Hypertension is a silent killer because; it does not sound alarm when it comes. Some persons are hypertensive without them knowing. It is very vital that one checks his or her blood pressure regularly.
Hypertension is a condition in which there is sustained increase in the arterial blood pressure above 140/90MmHg. You cannot conclude that you have hypertension on just one check. It is confirmed in adult when the average of 2 or more blood pressure measurement at different intervals reveals a reading above 140/90.
Note; you need to have known your baseline blood pressure reading, because the readings are highly individualized. If your baseline blood pressure reading has always been below 140/90mmHg and suddenly but persistently rises to 140/90., then you may be hypertensive. What is normal for Mr ‘A’ must not be normal for Mr ‘B’.
Classification and types of hypertension
Essential or primary hypertension; it accounts for 90-95% of all cases of hypertension. It occurs usually at the age of 30-50 years. The cause is unknown and it runs in the gene. There is no definite measure for preventing essential hypertension except lifestyle modification. Things that can trigger essential hypertension are;
Excessive salt intake
Excessive alcohol intake
Non essential or secondary hypertension; it occurs in about 5-10% of all cases of hypertension. The causes are known and usually secondary to an existing disease. They include; kidney diseases, endocrine disorders, some medications, example oral contraceptive, pregnancy (gestational hypertension), coarctation of the aorta and so many other causes.
Hypertension is a chronic disease (it cannot be cured), if it is not managed properly, it can lead to blindness, cerebro-vascular accident (stroke), kidney failure and congestive cardiac failure (CCF).
Management of Hypertension
The dietary management of hypertension is called DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension). It is a very important aspect of hypertension management. The foods to avoid are;
Limit sodium intake (salt intake)
Any food high in cholesterol should be avoided
Avoid saturated fat
Lose weight if you are overweight
Avoid kola nut and tea
Other managements are;
Regular check up
Proper use of the prescribed anti- hypertensive drug.