From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

High blood pressure (HBP), otherwise known as hypertension, is a health condition in which the force of the blood against the arteries’ walls is higher than normal.

There are several factors that could lead to such situations. But in most cases, economic, family, relationship, missed opportunities and some other factors could be responsible for rise in blood pressure, hence it’s important that you are aware of such factors and do all you can to avoid being brought down by HBP.

Unfortunately, data indicates that many people in Nigeria are coming down with high blood pressure due to one or two of the aforementioned reasons, particularly economic and family issues.

However, it’s important to note that high blood pressure can cause a whole lot of changes in the human body. It can cause stroke, vision loss, sexual dysfunction, heart and kidney failure, among others, and can even render the body useless.

High blood pressure, according to medical books, comes with no symptoms in the early stage. But over time, if undiagnosed and unattended to, it could lead to health conditions some of which were highlighted above.

Whatever the case maybe, it’s important that you know that HBP is manageable with the right knowledge and application of medication as may be prescribed by physicians.


In an ideal situation, your normal blood pressure level should be less than 120/80 mmHg. Otherwise is regarded as a abnormal and may require urgent medical attention.

If you have abnormal blood pressure, it means that the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls is consistently too high, hence the heart has to work harder to pump blood.

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), so hypertension is reported when blood pressure is 130/80 mmHg or higher.


Surprisingly, high blood pressure can happen without the affected person feeling any abnormal symptoms. Moderate or severe headaches, anxiety, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, palpitations or feeling of pulsations in the neck are some signs of high blood pressure.

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Also, if your blood pressure is extremely high, certain symptoms may be present and should be looked out for, including fatigue or confusion, blood in the urine, pounding in your chest, neck or ears.


High blood pressure usually develops over time. It can happen because of unhealthy lifestyle choices such as not getting enough regular physical activity. Certain health conditions such as diabetes, and obesity can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure. Pregnant women are not exempted from HBP.


Many people with HBP can manage their blood pressure to a healthy range or keep their numbers in a healthy range by making difficult lifestyle changes. Aside from regular advice from your health care team, there should be deliberate effort towards lifestyle changes.

Living a healthy lifestyle is very critical to managing hypertension. Other preventive measures would also go a long way in lowering your risk for heart disease and stroke. The following healthy living habits are recommended by experts as part of measures to control hypertension. You must endeavour to eat a healthy diet at all times. This means that you should choose healthy meal and snack options to help you avoid high blood pressure and its complications. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

You are expected to keep a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese is dangerous in managing hypertension. It increases your risk for high blood pressure. To determine healthy weight, doctors often calculate your body mass index (BMI) and use waist and hip measurements to assess body fat.

Another very important measure against hypertension is regular exercise. You must be physically active. It helps to keep you at a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure. Also, avoid smoking. Smoking raises your blood pressure and puts you at higher risk for heart attack and stroke. If you do not smoke, please do not start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk of heart disease. Please, try and quit.

Closer to that is alcohol intake. Limit how much alcohol you take. It can raise your blood pressure. Men should not have more than two alcoholic drinks per day, and women should not have more than one alcoholic drink per day. 

Also try as much as you can to get enough sleep. Getting enough sleep is important to your overall health. Enough sleep is part of keeping your heart and blood vessels healthy. Not getting enough sleep on a regular basis is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, HBP and stroke.

Another important thing is your ability to manage stress. You may have lots of problems or issues bothering you, ranging from economic to social, family, emotional, professional and others. Develop the capacity to manage those issues so they do not affect your health, mentally and otherwise.


It’s very important you take your health seriously. Imbibe lifestyles that would improve your health, otherwise, you would end up spending your hard-earned resources on medications. Please, remember that hypertension is manageable but don’t stay too far from your doctor. Health is wealth.