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A SENSITIZATION ON HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE CONTROL THROUGH FREE REGULAR CHECK IN COMMUNITIES WERE WE SERVE

By ABRAHAM’S CHILDREN FOUNDATION PARAMEDIC SERVICE DEPARTMENT
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High blood pressure is a common condition in which the force of the

blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually

cause health problems, such as heart disease.
The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the

higher your blood pressure.
If you don't regularly see your doctor, you may be able to get a free

blood pressure screening at Abraham's Children Foundation locations in

your community.
This easy three-step action plan uses proven techniques to improve your health …

• Start with understanding your condition.
• Eat well to feel better.
• Moderate exercise and stress-relieving techniques bring our action

plan into balance.
SYMTOMS
Dull headaches, dizzy spells or a few more nosebleeds than normal,

these signs and symptoms typically don't occur until high blood

pressure has reached a severe — even life-threatening — stage.

CAUSES: There are two types of high blood pressure.

1. Primary (essential) hypertension: tends to develop gradually over

many years.
2. Secondary hypertension: tends to appear suddenly and cause higher

blood pressure than does primary hypertension. Various conditions and

medications can lead to secondary hypertension, including:

• Kidney problems
• Adrenal gland tumors
• Certain defects in blood vessels you're born with (congenital)

• Certain medications, such as birth control pills, cold remedies,

decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers and some prescription

drugs
• Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines

RISK FACTOR
• Age. The risk of high blood pressure increases as you age. Women are

more likely to develop high blood pressure after menopause.

• Race. High blood pressure is particularly common among blacks, often

developing at an earlier age than it does in whites.

• Family history. High blood pressure tends to run in families.

• Being overweight or obese. As the volume of blood circulated through

your blood vessels increases, so does the pressure on your artery

walls.
• Not being physically active. People who are inactive tend to have

higher heart rates. Lack of physical activity also increases the risk

of being overweight.
• Using tobacco. cause your arteries to narrow, increasing your blood

pressure. Secondhand smoke also can increase your blood pressure.

• Too much salt (sodium) in your diet. Too much sodium in your diet

can cause your body to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure.

• Too little potassium in your diet. Potassium helps balance the

amount of sodium in your cells. If you don't get enough potassium in

your diet or retain enough potassium, you may accumulate too much

sodium in your blood.
• Too little vitamin D in your diet. may affect an enzyme produced by

your kidneys that affects your blood pressure.
• Drinking too much alcohol. Over time, heavy drinking can damage your

heart. Having more than two drinks a day can raise your blood

pressure.
• Stress. High levels of stress can lead to a temporary, but dramatic,

increase in blood pressure. If you try to relax by eating more, using

tobacco or drinking alcohol, you may only increase problems with high

blood pressure.
• Certain chronic conditions. Certain chronic conditions also may

increase your risk of high blood pressure, including high cholesterol,

diabetes, kidney disease and sleep apnea.
• Sometimes pregnancy contributes to high blood pressure, as well.

• Children may be at risk, too. For some children, high blood pressure

is caused by problems with the kidneys or heart. But for a growing

number of kids, poor lifestyle habits — such as an unhealthy diet and

lack of exercise — contribute to high blood pressure.

COMPLICATION
The excessive pressure on your artery walls caused by high blood

pressure can damage your blood vessels, as well as organs in your

body.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to:
• Heart attack or stroke hardening and thickening of the arteries

(atherosclerosis),
• Aneurysm. Increased blood pressure can cause your blood vessels to

weaken and bulge,
• Heart failure.
• Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys. This can result

in vision loss.
• Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of disorders of your body's

metabolism that create the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease

or stroke.
• Trouble with memory or understanding.
PREPARING FOR APPOINTMENT WITH A DOCTOR OR ABRAHAM'S CHILDREN

FOUNDATION PARAMEDIC STAFF
If you think you may have high blood pressure, make an appointment

with your family doctor or Abraham's Children Foundation Paramedic

staff to have your blood pressure checked.
TEST AND DIAGNOSIS
Blood pressure is measured with an inflatable arm cuff and a

pressure-measuring gauge. The first, or upper, number measures the

pressure in your arteries when your heart beats (systolic pressure).

The second, or lower, number measures the pressure in your arteries

between beats (diastolic pressure).
BLOOD PRESSURE MEASUREMENTS FALL INTO FOUR GENERAL CATEGORIES:

• Normal blood pressure. Your blood pressure is normal if it's below

120/80 mm Hg. However, some doctors recommend 115/75 mm Hg as a better

goal. Once blood pressure rises above 115/75 mm Hg, the risk of

cardiovascular disease begins to increase.
• Prehypertension. Prehypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from

120 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 80 to 89 mm Hg.

Prehypertension tends to get worse over time.
• Stage 1 hypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from 140 to 159

mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 90 to 99 mm Hg.

• Stage 2 hypertension. More severe hypertension, stage 2 hypertension

is a systolic pressure of 160 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic pressure

of 100 mm Hg or higher.
• Both numbers in a blood pressure reading are important. But after

age 50, the systolic reading is even more significant. Isolated

systolic hypertension — when diastolic pressure is normal but systolic

pressure is high — is the most common type of high blood pressure

among people older than 50.
• If you have any type of high blood pressure, your doctor may

recommend routine tests, such as a urine test (urinalysis), blood

tests and an electrocardiogram (ECG) — a test that measures your

heart's electrical activity. Your doctor may also recommend additional

tests, such as a cholesterol test, to check for more signs of heart

disease.
TAKING YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE AT HOME
Abraham's Children Foundation paramedics are ready to provide home

service of regular checked of aged person's blood pressure. Our

paramedic staff are ready to help in training patients on how to use

digital blood pressure measuring device at home.
TREATMENT AND DRUGS
Your blood pressure treatment goal depends on how healthy you are.

Blood pressure treatment goals*
140/90 mm Hg or lower If you are a healthy adult
130/80 mm Hg or lower If you have chronic kidney disease, diabetes or

coronary artery disease or are at high risk of coronary artery disease

120/80 mm Hg or lower If your heart isn't pumping as well as it

should (left ventricular dysfunction or heart failure) or you have

severe chronic kidney disease
*Although 120/80 mm Hg or lower is the ideal blood pressure goal,

doctors are unsure if you need treatment (medications) to reach that

level.
If you're an adult age 80 or older and your blood pressure is very

high, your doctor may set a target blood pressure goal for you that's

slightly higher than 140/90 mm Hg.
MEDICATIONS TO TREAT HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
• Thiazide diuretics
• Beta blockers
• Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors

• Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
• Calcium channel blockers
• Renin inhibitors
• Alpha blockers
• Alpha-beta blockersCentral-acting agents
• Vasodilators.
• Aspirin:
LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO TREAT HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
• Eat healthy foods
• Decrease the salt in your diet
• Maintain a healthy weight.
• Increase physical activity
• Limit alcohol.
• Don't smoke
• Manage stress
• Monitor your blood pressure at home
• Practice relaxation or slow, deep breathing

• Cut back on caffeine
• Get support from family and friends
RESISTANT HYPERTENSION: WHEN YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE IS DIFFICULT TO CONTROL

Resistant hypertension is blood pressure that's resistant to treatment.

Your doctor or hypertension specialist can
• Evaluate whether the medications and doses you're taking for your

high blood pressure are appropriate.
• Fine-tune your medications to come up with the most effective

combination and doses.
• review medications you're taking for other conditions.

• Review medications, foods or supplements can worsen high blood

pressure or prevent your high blood pressure medications from working

effectively.
• Request for honest information about all the medications or

supplements you take.
Supportive family and friends can help improve your health. Talk to

your family and friends about the dangers of high blood pressure.

STRESS AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: WHAT'S THE CONNECTION?

Your body produces a surge of hormones when you're in a stressful

situation. These hormones temporarily increase your blood pressure by

causing your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow.

• Exercise: Physical activity is a natural stress buster.

• Try yoga and meditation: Yoga and meditation not only can strengthen

your body and help you relax, but also may lower your systolic blood

pressure by 5 mm Hg or more.
• Get plenty of sleep. Being sleep deprived can make your problems

seem worse than they really are.
• Shift your perspective: When dealing with problems, resist the

tendency to complain. Acknowledge your feelings about the situation,

and then focus on finding solutions.
SECONDARY HYPERTENSION: is high blood pressure that's caused by

another medical condition.
Secondary hypertension can be caused by conditions that affect your

kidneys, arteries, heart or endocrine system. Secondary hypertension

can also occur during pregnancy.
Proper treatment of secondary hypertension can often control both the

underlying condition and the high blood pressure, which reduces the

risk of serious complications — including heart disease, kidney

failure and stroke.
SYMPTOMS
Like primary high blood pressure (hypertension), secondary

hypertension usually has no specific signs or symptoms, even if your

blood pressure has reached dangerously high levels.

When to see a doctor
If you have a condition that can cause secondary hypertension, you may

need your blood pressure checked more frequently. Ask your doctor how

often to have your blood pressure checked.
CAUSES: A number of conditions can cause secondary hypertension.

These include:
• Diabetes complications (diabetic nephropathy).

• Polycystic kidney disease.
• Glomerular disease swollen glomeruli can't work normally, you may

develop high blood pressure.
• Renovascular hypertension can cause severe hypertension and

irreversible kidney damage.
• Cushing syndrome cause the adrenal glands to produce too much of the

hormone cortisol. This raises blood pressure.
• Aldosteronism a tumor in the adrenal gland, increased growth of

normal cells in the adrenal gland.
• Pheochromocytoma rare tumor in an adrenal gland, which can lead to

long-term high blood pressure or short-term spikes in blood pressure.

• Thyroid problems produces too much thyroid hormone

(hyperthyroidism), high blood pressure can result.
• Hyperparathyroidism. If the parathyroid glands secrete too much

parathyroid hormone, the amount of calcium in your blood rises — which

triggers a rise in blood pressure.
• Coarctation of the aorta raises blood pressure — particularly in your arms.

• Sleep apnea a condition marked by severe snoring, causes part of the

nervous system to be overactive and release certain chemicals that

increase blood pressure.
• Obesity fat deposits can release chemicals that raise blood

pressure. All of these factors can cause hypertension.

• Pregnancy can make existing high blood pressure worse, or may cause

high blood pressure to develop (pregnancy-induced hypertension or

preeclampsia).
• Medications and supplements. Various prescription medications — such

as pain relievers, antidepressants and drugs used after organ

transplants — can cause or aggravate high blood pressure in some

people. Birth control pills, decongestants and certain herbal

supplements, including ginseng, licorice and ephedra (ma huang), may

have the same effect. Many illegal drugs, such as cocaine and

methamphetamine, also increase blood pressure.
RISK FACTORS
The greatest risk factor for having secondary hypertension is having

a medical condition that can cause high blood pressure, such as

kidney, artery, heart or endocrine system problems
COMPLICATIONS
Secondary hypertension can worsen the underlying medical condition you

have that's causing your high blood pressure. If you don't receive

treatment, secondary hypertension can also be associated with other

medical conditions, such as:
• Damage to your arteries. This can result in hardening and thickening

of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack,

stroke or other complications.
• Aneurysm. Increased blood pressure can cause your blood vessels to

weaken and bulge, forming an aneurysm. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can

be life-threatening.
• Heart failure is cause by the thickened muscle that may have a hard

time pumping enough blood to meet your body's needs, which can lead to

heart failure.
• Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys. This can

prevent these organs from functioning normally.
• Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes. This can

result in vision loss.
• Metabolic syndrome. If you have high blood pressure, you're more

likely to have other components of metabolic syndrome. The more

components you have, the greater your risk of developing diabetes,

heart disease or stroke.
• Trouble with memory or understanding. Uncontrolled high blood

pressure also may affect your ability to think, remember and learn.

Trouble with memory or understanding concepts is more common in people

who have high blood pressure.
PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT
For example, if your doctor believes that a kidney problem is causing

your high blood pressure, you'll likely be referred to a doctor who

specializes in treating kidney disorders (nephrologist).

What you can do
Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the

appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in

advance, such as restrict your diet for a certain number of hours

before your appointment.
Tests and diagnosis
To diagnose secondary hypertension, your doctor will first take a

blood pressure reading using an inflatable cuff, just as your blood

pressure is measured during a typical doctor's appointment. Your

doctor may not diagnose you with secondary hypertension based on one

higher than normal blood pressure reading — it may take three to six

high blood pressure measurements at separate appointments to diagnose

secondary hypertension.
Your doctor will also want to check other markers to pinpoint the

cause of your high blood pressure. These could include:

• A blood test.
• Urinalysis.
• Ultrasound of your kidneys.
• Electrocardiogram (ECG). An ECG measures the timing and duration of

each electrical phase in your heartbeat.
Educational Service Unit of Paramedic Service Department

Abraham's Children Foundation
No. 25 Nelag's House Ngodo PWD, Afikpo North, Ebonyi State, Nigeria

[email protected]
www.acf-ngo.org
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(+2347032692294) (+2348051430497)