A SENSITIZATION ON HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE CONTROL THROUGH FREE REGULAR CHECK IN COMMUNITIES WERE WE SERVE
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
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.
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
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
• Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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.
The excessive pressure on your artery walls caused by high blood
pressure can damage your blood vessels, as well as organs in your
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to:
• Heart attack or stroke hardening and thickening of the arteries
• 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
• 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
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
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
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
• 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.
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.
• 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
• 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.
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
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
• 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
• 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
Your doctor will also want to check other markers to pinpoint the
cause of your high blood pressure. These could include:
• A blood test.
• 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