High blood pressure is also called HBP or Hypertension.
- Normal blood pressure; 120/80 or less
- Elevated blood pressure 120-129/80 or less
- Stage 1 high blood pressure; 130-139/80-89
- Stage 2 high blood pressure; 140/90 and above
- Hypertension Crisis stage; 180/120 and above.
- Age; Naturally the risks of having a high blood pressure are usually increased in people as they get older, from ages 35 and above a person is more prone to getting a high blood pressure if it is not prevented.
- Lifestyle; a person’s lifestyle choices also plays a major role in the risks of having a high blood pressure for instance, people who smoke consistently or indulge in heavy consumption of alcohol are more prone to having a high blood pressure.
- Family history; genetics can make a person stand a high chance of getting a high blood pressure, families with high record of hypertensive patient are usually advised to be more at alert as they are more prone to have more people coming up with a high blood pressure.
- Pregnancy; pregnancy can also contribute to having a higher blood pressure than normal.
- Stress; this is one of the major contributors especially in urban setups, lack of rest and inadequate sleep can increase the risks of having a high blood pressure.
- Diet; it is Important to be mindful and watchful of what foods we consume and how we consume them, a high consumption of red meats and salty foods aslo puts a person at risk of a high blood pressure.
- Weight; an unhealthy weight gain can also increase the risks of having a high blood pressure.
- Lack of exercise; inadequate physical activity and a lack of body exercise also greatly contribute to having a high blood pressure, it is important to keep active as often as possible to enable an easy flow of blood through the body.
- High consumption of salt; a high consumption of salts and sodium based foods also contribute to a high blood pressure.
- Race; it has been observed based on medical records that Africans and African-Americans have a higher risk of having a high blood pressure than many other races.
- Kidney diseases
- Thyroid disorders
- Birth control Pills
High blood pressure is referred to as “the silent killer” as it is not necessarily identifiable by specific symptoms. The only way to be sure of your blood pressure is through regular check-ups, however, there are certain signs to look out for and if noticed it is advisable to see a doctor immediately as they may be pointers to a high blood pressure and these include;
- Severe headache
- Vision problems
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood spotting in urine
Pounding sensation in chest neck or ears
However once these symptoms occur, check your blood pressure level immediately, it is risky to allow these symptoms persist before finding out if they are related to hypertension or not.
- Healthy diet including fruits, veggies, proteins, whole grains
- Reduce meat especially red meat
- Cut sugar intake
- Set weight goals to monitor and control unhealthy weight gain
- Monitor blood pressure regularly, you should have a personal heart rate monitor so you can check yourself often and keep record
- Exercise regularly and stay active as often as you can
- Reduce stress and you can also consider meditation, massage and yoga to help achieve a balanced state of mind
- Reduce salt intake and foods with a high percentage of sodium.
There are no known definite cures to hypertension but if kept in check the blood pressure can be stabilized especially by observing the above listed preventive measures.
Keep your heart healthy!