Self-Care: Health Promotion Plan for Hypertension (HTN)

Hypertension is also known to many as high blood pressure, and involves arteries possessing exceedingly high blood pressure. It is a major and mostly experienced cardiovascular disease, characterized by difficulty in pumping of blood by the heart due to accumulated high pressure in the arteries (Sandosh et al., 2012). The disease is associated with organ damage and development of several other illnesses, for instance, heart failure and attack, stroke, renal failure and aneurysm. Some studies have shown that hypertension can also lead to decline of cognitive activities. Normal blood pressure is always below 120/80 mmHg with 120 representing the systolic measurement and 80 representing the diastolic measurement.  Prehypertension is represented by blood pressure between 120/80 mmHg and 139/89 mmHg, while hypertension is represented by 140/ 90 mmHg and above (Tanira and Balushi, 2005). Therefore, during these two situations, medical attention is required since cardiac health is not normal. Hypertension can be considered as a multifactorial condition, which makes it quite complex. The factors contributing to its prevalence may be considered environmental, demographic or genetic. Environmental factors include diet, weight, age, sex, stress, cigarette smoking, medical conditions and the physical condition of an individual. Genetic factors contribute to variations in blood pressure from about 30 to 50%. Therefore, it is logical that a family with hypertensive history has the chance of passing the condition over to the descendants.

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Several people have been observed to have high blood pressure as a result of genetic issues. This has been possible through the identification of certain gene variants contributing to the condition. The identification of the genes helps in understanding the pathophysiology of the condition, as well as the physiological and biochemical pathways involved in its development. In most cases, genes do not act alone, but in association with environmental factors (Tanira and Balushi, 2005). Therefore, identifying and studying genes related to HTN helps in understanding all the contributing factors.  Hypertension susceptible genes can enable the recognition of individuals at risk of developing the disease in future.  This is always possible even before the manifestation of clinical symptoms, thus helping in setting a health promotion plan (Pender, 1982). The genetic study of high blood pressure is vital, because it helps in development of therapeutic measures of curbing the disease. This, in turn, enables shifting from plans of treatments and concentrate on prevention.

Genes involved in development of hypertension can be identified through several methodologies, for example, allele sharing methods, linkage analysis and association analysis. The methods use an inheritance pattern and trait in determining the possibility of an individual acquiring the same condition (Sandosh et al., 2012). Several family studies have shown great contribution of genetic factors to development of primary high blood pressure.Genes contributing to hypertension are mainly found in the kidneys and are present in the messenger and micro RNAs. Genetics, therefore, can be used in prevention and treatment of chronic diseases or future prevalence of the same conditions. Hypertension has shown increased inter- patient variability in response to treatments; however, this can be avoided through application of genetic information in management of high blood pressure (Tanira and Balushi, 2005). Through identification of genetic variations contributing to differences among hypertensive patients, there is a possibility of enhancing drug therapy by considering genetic profiles. Using genetic information in the management of hypertension has the opportunity of reducing mortality and morbidity among patients.

On the other hand, those individuals predisposed to acquiring hypertension due to genetic factors must take relevant self- care tips. Apart from the genetic management measures taken to prevent development of high blood pressure in susceptible people, certain measures can also reduce the chances of acquiring the same. For instance, maintenance of normal body weight and avoidance of being overweight is helpful. Dietary sodium intake can also contribute to high blood pressure, thus as a health promotion plan, one should reduce the intake to less than 100millimoles per day. It is also essential to engage in exercises like aerobic physical activities to help in proper blood circulation in the body. Alcohol consumption by hypertension susceptible people should be stopped or reduced, since alcohol contributes to the acquisition of the condition. Effective modification of lifestyle for such genetically prone people is vital (Pender and Pender, 1987). Dietary change can also help, where diet should mostly consist of vegetables and fruits. In some situations, antihypertensive drugs are offered, but it is effective to consider all the measures, so as to maintain healthy life.

In case of incidences of the condition, the patient can care for self by first acquiring the relevant information about hypertension. This is possible through attending educational meeting and social meetings concentrating on the condition (Pender, 1982). From here, the patient can learn how to deal with the disease in case of occurrence. Monitoring the blood pressure is the most significant step, where an individual knows the normal blood pressure and also the blood pressures that can cause hypertension. In case one has medication, they should be taken in time to prevent any incidences of abrupt occurrence. It is also essential for one to keep living the lifestyle that facilitates high blood pressure reduction. Waiting for physician is not acceptable, and in case of any pain in the chest, it is advisable to take medication as prescribed. Following instructions as directed by a physician can help a person live a normal life without hypertension occurrence or be able to control the disease during occurrence.

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