23 May BE AWARE OF THE SILENT KILLER; HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a silent killer disease that damages your health in many ways, hurting important organs like the heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes. It is blood pressure that is higher than normal.
Estimates suggest nearly half of adults in the United States live with high blood pressure.
In May 2022, the high blood pressure education month is celebrated where we focus on educating people about the disease and what one can do to lower their risk factors or manage it. Fortunately, are many ways to manage high blood pressure through lifestyle choices as well as medications to treat it.
In addition according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), the only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have a doctor or other health professional measure it and talk with your health care team about regularly measuring your blood pressure at home, also called self-measured blood pressure (SMBP) monitoring.
We decided to talk to a 58-year-old lady about her journey with high blood pressure and see her story below:
“I discovered that I had high blood pressure in March 2012.
My high blood pressure diagnosis came at a time in my life when I was very stressed. I had just undergone a second surgery due to multiple fibroids. It all started with malaria which turned cerebral. I lost my mind and became violent. I was admitted to the hospital for 2 weeks. When I regained my awareness, I was discharged on medication. Upon my visit for review, my blood pressure was too high. That’s when I realized I had high blood pressure.
I also discovered my elder brother and sister have the same problem.
In recent years my health has changed. I have successfully managed my blood pressure with the use of medication, diet, and frequent visits to my healthcare providers. I have also learned that too much sodium is a major contributing factor to high blood pressure. I take plenty of vegetables and fruits and avoid red meat. I could not cope with stress at work so I retired early. I avoid any stress by all means.
I pray for healing and put my trust in God. My efforts are paying off! My blood pressure readings now fall in the healthy range.
High blood pressure doesn’t have to be a death sentence. If you’re diagnosed, you have to make a decision about how you want to live the rest of your life. My father-in-law is my greatest inspiration. He was diagnosed at 50 but lived up to 102! His secret was simple: Taking medication as instructed and living a healthy lifestyle by eating lots of fruits and vegetables without too much salt which contributes to high blood pressure. Regular physical activities like walking.
I have also learned to put myself first. I am learning to take care of myself and believe that I am worth it.” She narrated.
According to a report by Medline Plus, To prevent or lower high blood pressure into a healthy range, there is a need to:
• Getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week (about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week)
• Not smoking
• Eating a healthy diet, including limiting sodium (salt) and alcohol
• Keeping a healthy weight
• Managing stress
Being aware of an individual blood pressure numbers is important since hypertension often shows no symptoms. In addition, regular checkups with your primary care doctor or specialist are critical for monitoring your blood pressure.