GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Hypertension, also known as high or raised blood pressure, is a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently raised pressure, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Blood is carried from the heart to all parts of the body in the vessels. Each time the heart beats, it pumps blood into the vessels.
“Blood pressure is created by the force of blood pushing against the walls of blood vessels (arteries) as it is pumped by the heart. The higher the pressure the harder the heart has to pump.” The heart has to work harder to pump the blood to all parts of the body.
The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, is urging persons to get their blood pressure checked regularly to prevent heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and other serious health problems and to stay healthy. High blood pressure is a health condition monitored under Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
The international theme is: “Know Your Numbers,” with the goal of increasing high blood pressure awareness and promote hypertension prevention, detection and control in all populations around the world.
Most people with hypertension have no symptoms at all; this is why it is known as the “silent killer”. Sometimes hypertension causes symptoms such as headache, shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, palpitations of the heart and nose bleeds, but not always.
The higher the blood pressure, the higher the risk of damage to the heart and blood vessels in major organs such as the brain and kidneys. Hypertension is the most important preventable cause of heart disease and stroke worldwide.
If left uncontrolled, hypertension can lead to a heart attack, an enlargement of the heart and eventually heart failure. Blood vessels may develop bulges (aneurysms) and weak spots that make them more likely to clog and burst. The pressure in the blood vessels can cause blood to leak out into the brain and cause a stroke. Hypertension can also lead to kidney failure, blindness, and cognitive impairment.
The health consequences of hypertension can be compounded by other factors that increase the odds of heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. These factors include tobacco use, unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol, lack of physical activity, and exposure to persistent stress as well as obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes mellitus.
All adults should have their blood pressure checked. routinely, it is important to know your numbers. If blood pressure is high, they need the advice of their family physician on the steps that need to be taken to ensure a healthy and good quality of life.
For some people, lifestyle changes such as stopping tobacco use, eating healthily, exercising regularly and avoiding the harmful use of alcohol, are sufficient to control blood pressure. For this reason it is recommended for one to always consult their physician to ensure that you are on the right track towards maintaining good health.
Adults can support treatment by adhering to the prescribed medication, lifestyle changes and by monitoring their health, according to the WHO information provided.
A stronger, better Sint Maarten relies on communities that collectively strive to promote good health, longevity and a better quality of life.
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