Good health is a merit need in every human’s life, from diets and exercise to yoga and meditation, we all do what we have to do to achieve a healthy livelihood. These attempts of good health are also directed to evading a mellow creeping yet very common disease known as high blood pressure, hypertension or systolic blood pressure.
Medics term high blood pressure as the occurrence of an abnormally high amount of force that blood exerts on the arteries walls as it flows through them. This diagnosis can lead to severe health problems. Statistics from a survey by the World Health Organization (WHO) showcase that, high blood pressure is projected to cause about 7.5 million deaths annually, which is 12.8 % of total deaths globally. This translates to about 57 million disability adjusted life years (DALYS) or 3.7% of total DALYS that also reduce the general human mortality rate.
High blood pressure is a dangerous disease because its occurrence has a spillover effect that may bring about the actualization of prospective risk of acquiring fatal ailments such as stroke, heart failure, renal impairment, retinal hemorrhage and visual impairment disease. High blood pressure can be categorized into two types; essential high blood pressure which is the type that is not preceded by a specifically identifiable cause and; secondary high blood pressure which is as a result of another heath problem.
It can also be categorized in stages:
- Prehypertension (120/80 to 139/89) – Stage 1
- Mild Hypertension (140/90 to 159/99) – Stage 2
- Moderate Hypertension (160/ 100 – 179/ 109) – Stage 3
- Severe Hypertension (180 / 110 or higher) Stage 4
Though strongly common, in most cases most people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it. The difficulty in extracting a definite diagnosis of high blood pressure from individuals that suffer from it stems from the fact that high blood pressure is progressive in nature. It develops slowly over time and can be related to wide variety of causes generated either from an unhealthy lifestyle, genetics, pregnancy or mental stress among others.
Though it proves to be hard to be certain that an individual suffers from high blood pressure, testing for the disease has become quite available and affordable for all. This is evidenced by the availability of triage rooms in most hospitals where patients have an opportunity of getting their blood pressure tested before consultations. Once an abnormal pressure is noticed, to confirm the diagnosis of hypertension, additional tests such as urine and blood tests, electrocardiogram (ECG) tests and Holter monitoring tests are performed to determine the underlying cause and diagnose the patient with certainty.
Although high blood pressure causes alarm to many and does not have a cure many victims of the disease live happy and healthy lives by managing the disease. They do this by monitoring their blood pressure numbers in the comfort if their homes, regular healthcare visits as well as sticking to treatment, dietary and lifestyle plans that the doctor drafts for them.