There’s this common belief among people, even religious people, that when you have a stroke or heart attack, it is due to some spiritual attack spearheaded by your neighbour-enemy or relation-enemy, who have been jealous of your present or future progress.
I have heard stories of a very healthy Uncle, who just slumped & died after eating at a friend’s house; and the cause of the death was traced to the food being poisoned by the friend.
As a matter of fact, a doctor-friend of mine was hit by a stroke while eating in the midst our other friends back in 2005. He died a few days after the incidence.
Most readers of this post may attribute these strokes and death to spiritual attack by friends or relations.
Many have sworn they will never visit their villages because they believe that all their Uncles, Aunties & Cousins are witches & wizards whose specialty is in striking people with strokes, heart attack, diabetes, cancer etc.
It is strange that in an age of abundant knowledge about these things, we still have highly educated and religious people who believe such lies. Such false beliefs are so prevalent in the third world, that millions die needlessly.
It is interesting to note that such false beliefs were common in the Western World centuries ago. However the advent of scientific knowledge has liberated them, and armed with such knowledge, simple practical steps are taken to prevent such needless deaths.
Ok. Let’s get down to business.
The secret culprit in these cases is a simple dysfunction in your body.
It is High Blood Pressure.
It creeps in so unannounced, in most cases you feel no symptom. It may remain harmless, sometimes years, until one day you just notice a little headache, or a twitch of muscle, and you are down, crippled with loss of feeling in your leg, hand or face.
What is high blood pressure?
This is how it works.
Your heart pumps & distributes blood to every part of your body through the arteries.
Blood pressure is a measure of how strongly the blood presses against the walls of the arteries as the blood flows through your arteries. Because there are two pressures involved, BP, is expressed as a fraction X / Y. The X is systolic which is a measure of the pressure against the arterial walls. The Y, diastolic, measures the pressure between beats.
Too much, persistent pressure makes the arterial walls to thicken in order to withstand the pressure. Thicker walls mean smaller room for blood to flow, and this causes more thickening of the walls as pressure increases.
With persistent pressure through the thickened walls, two things can happen: either the arteries closes up, or the walls burst. Either of this event will stop flow of blood to vital areas of the body.
Your blood pressure changes throughout the day. It can go down if you are sleeping or sitting quietly, and it may go up if you are very busy or stressed out. High blood pressure develops when the pressure of the blood running through your arteries is consistently too high. The medical term for high blood pressure is hypertension.
Normal systolic blood pressure is less than 120.
A systolic blood pressure of 120 to 139 means you have prehypertension condition. Even people with prehypertension are at a higher risk of developing heart disease.
A systolic of 140 or higher is considered to be hypertension, or high blood pressure.
Normal diastolic blood pressure is less than 80.
A diastolic, between 80 and 89 indicates prehypertension.
A diastolic blood pressure number of 90 or higher is indicative of hypertension or high blood pressure.
High blood pressure puts a strain on all the blood vessels throughout your body, including the vessels leading to the brain. This undue pressure can damage your blood vessels, causing them to become harder and narrower , a condition called atherosclerosis. This makes a blockage more likely to occur , which could cause a stroke or transient ischaemic attack.
Alternatively, this undue pressure may cause a blood vessel to weaken and burst inside the brain, causing bleeding into surrounding tissues of the brain. This is called a haemorrhagic stroke.
How to Manage High Blood Pressure.
1. Exercise, exercise, exercise
Hypertensive patients who went for fitness walks at a brisk pace lowered their BP by almost 8 mmhg over 6 mmhg. Exercise assists your heart to use oxygen more efficiently, so it doesn’t work as hard to pump blood. Get a vigorous cardio workout of at least 30 minutes at least 4 days a week.
2. Reduce your salt intake.
Salt causes your kidney to hold unto water, and that extra fluid adds pressure to the walls of the artery. Reduce salt intake drastically if you’re already hypertensive or if you’re above 50.
3. Stop Smoking.
Smoking increases your risk of hypertension. Many research results have shown that those who stopped smoking reduced their BP in significant numbers.
4. Work less
Working more than 41 hours per week at your office increases your risk of hypertension by 15%, according to a University of California, Irvine, study of 24,205 California residents. Once you are home shut out every temptation to continue your office work.
5. Manage stress.
Stress has a way of increasing your blood pressure by a simple biochemical reaction of your body. When you feel stress, take some 15 minute walk & / or take some few deep breaths.
6. Eat Potassium-rich foods.
Potassium can help combat the effect of sodium on your blood pressure. Good sources of potassium include bananas, white potatoes, spinach & avocados.
7. Reduce Your Weight.
Reducing your weight if you’re overweight will help reduce your blood pressure. Men are at risk if their mid section is more than 40 inches while for women, their risk is high if their waist is more than 35 inches.
I have managed many cases of high BP by this simple method. If you have a serious case please consult your physician. But I know of folks who, though on medication, have over time weaned themselves off their medication by sticking to these lifestyle & diet changes.
Checking your BP as you age is a recommended routine. These days there are cheap blood pressure devices you can purchase and check yourself regularly.
Please take charge of your health. Don’t blame any mishap on an Uncle or neighbor. No body has the power to spiritually attack you with stroke, with possible stiffening of limbs.
By this knowledge alone, you have been empowered to withstand every attack of stroke if you apply the knowledge and share the knowledge with your friends, your mum, your dad, and relations.
Do you still believe in so called spiritual attacks or have you been sufficiently enlightened to prevent this challenge?