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James, a forty-four-year-old Nigerian man, is married with 4 children and has a well-paying 9 – 5 job in a multinational company. But he hardly works from 9 – 5. Instead of 8 hour work days, James consistently works 12- to 14-hour days.

By the time he gets home, he is perpetually exhausted and finds it difficult to have and spend quality time with his family in the evenings. This leaves him feeling guilty and dissatisfied.

At night, he sleeps poorly, doesn’t have or make out time to exercise, and since he is working most of the time, hardly has the time to eat a decent, well-balanced, and wholesome meal. Not that there aren’t home-cooked meals when he is at home, but whenever food is presented, he is consuming far too much beef than he should be eating, and frequently has a beer or two to accompany his meals.

On the job, James is very good at his profession, but increasing financial demands mean that he must continue to work longer and harder to be able to take care of family, extended family, friends, well-wishers, and maintain his status in the society.

All of these and other factors contribute to reducing the quality and quantity of nutrients and oxygen that are sent to the different parts of his body.

On this day, James got back home after a regular day at the office feeling quite exhausted and fatigued. In the morning he would complain of not being able to sleep throughout the night. This wouldn’t have mattered much, as he occasionally feels exhausted when he overworks himself, but his wife suggested that he visits the doctor since he has been complaining of an inexplicable and persistent headache for some time now.

The results were quite revealing.

Unfortunately, James is not in the boat alone. Tens of millions of Nigerians are also affected by this same condition, which is aptly tagged as “the silent killer.”

SIDE NOTE: This condition cuts across age, occupation, financial disposition, lifestyles, etc. and is very common today! Meaning that ANYONE can be affected by this “silent killer” condition.

According to the World Health Organisation, Nigeria tops the list of cases in Africa, with an estimation of one in three men and one in four women being susceptible to the condition.

According to James’ doctor, if unnoticed and uncontrolled, it can result in more serious health issues including memory loss, coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, heart attack, brain damage, eyes damage, stroke, atherosclerosis, and kidney damage. And most people never know because the condition can stay almost undetected and cause these and other damages in the body, and by the time the person realizes, it might be late.

In the continuation of this article series, you will learn what the doctor found out and why this condition or state of health is most dreaded, and even more common than cancers and the other dreaded diseases, and why it is always referred to as the silent killer. Look out for the follow-up article.

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