Hypertension

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Hypertension

Hypertension is another way of describing high blood pressure. It is known as the "silent killer" as there are rarely obvious symptoms.

At Peermed, we can check your blood pressure for you. If it is high we can prescribe corrective medication, and give you advice on how you can change your lifestyle to lower your blood pressure and improve your quality of life!

Hypertension - the silent killer

Two out of three people who have hypertension are unaware that they have the condition.

If it is left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to strokes, heart attacks and a shortened life expectancy. And yet there are really good medications that can easily treat this.

If you have any concerns about your blood pressure, come into Peermed for a simple test.

What should your blood pressure be?

When your blood pressure is taken, there are two parts to the reading: the systolic pressure which occurs when your heart beats, and the diastolic pressure which occurs between heart beats.

So, when your doctor gives you your blood pressure reading, it will be described as one figure over another, for example 145/95 (SBP/DBP).

A guide to blood pressure readings

Set out below are different levels of blood pressure as defined by the Heart Foundation of South Africa:

 

Normal 120/80 to 129/84
High Normal 130/85 to 139/89
Hypertension
Mild
140/90 to 159/99
Moderate 160/100 to 179/109
Severe + 180/110

How Can I lower my blood pressure?

There are several simple lifestyle adjustments that will lower your blood pressure and make you feel better all round:

  • Lose weight, especially if you have belly fat. Even a few kilograms will help!
  • Watch your alcohol intake – an added benefit of this is that you will lose weight faster.
  • Limit your salt intake
  • It sounds boring, but you really should be eating more fruit and vegetables! Cut fat off your meat before you eat it, and try not to eat too much refined sugar – fizzy drinks are full of sugars!
  • If you don’t exercise, start now. Begin with gentle exercise a few times a week, such as a walk around the block. Remember: if you haven’t exercised for a while, speak to your Peermed doctor first.
  • The aging process can result in hypertension.
  • Some medication can increase blood pressure.

There is a genetic link with high blood pressure

If there is a history of high blood pressure in your family it is even more important that you get tested on a regular basis.

A worrying trend seen by health practitioners is that many people stop taking their medication.

As hypertension can be present with no obvious symptoms, some patients decide on their own accord to stop taking their medication.

This can be a fatal decision.

If you are prescribed medication never stop taking them and never alter the amount you take. These are decisions that must be made by your General Practitioner

Reduce your salt intake

A diet high in salt increases your chances of having high blood pressure. Look out for the word sodium on food labels; taste food before just adding salt; learn to cook imaginatively by adding spices and herbs to your food!

Did you know?

According to the Heart Foundation of South Africa, the black population has a higher predisposition to high blood pressure than other ethnic groups.

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