure. When your heart beats, blood is pumped into your arteries. When your heart pumps blood, your blood pressure is at its peak. Systolic pressure is the term for this. Your blood pressure drops when your heart is at rest, in between beats. Diastolic pressure is the term for this.
These two numbers are used to calculate your blood pressure. The systolic number is usually placed before or above the diastolic number. 120/80, for example, denotes a systolic pressure of 120 and a diastolic pressure of 80.
How can you know if you have high blood pressure?
The majority of the time, high blood pressure has no symptoms. So the only way to find out if you have it is to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis by your doctor. A gauge, a stethoscope or electronic sensor, and a blood pressure cuff will be used by your provider. Before making a diagnosis, he or she will take two or more readings at different times.
Blood pressure should be kept below 130/80 in people with diabetes or chronic renal disease.
When it comes to children and teenagers, a health care practitioner compares their blood pressure readings to what is considered normal for youngsters of the same age, height, and gender.
Who are the people who are at risk of developing high blood pressure?
High blood pressure can affect anyone, but there are a few things that can raise your risk:
Weight – People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop high blood pressure.
Race/Ethnicity – African American adults are more likely to develop high blood pressure
Age – Blood pressure tends to rise with age
Lifestyle – Certain lifestyle habits, such as eating too much sodium (salt) or not enough potassium, lack of exercise, drinking too much alcohol, and smoking, can all increase your risk of developing high blood pressure.
Sex – Men are more likely than women to develop high blood pressure before the age of 55. Women are more likely than men to develop high blood pressure after the age of 55.
What can I do to lower my blood pressure?
A healthy lifestyle can aid in the prevention of high blood pressure. This entails:
Exercise on a regular basis. Exercise can aid in the maintenance of a healthy weight and the reduction of blood pressure. Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, is any activity that causes your heart to beat faster and your body to consume more oxygen than usual. You should strive to get at least 2 and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week, or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week.
Eating a well-balanced diet. Limit the amount of sodium (salt) you consume and increase the amount of potassium in your diet to help manage your blood pressure. Eating low-fat foods, as well as enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, is also helpful. The DASH eating plan is an example of a diet that can aid in blood pressure reduction.
There should be no smoking. Cigarette smoking elevates blood pressure and increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. Don’t start smoking if you don’t already. If you smoke, speak with your doctor about the best way to quit. Stress management. Learning to relax and manage stress can help you to feel better emotionally and physically, as well as lower your blood pressure. Exercising, listening to music, focusing on something calm or serene, and meditating are all effective stress management approaches.
Maintaining a healthy weight. Obesity or being overweight raises your chances of high blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy weight can aid in the management of high blood pressure and the prevention of other health concerns. Keep the booze to a bare minimum. Too much alcohol might cause your blood pressure to rise. It also adds more calories, potentially leading to weight gain. Men should limit themselves to two drinks each day, while women should limit themselves to one.
You should see a doctor on a frequent basis and stick to your treatment plan.
It’s critical to keep high blood pressure from growing worse or causing issues if you already have it.