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Stress: Expert advises Nigerians to cultivate time for relaxation

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By Becky John

Dr Jacob Nwachukwu, the President, Blood Pressure Control Foundation Nigeria, an NGO, on Wednesday advised Nigerians to cultivate the habit of relaxation to reduce stress-related ailments. Nwachukwu told the newsmen in Abuja that stress-related ailments, such as stroke, diabetes and hypertension showed minor signs, which were usually ignored until they became severe.

“Some of these ailments can lead to sudden deaths if not early detected and properly managed by medical experts.

“They could occur almost immediately; someone who is apparently fit may be at risk; that’s why routine check-up is of utmost importance,” he said.

Nwachukwu said hypertension is the most common stress-related ailment that affected many silently. He said hypertension was a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries was elevated.

“Blood pressure measurement is consistently normal at 140/90, but when the pressure is repeatedly 150/90, there is hypertension.

“When somebody is hypertensive, there are certain food modifications that one has to make to stop blood pressure from being aggravated,’’ Nwachukwu said.

He said the lifestyle of an individual affected the way the body reacts to issues, stressing the need for Nigerians to avoid consuming excessive salt and some artificial seasoning. He said salt reduction was a preventive and treatment measure.

“Anybody diagnosed having hypertension should avoid fatty foods as much as possible foods like meat, goat meat and cow leg have to be avoided.

“The person should take more of fish, chicken with the skin removed, more fruits and vegetables and avoid alcohol and sugary foods completely.”

Nwachukwu said taking medication and avoiding junk foods would help in eradicating chronic conditions, advising Nigerians to cultivate the habit of regular exercise and create time for relaxation.

“Being angry, quarrelsome will trigger some level of stress and even increase ones blood pressure, one should be careful.

“If one is unhappy or having challenges in life, try and share it with your closest friend instead of holding it in because it has adverse effect on the health,’’ he said.

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