The prevalence of hypertension in the Philippines has been steadily increasing in the past decade. From only 11% of Filipinos with high blood pressure in 1992, around 28% of the population already have it as of 2013. More often than not, hypertension is accompanied by and associated with cardiovascular or heart disease. And because of healthcare limitations in the country coupled with financial difficulties, many Filipinos are not aware they have hypertension. Less than half of those with high blood pressure are aware of their condition.
Hypertension is unfortunately very common, but many Filipinos do not fully understand its consequences. In our latest health article, Top Medical Magazine shares everything you need to know about hypertension.
Hypertension Definition — What Is It?
Hypertension is another term for high blood pressure. Basically, blood pressure is the measurement of the force exerted by your blood against the walls of your blood vessels. This pressure depends on how hard your heart needs to work to facilitate blood circulation as well as the resistance of the blood vessels.
If you have high blood pressure, it means your heart is working double-time and there is much resistance in your blood vessels.
How Do You Know You Have High Blood Pressure?
You have hypertension when your blood pressure reading is higher than the normal range. To give you an idea, refer to the ranges below:
Normal range: Less than 120 over 80
Elevated: 120 to 129 over 80 or less
Stage 1 Hypertension: 130 to 139 over 80 to 89
Stage 2 Hypertension: 140 to 179 over 90 to 119
Hypertension crisis: 180 and higher over 120 and higher
Elevated blood pressure is often acute or temporary. However, if during a blood pressure check and the healthcare practitioner finds you have high blood pressure, they may recommend maintenance measures and/or prescribe maintenance medication as necessary.
What Are the Causes of Hypertension?
Your genetic makeup plays a role in your overall health. This is why if you have a family history of hypertension, you should make sure that you avoid other known causes of high blood pressure. These include the following:
- Obesity or being overweight
- Lack of exercise or physical activity
- Salty diet
- Excessive alcohol consumption
You may also be susceptible to hypertension if you experience or have the following:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Adrenal disorders
- Thyroid disorders
- Sleep apnea
Why You Should Take Chronic High Blood Pressure Seriously
Just like having high levels of bad cholesterol, having high blood pressure puts you at risk for severe health problems and complications. In the Philippines alone, deaths related to hypertension increased from 11% in 1990 to 21% in 2017. Meanwhile, disabilities associated with hypertension, including paralysis due to stroke, rose from 4% to 11% during the same period.
Hypertension is a primary risk factor for heart and cardiovascular diseases. These include heart failure, heart attack, stroke, and aneurysm. Fortunately, it is very preventable and controllable. If you do not wish to be included in the hypertension statistics, start managing it as early as now, even if you are not diagnosed with high blood pressure yet.
How to Manage and Maintain Your Blood Pressure
Regardless of whether you have someone in the family with high blood pressure or not, it’s important that you follow best practices for maintaining normal blood pressure. Here are some of the lifestyle changes you should start incorporating into your daily routine.
- Reduce salt intake. Keep your salt consumption to under 5 grams per day.
- Drink moderately. Two alcoholic drinks per day for men and one for women is recommended.
- Try a holistic diet. This type of diet focuses on whole foods, which include a lot of fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid fatty foods. As much as possible, reduce your consumption of trans fats, animal fats, and hydrogenated vegetable oils.
- Stop smoking. Quitting smoking will not only help control blood pressure but also keep other diseases at bay.
- Maintain physical activity. Exercising is always recommended to stay healthy physically and mentally.
- Reduce stress. One of the best things you can do for your body is to take better care of your mental health and this starts with controlling stress.
Start Taking Control of Your Health
Maintaining normal blood pressure is crucial in maintaining your overall health. By doing things that help keep your mind and body healthy, having normal blood pressure will be easy.
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- Hypertension in PH and awareness benefits
- Everything you need to know about hypertension
- Causes of High Blood Pressure