Knowing your blood pressure value is important in dealing with the prevalence of hypertension in Nigeria which forms a substantial portion of the burden in Africa because of the large population of the country.
In a Statement issued by Dr. Amosa Olamilekan, said Blood Pressure (BP) is described as the force with which the heart pumps blood round the body. Hypertension may develop over the course of several years. During those years, you may not notice any symptoms. Even without symptoms, high blood pressure can cause damage to your arteries and blood vessels.
He added that recent statistics showed that hypertension is the most common Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) in Nigeria and it affects about 40 per cent with approximately 25 per cent of emergency medical admissions in Nigerian hospitals.
If your blood pressure is higher than 180/110 mm Hg and you are not experiencing symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness/weakness, changes in vision or difficulty in speaking, relax for about five minutes and take it again. If the reading is still at or above that level, seek immediate medical attention, he added.
However, knowing your blood pressure value regularly helps with early detection which is important. Regular check of blood pressure can help you and your doctor notice any changes. If your blood pressure is elevated, your doctor may check your blood pressure over a few weeks to see if the number stays elevated or falls back to normal levels and if you will need medications.
Some types of hypertension can be managed through lifestyle and dietary choices, such as engaging in physical activity, reducing alcohol and tobacco use, and avoiding a high-sodium diet, he added
Treatment for hypertension includes both prescribed medications and healthy lifestyle changes. If the condition is not treated, it could lead to health issues, including heart attack and stroke.
He Concluded that high blood pressure can be reduced through lifestyle changes such as losing weight if you are overweight or obese, quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, (eating more fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy products, less saturated and total fat), Reducing the amount of sodium (salt) in one’s diet to less than 1,500 milligrams a day if one has high blood pressure; healthy adults should try to limit their sodium (salt) intake to no more 2,300 milligrams a day (about 1 teaspoon of salt), getting regular aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking at least 30 minutes a day, several days a week) and limiting alcohol to two drinks a day for men, one drink a day for women.