Hypertension in young people is more common than you think. It’s also more disturbing because the majority go unchecked and can result in further health complications.
We were able to speak with some Nigerians on how they manage hypertension. You can share with your circle to create awareness and save a life.
Jessica, 18, F
“There was a period when I was very sick. I self-treated for malaria, but I wasn’t getting any better. Then my dad asked me to go to the hospital. As is the custom, before the doctor attended to me, a nurse checked my temperature and blood pressure level. She looked at me and back at the figure on the machine, then sent my file to the doctor. On getting to see the doctor, the first thing he asked was if I was hypertensive. I didn’t exactly know what that meant, so I responded in the negative. He then explained and informed me that I might have teenage hypertension because my blood pressure was 150/100 then. The scary thing is that it got higher than that over time. Then I was referred to a specialist and asked a series of questions, like if I was doing drugs. They ran a drug test to confirm, and it came out negative. Other tests were carried out to ascertain the cause of my hypertension including a renal scan (had something to do with my kidney). Finally, I was permanently placed on drugs, and it was hell; I was always urinating and tired. The drug was just one tablet every day with checkups, but I wasn’t getting any better. My blood pressure was still rising and falling. To make things worse, COVID happened, my dad got retrenched and I automatically got cut off from the HMO plan his company provided. Then I started paying for the drugs myself and saw that it was very expensive. Thankfully, I got better this year; my blood pressure was 120/80 for the first time in three years.”
Biola, 25, F
Before now, I had limited information about what being hypertensive entails or how to prevent it. Maybe because we’re not properly sensitized about these things in this part of the world. Anyway, in 2018, I noticed I was always experiencing a certain level of fatigue and shortness of breath. I ignored this for a while due to my busy schedule until one day when I almost fainted on the road. On proper examination at the hospital, I was diagnosed with hypertension. It came as a shocker, because how old was I? Lol. In a nutshell, my fast-paced work lifestyle largely contributed to this. As a Digital Marketing Manager, there are days when I barely get time to catch a break, but I don’t complain, because I love what I do. But after that diagnosis, I had to make conscious lifestyle changes and periodic checks a priority. It’s not easy living with it, especially with the drugs and watching my diet, but I’m glad it’s manageable.
Rotimi, 29, M
“I’d been in the NYSC camp in Ogun state for a week and had only slept for like 8 hours of that because the beds were wildly uncomfortable. I’m talking about paper-thin mattresses on bunk beds. I started having headaches that wouldn’t go away no matter what I tried so I went to the camp clinic to get checked out. As is routine at hospitals, the doctor checked my blood pressure first and gasped. She took a second reading as if to confirm what she just saw, and then called her colleagues to come to see. When she found out how old I was at the time (23), she had a long talk with me about how abnormal it is for a 23-year-old blood pressure reading to be 160/110. She put me on a drug named Moduretic and told me to make lifestyle changes to ensure I wasn’t on the drug for the rest of my life. I get regular checkups now and thanks to her, I know what to do to keep my blood pressure where it should be.”
Keeping track of your blood pressure and overall health doesn’t have to empty your pockets…
Hygeia HMO has a wide variety of health insurance plans for individuals, families, and even employees at businesses. You can get check-ups, medical advice, and treatment from health professionals at a fraction of the usual cost. Visit https://www.hygeiahmo.com/our-plans/personal-family-plans/ to find a plan that best fits your needs.