In my last three calls at the Accident and Emergency, I have noticed that we usually admit an average of 2-3 people who are brought in unconscious or unable to speak well, with weakness of one side of the body including the hand and leg of the affected side and deviation of the mouth. Further investigation with a Brain CT Scan in most of these people usually reveals that they have suffered a stroke.
In most cases, there has been an underlying long-standing hypertension(high blood pressure) that has persisted unchecked and uncontrolled. Hypertension is a very silent killer that usually gives no symptoms; its very first symptom might be disastrous.
I like to describe the relationship between blood pressure, hypertension and stroke by comparing how blood flows in our blood vessels to how water runs in pipes in the house. Sometimes when you open the tap in the kitchen, water flows normally and sometimes it gushes out with so much force. High blood pressure is similar to the water in the pipes running very fast, if it persists uncontrolled for many years, the pipe will burst eventually.
If the blood carrying pipes in the body burst in the Brain, that’s called a stroke and because this happens suddenly in supposedly well, able-bodied people, many have been tempted to think it’s a spiritual attack. No, it’s not a spiritual attack. It’s a long standing uncontrolled hypertension.
Hypertension can also cause Myocardial Infarction also known as heart attack, acute renal failure, heart failure, blindness and sudden death among others. Many precious lives have been lost to this silent killer, which is very disheartening because these are avoidable deaths. Hypertension is usually detected by routine blood pressure checks. Unsuspecting People with a dangerously high blood pressure might complain of headaches and visual disturbances.
However, High blood pressure isn’t like malaria whereby you take some prescribed antimalarial drugs, have some bed rest and it’s all gone. No!hypertension cannot be cured but can only be managed. And it’s really not a big deal as many people have lived with well-controlled hypertension for many decades by having some lifestyle modification and appropriate drug therapy.
Anyone living with an unchecked and uncontrolled hypertension is like a disaster waiting to happen. Don’t keep walking around like a living corpse. Please check your blood pressure today and ensure that your daddy, mummy, uncles and aunties do so too.
Stay Healthy and be Safe!