The Silent Killer Among Us……

A few months ago, after I was back from my long holiday, I went for a medical check-up and found that my blood pressure was 145/90, that was a mild hypertension. I was surprised as my blood pressure was always on the healthier lower side. I tried to recall what I have “done” to myself earlier, I realized it was the long holiday that I had in Europe and I have definitely over-indulged myself during that long break. So, I took immediate actions and did some adjustments to my dietary plan, tried some new remedies that are believed to be helpful in lowering blood pressure, and at the same time I got back to my exercise routine. I just had my blood pressure checked again last week, it was 120/78. Definitely a beautiful set of numbers for a person at my age.

I am really glad that I did that medical check-up earlier and discovered my blood pressure was rising. High blood pressure is called “The Silent Killer” because it has no sign nor symptom when someone has it. The dangerous of it is when it causes damage to the blood vessels when not treated, it’ll lead to stroke, heart failure, heart attack or kidney failure. I have heard so many people just over 40 and their lives are already taken because of diseases caused by high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is also called Hypertension. The finding of Singapore National Health Survey in 1998 suggested that 27.3% of Singaporeans between the ages of 30 and 69 years were suffering from high blood pressure. With the life style of current developed countries, one could only expect an increasing trend in the number of people having hypertension. The question is…

ARE YOU ONE OF THEM??

The reading of blood pressure comes with 2 numbers, for example 120/80. The top number (Systolic blood pressure) is the pressure in your arteries when your heart is pumping and pushing the blood through your body, whereas the bottom number (Diastolic blood pressure) is the blood pressure in your arteries when your heart is relaxing between the contractions. A normal blood pressure reading varies from 90/60mmHg to 120/80mmHg. A person may consider to have hypertension when his blood pressure readings are staying at or higher than 140/90 for weeks long.

bp

Remark: Reference table from https://www.singhealth.com.sg

If you don’t have a healthy life style, it is advisable that you should check your blood pressure constantly, such as monthly. Blood pressure devices that can be used at home are available at many pharmacies these days, this has made self-monitoring on blood pressure easy and convenient.

How can you manage your blood pressure then? Studies suggest the following:

Healthy eating:

Choose low fat, low cholesterol food. More vegetables, lean meat, fruits, moderate alcohol and less salt.

Keep active and regular exercise:

It is suggested that at least 3 times exercise per week is essential. Exercises such as walking, jogging, swimming and aerobic that will keep your heart and arteries in good condition are best choices. If your blood pressure is relatively high, it is preferable to have your blood pressure lowered by medicine before your exercise program. For safety purpose, it is always better to consult your doctor before you start any new activity.

Maintain a healthy weight:

Watch over your body weight. A healthy weight means your heart does not have to work too hard and cause high blood pressure problem. On top of this, over weight is a risk factor for other diseases such as diabetes.

Quit Smoking:

Smoking is one risk factor that causes many of the modern illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and lung cancer. It is important to know that smoking raises your blood pressure and a change of life style is important if you are a smoker.

Reduce stress:

Although there is not enough evidence suggesting the link between stress and hypertension, however, it is still believed that stress raises blood pressure and a continuous stress for weeks will have the same negative impact on your health just like hypertension. Furthermore, most people choose unhealthy ways to reduce stress such as smoking and over eating is also a concern.

All in all, it does not look like a very tough job to keep a healthy blood pressure, if you can have some discipline and determination. Call me “naggy” but I am going to say again that a balanced life style is definitely one very good way to keep ourselves healthy and can help preventing us from any high blood pressure problem.  So, check it out where is that silent killer and find ways to keep it far away from you…!!

 

 

References:

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/

https://heartfoundation.org.au

http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/

https://www.singhealth.com.sg/patientcare/conditionsandtreatments/pages/high-blood-pressure-management.aspx

http://www.who.int/gho/ncd/risk_factors/blood_pressure_prevalence/en/

 

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