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DEFEATING HYPERTENSION AMID COVID-19

Did you know that you could have hypertension and wouldn't know? Did you also know that hypertension is termed The Silent Killer? As you read this article,we'll briefly enlighten you on this disease and how to deal with it. There is an audio version. So you can listen instead of reading.

JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH
JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH

It has been asserted that people of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk of the complications of Covid-19. Examples of these medical conditions are hypertension, asthma, cerebrovascular diseases, and many more. Can these diseases be prevented? How do you know if you have any of these ailments? What do you do if you discover you have such underlying health conditions?

Much has been said about Covid-19 — the precautionary measures and the safety protocols. All these are to limit the possibilities of other infections that have the potential of jeopardizing the immune system, thus, positioning yourself to avoid the Coronavirus infection. Most, if not all of those who died from Covid-19 have been due to the presence of these medical conditions as stated.

Did you know that hypertension is called a silent killer and a major cause of premature death? Did you also know that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 4 men have hypertension?

Hypertension is called a silent killer since most people with hypertension are unaware of the problem because it may have no warning signs or symptoms. Hypertension is a term used to describe persistent high blood pressure. Blood pressure is a measurement of the effort and strain with which the heart pumps blood through the arteries to get to the various body tissues. It is recorded as the systolic pressure over the diastolic pressure.Normal blood pressure is less than

120/80mmHg.

The systolic blood pressure measures the force with which the heart contracts and pumps blood. The diastolic blood pressure on the other hand, is a measurement of the force with which the heart relaxes and refills. Both parameters have a bearing on each other; a high systolic pressure will mean the amount of blood filled up in the heart may not all be pumped out effectively because of the resistance created in the vessels. This will lead to an increase in the diastolic pressure as new blood filling the ventricles of the heart will be impeded with a remnant of the blood that was supposed to be pumped out.

In its classification, 120/80-140/90mmHg is termed as prehypertension and often leads to high blood pressure. Anything above 140/90mmHg is considered high blood pressure. Persistent high blood pressure readings at least twice at random times and places may confirm the diagnosis of Hypertension. The only way to detect hypertension is to have your blood pressure checked with a sphygmomanometer.

What causes hypertension? What are the symptoms? Can it be reversed?

Many a time, hypertension happens without any clear identifiable reason.This is called primary or ''essential'' hypertension. Risk factors for primary hypertension include old age, obesity, high salt diet, lack of exercise or sedentary lifestyle, smoking, long-term stress. Except for age, all of these can be improved.

Primary hypertension may show no symptoms. That is why it called a silent killer. For this reason, it is essential to regularly check your blood pressure.

On the other hand, hypertension may be caused by a specific identifiable reason. This is called Secondary hypertension. Usually, anything that limits blood flow to the kidneys such as atherosclerosis or vasculitis could cause hypertension. This is because the kidney plays a role in blood pressure. Other ailments such as headache, confusion, visual disturbances, and nose bleeds are some symptoms of hypertension.

Hypertension may increase your chance of other diseases such as stroke,heart disease and sometimes death.

Primary hypertension has been shown to have a familial pattern. People who have family history of hypertension are therefore at risk of hypertension.Thus, it is important to know your family history.

How can you deal with hypertension?

First of all, it is important to meet a doctor. Furthermore, it is crucial to alter your lifestyle.  Eat a healthy balanced diet, reduce the intake of heavy salt and fatty diet, eat at regular times, avoid or quit smoking and drinking, exercise often and control your stress level. A doctor may prescribe anti-hypertensive drugs; make sure you are compliant to taking the medications as prescribed.

In a nutshell, It is vital to know your blood pressure and live healthily particularly in this pandemic. Remember, you only live once so make it count. Live healthily and stay safe.

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JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH

A young lady who is excited to influence the society and world with the little knowledge she has acquired.


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