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Saturday, 18 July 2009
The Silent Killer
The title does not refer to a person or a slick Hollywood flick made of undercover agent, but to a very common but serious condition, and many people do not seem to know about it, even if they have it.
This Silent Killer is High Blood Pressure. Usually, high blood pressure has no sign or symptoms, but sometime some may have symptoms like headache, dizziness, blurred vision and nausea.
What is Blood Pressure:
When heart beats, it pumps the blood and as the blood moves pushing against the sides of blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is Blood Pressure. This is measured in millimeter of mercury and is written as two numbers like 120/80 mm of Hg. Ideally we should have our blood pressure at or below 120/80, at this level you are at low risk for attack or stroke.
The top number is Systolic Blood Pressure, this is the highest level of pressure when heart beats.
The bottom number is Diastolic Blood pressure, this is the lowest level of pressure as heart relaxes in between beats.
Reasons for High Blood Pressure:
1. Age: The older you get your artery get stiffer, so chances of developing High Blood Pressure go up especially systolic.
2. Race: African American have High Blood Pressure more often than whites. They develop Blood pressure at younger age and develop more severe complications sooner.
3. Heredity: You are at greater risk if other member of family have,or have had high blood pressure.
4. Sodium Sensitivity: Some people have high sensitivity to sodium (Salt), so the blood pressure goes up if there is intake of salt and comes down when intake is reduced.
5. Alcohol: High alcohaol intake also plays a part in raising the blood pressure.
6. Overweight: This is very closely related to high blood pressure.
7. Lack of exercise: Physical inactivity can make you obese and raise your blood pressure.
8. Drugs: Certain drug such as amphetamines, diet pills, birth control pills tend to raise blood pressure
9. In some people high blood pressure is also caused by some other disease (chronic kidney disease, thyroid dysfunction, pregnancy, contraction of aorta) so when the root cause is treated blood pressure comes to normal.
Effects of High Blood Pressure:
High blood pressure puts extra strain on heart and blood vessels. This can make then weak or
damage them. This can have a number of effects on body like
*Eye damage with loss of vision.
*Peripheral arterial disease.
If you have other health conditions, such as diabetes or high cholesterol, this increases your risk of health problem even more.
1. Eat nutritious low fat diet.
2. Exercise regularly.
3. Reduce your salt intake.
4. Maintain your healthy weight.
5. Stop smoking.
6. Alcohol intake at sensible level.
7. get your blood pressure checked regularly.
8. Take medication as directed even if you are feeling better.