Hello Doctor brought to you by Dischem – Hypertension
Thanks to our friends on the Tube, we have been led to believe that when our blood pressure rises, our faces will turn red, steam might come out of our ears and the vein on our left temple will start jumping up and down. The reality is none of these things actually happen, which is why high blood pressure is also known as the “silent killer”. With 6.3 million people living with high blood pressure, South Africa has one of the highest rates of high blood pressure in the world – around one out of every four people between the ages of 15 and 64 suffer from this condition.
You can go for months with high blood pressure and would be none the wiser, while all the while damage is happening deep within. What kinds of damage I hear you ask? High blood pressure is estimated to be responsible for 50% of all strokes and heart attacks and is the leading cause of kidney failure.
The only way to know if your blood is boiling is to have it checked. Depending on how high your blood pressure is flying, your doctor may recommend simple lifestyle tweaks to make sure it comes down to a safer zone. These lifestyle changes include cutting back on your salty snacks, staying away from smoke, watching your body weight and learning to breathe deeply when stress gets the better of you. Often, these changes are all that are needed to keep things in check.