Hypertensive Heart Failure: Why You Must Always Check Your Blood Pressure
Why You Must always Check your blood Pressure
Blood Pressure measurement is something everyone should be in the habit of doing. At least it is not invasive and does not cost a thing.
It will prevent you from a whole lot, including saving your life too. Many people neglect these things because they appear too simple to cause havoc.
I have noticed one thing: the things that prolong peoples life are not difficult to do. Things like checking your blood pressure, eating good food, sleeping well, drinking enough water, and exercise. All these things are almost always neglected by a lot of people possibly because they appear very simple and passive.
Hypertension as we know it is a silent killer. It does not give symptoms. In Fact most hypertensive persons are healthy, apparently. They will tell you that they are fine, that nothing is happening to them. While in deed something is happening just that they were not aware.
I met my teacher in secondary school today. She is actually the reason I’m writing this. She was complaining of not feeling fine. She started telling me how her doctor said she has hypertensive heart failure. The name alone is frightens her when she hears that the heart is failing. As a teacher, she understands what failure means, lol😂 , Even though that’s not what it means literally.
She has been coughing for the past 5 years. All these while, she did nothing, because she feels fine, and the cough doesn’t look serious. So she would always take antibiotics to suppress the cough thinking she was having upper respiratory tract infection.
Fast forward this year, the cough became persistent. As usual she called her doctor on the phone demanding for a prescription to take. At least this time she tried, she called a doctor. Before now the patent medicine dealer has always been her point of call.
After hearing her history, her doctor demanded to see her physically to do a proper examination. He measured her blood pressure, and it was 140/90mmHg.
He sent her to do a chest X-ray. And it was found out that she has cardiomegaly – enlargement of the heart.
The doctor diagnosed hypertensive heart failure.
The heart was enlarged because it has been working against a high pressure in the arteries. It is like when you are doing weight lifting. You are carrying a weight against resistance. So the muscles get big. That’s what happened in this case, the heart was subjected to do weight lifting it never asked for.
But she was lucky, her own heart failure was in the early stage. She was started on some medications.
WHAT IS HEART FAILURE?
HEART FAILURE means that the heart is no longer able to pump enough blood that it should which will enough for the whole body. The heart pumps out approximately 5 litres of blood every minute for the body to use.
So when the heart cannot meet up to this demand of the body, we say it has failed. So it’s actually not a failure as you know it. No, the heart is still functioning, but performing below it’s capacity.
Liken it to the Water Board Corporations. The work of the Water Board Corporation is to pump water that the city will use for the day. So when they start underperforming, pumping less water than needed, the city will start feeling it’s consequences, the same way your body feels the consequences of your heart failing. So we can say, the Water Board has failed.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEART FAILURE
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of legs or ankles
- Chest pain
- Tiredness especially when you do a little work like mere walking, or climbing the staircase
- You feel or hear your own heart beat
- You wake up at night panting for air, as if the air in your room is no longer enough for you, like you are suffocating
- You feel you cannot breath when you are lying flat. You tend to use high pillows before you sleep.
WHEN TO SEE YOUR DOCTOR
- You have chest pain
- Losing weight
- Your blood pressure is high,
- Your legs are swollen
- You don’t feel comfortable sleeping flat
- Feeling or hearing your own heartbeat
- You feel weak and pant for air when your walk or climb staircase – This is a giveaway sign, never you ignore it.
TREATMENT OF HEART FAILURE AND HYPERTENSION
Heart failure and hypertension are diseases best handled by a cardiologist. The drugs for them are plenty and require a lot of combination. It’s not something you go to your pharmacist to get any antihypertensive and start taking.
This is not malaria you treat on your own.
A friend of mine called me that, which drug he would buy, that he measured his blood pressure, and it was high. It was so funny.
It does not work like that. Having a raised blood pressure does not equate to having hypertension. There are so many things that raise the blood pressure like anger, fear, anxiety etc.
We think of hypertension when the raised blood pressure becomes PERSISTENT – that’s the keyword, PERSISTENT RISE IN BLOOD PRESSURE.
So if you feel you are sick, it is always better, safer, cheaper, to meet your doctor. Stop the attitude of taking things serious when it has gone out of hand.
WHAT IS NORMAL BLOOD PRESSURE
BUT, low blood pressure is very rare and in majority of cases does not always follow the rule. For you to say a blood pressure is low, you must have followed up the person for some time to know what the person’s normal blood pressure has always been.
CONSEQUENCES OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE (Hypertension)
- Heart failure
- Heart attack
- Thickening of your blood vessels
- Weakening of blood vessels
- Rupture of blood vessels
RISK FACTORS FOR DEVELOPING HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE (HYPERTENSION)
- Family history
- Increasing age
- Race (being black)
- Diabetes mellitus
- Overweight, obesii
- Sedentary life style
HOW TO PREVENT HYPERTENSION (HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE)
- check your blood pressure every month
- Ask about your family history
- Check your blood sugar steady
- Avoid smoking
- Stop alcohol, or at least, minimize
Thank you, do use the comment box to ask a question or share your experiences.