Increased blood pressure, also known as hypertension occurs when a person has a blood pressure of systolic >140mmhg and or diastolic >90mmhg following repeated examinations about 6 hours or more apart.
About 1.39 billion adults are living with hypertension in a study done in 2019. Fewer than 1 in 5 people with hypertension have it controlled and this is even less in developing countries like Nigeria.
Your blood pressure is not controlled because of the following factors:
- Inconsistency with hypertensive medication: most people tend to stop taking their medications when their blood pressure is relatively controlled, or they take a lesser dose. This causes an increase again in the blood pressure
- Eating too much salt: most of our diets are salty. Especially the one you use salt and seasoning together. People living with hypertension are supposed to reduce their salt intake.
- Lack of exercise: majority of people do not exercise as they should for the required time in a week.
Ways to effectively manage your blood pressure are as follows:
Ensure you take your antihypertensive medications everyday consistently, to avoid your blood pressure increasing drastically and causing severe complications like stroke, kidney failure, heart failure and many more.
- Have regular medical checkups where your blood pressure would be checked and you would be able to speak with a doctor to ensure the antihypertensive medications are adequate.
- Reduction of salt intake, which is extremely important in the control of your blood pressure. About 1.5g of salt is adequate enough for a hypertensive patient in a day. If you use seasoning, do not use salt and vice versa. Also eat home cooked meals instead of restaurant bought meals because you would not be able to control the amount of salt in foods bought.
- Exercise, which is very key for people with high blood pressure. Your body needs about 150-300 minutes per week of moderately intense exercise like brisk walking, swimming, cycling, etc. Also, ensuring you do not have a sedentary lifestyle by walking, instead of taking a vehicle for short distances, or climbing the stairs instead of taking the lift.
- Healthy diet that involves fruits and vegetables is very important for a person with high blood pressure.
- Avoiding stressors or finding ways to good ways to deal with stress or to perfectly manage stress is also an important way.
By doing these, your blood pressure would be properly controlled and you would have a lower chance of having complications associated with high blood pressure.