Victoria Opakunle, Head of the Nursing Unit, Kamwire Medical Centre, Ilorin, on Saturday advised Nigerians to cultivate the habit of checking their blood pressure regularly.
According to her, the act will help to avoid stress-related ailments and sudden death.
Opakunle, who gave this advice, said that the advice became imperative because high blood pressure does not show any sign or symptoms.
She said that high blood pressure kills faster than Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), “stress-related ailments such as stroke, diabetes and hypertension showed minor signs which were usually ignored until they became severe.
“Some of these ailments can lead to sudden death, if not detected early and properly managed by medical experts.
“They can occur almost immediately; someone who is apparently fit may be at risk; that is why regular checkups is of utmost importance,” Opakunle said.
She described hypertension as one of the most common stress-related ailments that affect many people silently, saying hypertension was a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries becomes elevated.
She stressed that the need for a regular check on blood pressure was becoming increasingly relevant as reports of obesity, poor diet and physical inactivity in children and young people become common
“Blood pressure measurement is consistently normal if it is 120/80, but when it repeatedly becomes 150/90, that is when there is hypertension.
“When somebody is hypertensive, there are certain food modifications that one has to make to ensure that the pressure is not aggravated.
“Anybody diagnosed with hypertension should avoid fatty foods, sugary drinks and change some lifestyles.
“The person should take more of fish, chicken without the skin, more fruits and vegetables, avoid alcohol intake and sugary foods completely,’’ she advised.
She stressed the need for Nigerians to avoid consuming excessive salt and some foods with artificial seasonings, saying that they could trigger ailments.
She also said salt reduction was a preventive and treatment measure to hypertension, adding that taking medication and avoiding junk foods would go a long way in eradicating chronic conditions.