Pres­sure checks and con­trol vi­tal

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Health -

HY­PER­TEN­SION is the most com­mon risk fac­tor for non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­ease in Bar­ba­dos.

As the name sug­gests, hy­per­ten­sion is sim­ply de­fined as el­e­vated pres­sures in the vas­cu­lar sys­tem (blood ves­sels and heart). It is es­ti­mated that 40 per cent of all Bar­ba­di­ans over the age of 40 have hy­per­ten­sion. It is fre­quently re­ferred to as the “silent killer” as most peo­ple are un­aware of their di­ag­no­sis.

Hy­per­ten­sion is fre­quently found dur­ing a rou­tine check-up or when a per­son goes to the doc­tor with some other com­plaint. Eighty per cent of those with it have no symp­toms. In se­vere cases, peo­ple may re­port headache and dizzi­ness.

When you visit your health care pro­fes­sional, you should have your blood pres­sure done and the read­ing will give two num­bers: the sys­tolic blood pres­sure and the di­as­tolic blood pres­sure. The sys­tolic (the higher num­ber) cor­re­sponds to max­i­mum pres­sure in the ar­ter­ies when the heart con­tracts, while the di­as­tolic (the lower num­ber) cor­re­sponds to the min­i­mum pres­sure in the ar­ter­ies when the heart re­laxes. Your blood pres­sure is not static (there may be vari­a­tions cor­re­spond­ing to sleep, work time, leisure time and dur­ing ex­er­cise).

A blood pres­sure read­ing is taken with a pres­sure cuff (sphyg­mo­manome­ter). Dur­ing the test, the cuff is placed around the up­per arm be­fore be­ing man­u­ally or elec­tron­i­cally in­flated. The test should be done in a quiet and re­laxed at­mos­phere.

Peo­ple should re­frain from smok­ing, drink­ing al­co­hol and tak­ing cof­fee prior to hav­ing their blood pres­sure checked. In some in­di­vid­u­als, blood pres­sure may be spu­ri­ously el­e­vated dur­ing the time of the doc­tor’s visit (white-coat hy­per­ten­sion).

It is rec­om­mended that blood pres­sure be mon­i­tored at home with por­ta­ble dig­i­tal equip­ment that is re­li­able and usu­ally easy to op­er­ate.

•Once your health care pro­fes­sional has made the di­ag­no­sis, the goal is now to main­tain your blood pres­sure within the nor­mal range. The cat­e­gories listed in the first col­umn are guides. Peo­ple with di­a­betes mel­li­tus, a his­tory of heart at­tack, stroke or kid­ney dis­ease may have even more strin­gent tar­gets agreed with their physi­cian.

•••to sup­port bod­ily ac­tiv­ity).

Kid­ney fail­ure – Pro­longed el­e­vated blood pres­sure causes the ar­ter­ies of the kid­neys to nar­row, weaken or har­den so that the kid­ney may lose its abil­ity to fil­ter the blood.

Erec­tile dys­func­tion and im­po­tence – Over time, ir­re­versible dam­age to blood ves­sels may re­sult in dif­fi­culty in main­tain­ing an erect pe­nis.

Vi­sion loss – The ves­sels in the eyes may be dam­aged by hy­per­ten­sion with nar­row­ing, ex­u­dates and bleed­ing re­sult­ing in vis­ual loss.

Words of cau­tion from Sir Roy

VET­ERAN TRADE UNIONIST Sir Roy Trot­man has is­sued some strong words of cau­tion as Bar­ba­dos moves a step closer to hav­ing a law to pro­tect em­ploy­ees against sex­ual ha­rass­ment in the work­place.

Though he de­clared his sup­port for the pro­posed Em­ploy­ment Sex­ual Ha­rass­ment (Pre­ven­tion) Bill, 2017, Sir Roy told the Se­nate yes­ter­day that he was con­cerned about the ease with which pro­ceed­ings could be bro­ken off and re­ferred to me­di­a­tion.

The In­de­pen­dent se­na­tor told leg­is­la­tors there had been “de­lib­er­ate abuse”, par­tic­u­larly of fe­males at the work­place, jux­ta­pos­ing this against the more than a dozen years taken for the bill to reach its cur­rent stage.

The for­mer gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Bar­ba­dos Work­ers’ Union ar­gued that “the mere pas­sage of a piece of leg­is­la­tion is not go­ing to re­move that mis­be­haviour or that abuse be­hav­iour from within the en­vi­ron­ment”.

He said in­di­vid­u­als would use “what­ever power and au­thor­ity they have to thwart the waves of jus­tice”.

“There must be con­cern as well that the com­plainant [would not have their] rights un­duly swayed in one di­rec­tion or the other,” he said.

Sir Roy was equally wor­ried about po­ten­tial le­gal chal­lenges, cit­ing some of the clauses in the bill that could be open to mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion, in­clud­ing those deal­ing with con­tract of ser­vice.

Re­mind­ing his col­leagues of the chal­lenges to the Em­ploy­ment Rights Act, he said “a num­ber of gu­rus” had used weak­nesses in that law to say it should be aban­doned.

“Hav­ing been once bit­ten, I be­lieve . . . that the wise peo­ple of Bar­ba­dos should make sure that we don’t al­low the friv­o­lous to im­pose their will on those of us who are much more se­ri­ous in their think­ing and their ap­proach to na­tion-build­ing. I be­lieve that we should there­fore en­sure that the naysay­ers do not get their day in court.” ( WILLCOMM)

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