Question1: What is blood pressure?
Answer: Blood pressure is the main force in our body that keeps blood flowing to all of our organs at all times. Primarily, it is generated by the powerful heart’s muscle, and then it is sustained and transmitted by our blood vessels. As a result, high blood pressure is associated with blood pressure. It has been known for decades that high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and premature death. As no one knows what their blood pressure is, high or low, until they actually measure it, high blood pressure is often referred to as the “silent killer”. A majority of people will develop high blood pressure during their lifetime.
Question 2: How do I determine what my blood pressure is?
Answer: Your blood pressure can be easily determined by using a simple tool. Your blood pressure will be checked at every doctor’s appointment. There are a number of ways to measure your blood pressure accurately: health fairs, home blood pressure cuffs, and yes, even your neighbour who is a nurse.
Question 3: What is the ideal blood pressure for me ?
Answer: Over the years, what your ideal blood pressure should be has been a changing target, or more importantly what is should be under! Again, every patient is different but in general your systolic blood pressure (that’s the top number) should be less than 140 mmHg, and the diastolic blood pressure (that’s the bottom number) should be less than 90mmHg. If you are asking if one of those numbers is more important than the other, the answer is yes, it is the systolic (top) blood pressure that is more essential to monitor.
Question 4: What can I do about it?
Answer: In order to improve your blood pressure, the first step is to change how to eat by drastically reducing the quantity of salt in your diet. In 2017, research showed that a vast majority of salt in a typical Africans diet comes from 2 places: 1) eating outside of the home. Whether it comes from a fast-food meal or the finest 5-star restaurant, the food tastes good because it is loaded with salt, and 2) you salt your food after it hits the plate before you eat it. You can lower or maintain your blood pressure by reduce eating out to two or less times a week and throwing away saltshaker. By making dietary and lifestyle changes (exercise) one can lower your blood pressure by about 10 mmHg (i.e. 145mmHg -> 135mmHg).
Question 5: what about medication?
Answer: As detected from the paragraph above, if your blood pressure is sufficiently elevated (>150/100 mmHg), dietary and lifestyle changes alone will not reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, or early death. You will need to take medications. The good news regarding medication is that there are A LOT of them to treat your blood pressure. In other words, you and your doctor should be able to come up with a regimen that works for you from a side effect standpoint.
Question 6: What about the cost?
Answer: Most blood pressure medications are available as generic and inexpensive. Even though you are using an expensive brand of blood pressure medicine, ask your doctor about switching to a cheaper alternative that is just as effective. You can consider the fact that the cost of being admitted into a hospital with a heart attack with costly procedures or high-risk surgeries. Your daily expenses on blood pressure medicines may save you hundreds of thousands of Naira in the future.
Question 7: When I ever stop taking medication?
Answer: It is highly unlikely that you will. it is very rare that high blood pressure is “cured.” Most people require lifelong treatment for their blood pressure. Remember that heart diseases are diseases of aging, and to prevent and treat heart disease, we must constantly monitor our risk factors (such as high blood pressure) throughout our lives.