For months, Amina has been complaining of this constant headache that has refused to stop despite the number of paracetamol and its likes she has consumed. She has enough rest, physical rest as she isn’t even working. The Mental rest I can’t say because for someone who graduated from the University in 2007 but hasn’t worked apart from NYSC, there must be a lot of worry and stressful thoughts running through her head. So on thursday, I invited her over for lunch and she started complaining about this headache which she calls migraine. I asked her exactly how she was feeling at that time, and she said the pain was also affecting her right ear. I suggested immediately that she should first of all go to a hospital for proper evaluation so as to know exactly what the problem is. I told her I was afraid it sounds to me her blood pressure is higher than normal. So after lunch, we parted ways and she texted me 2 hours later to say that she went to the hospital straight from the restaurant and after the evaluation it was discovered her blood pressure was very high. Hmmmmm! She was extremely thankful that I urged her to go and desist from self medication based on guess work. This is the case with many Nigerians. We stay in our various homes and assume that once we feel feverish, it must be malaria. And we go about taking all sorts of drugs not even knowing what the exact problem is. So many Nigerians are ill without knowing it and that’s why someone slumps and dies and we hear people saying things like *He or she was very healthy. Another friend of mine has been complaining of constant headache for 2months now. The sort of headache that causes him severe insomnia. I advised him over the week end to go check his blood pressure. His response was funny, he said, does one’s blood pressure gets high for no reason? I told him a lot of factors are responsible for high blood pressure. Many people with high blood pressure do not experience symptoms. Individuals with this condition may experience headaches or dizziness but many do not, even when their blood pressure has reached a life threatening level. A high blood pressure reading can be the result of factors such as smoking, caffeine, or recent physical activity. Emotional state and time of day can also affect blood pressure so a single reading is never conclusive. If blood pressure does stay above 140/90 for a period of time, treatment is recommended. Two types of high blood pressure have been identified. The first, Primary Hypertension, is associated with aging and tends to develop over a number of years. Systolic blood pressure generally rises with age because of increasing inflexibility of the arteries, build-up of plaque, and/or the presence of cardiac and vascular disease.
Secondary Hypertension appears suddenly, and gives a higher blood pressure reading than found with primary hypertension. This condition is usually caused by underlying condition, which may include kidney problems, adrenal gland tumors, congenital defects of the blood vessels, prescription medication, or illegal drugs. Factors that contribute to Secondary Hypertension include age, sex, race, family history, obesity, inactivity, smoking, excessive salt in diet, too little potassium, too little vitamin D, alcohol use, stress, and some chronic conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease. Like I said earlier, Most people with high blood pressure don’t have any symptoms.
If you have very high blood pressure, or your blood pressure rises quickly, you may have headaches, problems with your vision, fits or black-outs. If you have high blood pressure, you have an increased risk of major illnesses including:
cardiovascular disease, such as angina (chest pain caused by reduced blood flow), stroke, heart attack, heart failure or atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat)
Unfortunately, there is no cure for high blood pressure so all you need do is help yourself. Exercise is very important to cut down on any excess fat. Stay away from salt and fat and eat more of vegetables and fruits. You should know that caffeine is not good at all for you. Alcohol must be stopped at all cost. Eat the right foods, eat right and always go for evaluation. High blood pressure is a fast killer, let’s be conscious of our health. BE ENLIGHTENED! BE INSPIRED!! BE MOTIVATED!!!