- Category: Health Matters
- By Christy Sakaziro – email@example.com – Project Director, Micronesian Humanities
TODAY, Micronesians are trying to cope with the onslaught of new illnesses associated with a modern lifestyle. High-blood pressure, whether caused by genetic factors or lifestyle choice, is one of the challenging health issues in the islands.
Islander Francesca W. Alfonson said various doctors have advised her to exercise more, sleep better, and reduce her salt intake. “I have also become dependent on lots of medications to manage my health,” she added.
Micronesia’s foremost scholar and historian, Father Francis Hazel, said “the change in lifestyle and diet brought on by the relative affluence of the post-1960s era constituted a serious health risk, and many of the traditional island practices and attitudes only compounded the problem.”
In 2001, Ellen Ruppel Shell wrote in The Atlantic: “The big killer in Kosrae — what some epidemiologists call New World syndrome — is a constellation of maladies brought on not by microbes or parasites but by the assault of rapid Westernization on traditional cultures. Diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure — scourges of affluence that long ago eclipsed infectious diseases as killers in the West — have only recently appeared here.”
This month, a new study conducted by the University of California, San Diego shows the importance of individualized regimen to overcome high blood pressure.
The study indicates that technology could pinpoint the health behavior that most impact an individual’s blood pressure.
Mayo Clinic said there are 10 ways to control high blood pressure:
1. Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline
2. Exercise regularly
3. Eat a healthy diet
4. Reduce sodium in your diet
5. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink
6. Quit smoking
7. Cut back on caffeine
8. Reduce your stress
9. Monitor your blood pressure at home and see your doctor regularly
10. Get support from family and friends.
For more information, consult your doctor.