Don’t break my heart

Dear Femi,

Please don’t break my heart.

It’s all I’ve got and a heart transplant is expensive. In my dream country, it costs about $120,000. I’ll rather buy a mansion for you and I mean it. Don’t tell me you won’t listen to me.

Femi, About 4 in 10 people have hypertension ( ). The wonderful thing is that you are either part of the four that has hypertension or you are part of the six that don’t have. Sadly, ‘God forbid’, ‘can never be me’ is not anywhere near enough. I will tell you ways that contribute to what side you are on but first, did you miss me? Docki, your favorite online doctor was away for a while; and I know that you must have wondered what happened. Anyways I’m back now.

So if you want to be part of those six, here are a few things you can do:

Exercise: You’ve probably been planning to have some workout sessions every weekend to no avail. Allow me make some suggestions; you can go up and down the stairs as quickly as you can with breaks in between, you can walk round the house briskly, you can even play a number of songs that you really like and dance up a sweat-every bit counts. You may feel some pain after the exercise- it is completely normal, drink lots of water take a shower. I can’t force you but while you decide to exercise or not, know that the lack of regular physical activity is moving you towards the four. Is that the outcome you desire?

Eat healthily: Bad eating habits contribute to hypertension! Eating healthy isn’t as difficult as many people think. Our foods are rich in dietary fiber which is great for our hearts and low in added sugar, fat, and sodium. Did you know that by adding a side dish of just vegetables to your meals does great things for your overall health? Wholegrain rice like Ofada is great for your colon, gallbladder, and cholesterol. Substituting heavy starch like garri and Fufu for oats, plantain flour, and sweet potato flour is just another option you can explore. Remember, an orange a day keeps the doctor away. Remember that your heaviest meal should be taken when you’re most physically active.

Reduce your salt intake: An unhealthy salt intake alone over time contributes significantly to raise blood pressure. Now I’m not asking you to cook without salt; but that extra salt you add after the food has been served, do you even know why you’re taking it like that? Another personal suggestion I can give is leave salt out of your rice, yam etc, your sauce is tasty enough as it is.

Drink water! It’s not actually malaria that usually causes the dark-colored urine it’s dehydration. Your kidneys need it, your brain and muscles need it. Do you know how much you can improve your skin by hydrating adequately? If you want to check how much water you need, look at your pee- if it is slightly yellow, you are good but the darker it is, the more water you need. It is that simple.

So please once again, don’t break my heart by telling me all you’ve read will end in the trash, make a plan right now to change just one thing- that’s how to stay in the six. The next time you want to do something that you know you shouldn’t do, you will hear my voice in your ear saying; stop it!!

Send me an email with a health question you’ve always wanted to ask.

Till the next one.


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