By Tracy Njeri:
At the age of Seventeen, on July 19th, 2016, Tracy was diagnosed with Hypertension [ High Blood Pressure].
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition in which the pressure of the blood against artery walls is higher than normal. It is usually measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and is often expressed as two numbers—the systolic pressure (as the heart beats) over the diastolic pressure (as the heart relaxes between beats).
Normal blood pressure levels are considered to be lower than 120/80 mmHg. If your readings fall above this range, then you may be diagnosed with hypertension.
The American Heart Association divides hypertension into four stages based on the severity of your blood pressure reading:
Stage 1 Hypertension: Systolic blood pressure between 130–139 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure between 80–89 mmHg
Stage 2 Hypertension: Systolic blood pressure at 140 mmHg or higher or diastolic blood pressure at 90 mmHg or higher
Hypertensive Crisis: Systolic blood pressure at 180 mmHg or higher or diastolic blood pressure at 120 mmHg or higher
Isolated Systolic Hypertension: Systolic blood pressure at 140 mmHg or higher and diastolic blood pressure below 90 mmHg.
It was shocking since I had no idea what that was or what it entailed. The doctor went on to prescribe Nifedipine 40mg and tests for further investigations.
The investigations included:
An ECG Report — Normal 12 lead ECG and a comment requesting further investigations to determine the cause of Hypertension.
An ECG (electrocardiogram) is a graphical representation of the electrical activity of the heart. It is used to measure the rate and regularity of a person’s heartbeat. An ECG records the electrical impulses produced by the heart as it contracts, allowing doctors to detect any abnormalities in the heart’s rhythm or structure.
An ECG typically consists of several waves that represent different phases in each heartbeat. The first wave is called the P wave, which represents the depolarization of the atria (the two upper chambers of the heart). The second wave is called the QRS complex, which represents the depolarization of the ventricles (the two lower chambers of the heart). The third wave is called the T wave, which represents the repolarization of all four chambers of the heart. By analyzing these waves, doctors can identify any irregularities in a person’s heartbeat and make an accurate diagnosis.
Yeah, the Doctor checked the activity of my heart and concluded it had no irregularities. He then went on to list the tests I needed:
A urinalysis is a test that evaluates the physical, cemical, and microscopic properties of urine. It is used to detect and diagnose conditions such as urinary tract infections, kidney disease, diabetes, and other disorders.
The results of a urinalysis can help diagnose or rule out certain medical conditions. For example, if there are high levels of proteins in the urine it may indicate kidney damage or kidney disease. If there are high levels of glucose in the urine it may be indicative of diabetes. If bacteria are present in the urine it may indicate a urinary tract infection.
a) (U) BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen): BUN is a test that measures the amount of urea nitrogen in your blood. Urea nitrogen is a waste product from the breakdown of proteins, and it’s normally filtered out of the blood by the kidneys. High levels of BUN can be an indication that the kidneys are not functioning properly, as they are not filtering out enough urea nitrogen from the blood.
b) (E) Electrolytes: Electrolytes are minerals in your body that help regulate fluids and other important functions. Imbalances in electrolytes can be an indicator of kidney dysfunction, as electrolyte imbalances can occur when there is too much waste in the blood due to inadequate filtering by the kidneys.
c) (C) Creatinine: Creatinine is another waste product that is normally filtered out of the blood by the kidneys. High levels of creatinine in the blood can indicate decreased kidney function or damage to the kidneys.
To lower and maintain Hypertension, the doctor prescribed Losartan H 50mg and often visits to the hospital for clinics.
I kept attending the clinic with positivity though psychologically it was a lot. All I wanted was to get well and get on back with my life without clinics and hospitals. Little did I know, it would get worse by June 2018.