Doha, Qatar: World Hypertension Day is observed annually on May 17 to raise awareness of hypertension and encourage hypertension prevention, detection, and control. This year, the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) marked this day under the theme ‘Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer’.

High blood pressure (hypertension) occurs when the systolic blood pressure is equal to or above 140mm Hg, and the diastolic blood pressure is equal to or above 90mm Hg, explained Dr. Wael Beshir Halim, Specialist Family Medicine at PHCC’s Al Daayen Health Center.

Genetic factors, severe obesity, weight gain, not getting enough physical activity, smoking, as well as excessive consumption of fast food and food that is too high in sodium, are all reasons behind developing high blood pressure.

Eating small amounts of foods high in potassium and vitamin D, such as yogurt, bananas, fish, green vegetables, eggs, besides excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, exposure to high levels of stress and anxiety, kidney disease, diabetes, or sudden shortness of breath, are all associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure.

Dr. Halim noted that high blood pressure is called the ‘silent killer’ as symptoms may not be obvious even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels. A few people with high blood pressure may experience headaches, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, or blurred or double vision, especially if blood pressure readings rise to high levels.

The types of high blood pressure vary according to the causes. There is no clear or a specific cause for developing primary high blood pressure for most adults with this disease, and it often develops over time.

The other type is called secondary high blood pressure and occurs because of another disease, which often appears suddenly, and leads to high blood pressure at levels higher than the first type. Some medications may cause this type.

Other causes also include sudden shortness of breath, kidney disease, adrenal tumours, thyroid problems, vascular malformations present at birth, and taking certain medications such as birth control pills, cold medications, decongestants, pain relievers, and some narcotic drugs, such as cocaine, in addition to alcohol consumption.

To prevent high blood pressure, Dr. Halim advised the public to follow a healthy diet, limit their sodium and caffeine intake, exercise regularly, quit smoking, avoid alcoholic beverages, keep a healthy weight, avoid obesity and overweight, get enough sleep, and avoid stress and anxiety as much as possible.

To cure high blood pressure, he said that there are many medications available, prescribed by a specialist physician according to one’s medical condition.

Source link