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The silent killer

Grace Eshiwani

It stands at the door, watching and waiting. Silently preying, it creeps on unsuspecting people going about their lives. Hyperten­sion is responsible for 12.8% of worldwide deaths according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Hypertension commonly known as high blood pressure is a chron­ic medical condition characterized by an excessive force as blood is pumped through the veins. A medical doctor is the only one who can make this diagnosis after a series of tests. A constant blood pressure reading of 140/90mmHg and above is an indication of hypertension. It is imperative to note that one single reading cannot be used to make a diagnosis. Hypertension is described as a silent killer because it lacks physical manifestations, therefore one may have high blood pressure and have no clue about it. This is why regular wellness check- ups are important in order to get a snapshot of the body functions.

There are several factors that predispose one to hypertension. Age is one such factor. As one grows older their risk for developing high blood pressure increases too, however recent time have revealed that people of younger ages are being diagnosed with high blood pressure. This could be attributed to poor lifestyle changes. Diets rich in cho­lesterol with little or no physical exercises often lead to narrowing of blood vessels after fat is deposited along the blood vessels.

Consump­tion of too much salt, tobacco, alcohol and processed foods are other examples of poor lifestyle choices that predispose one to high blood pressure. High blood pressure could also be as a result of underlying medical conditions for example kidney disease, an overactive thyroid gland among others. Poor stress management is also another factor. Life is full of challenges, knowing how to face and handle those chal­lenges could save us from medical conditions such as high blood pres­sure. It is important for one to have a good support system, a group of friends, family or colleagues that you can talk to as you seek solutions to problems you may be facing. It is also advised that you evaluate your problems and don’t let those you can do nothing about stress you up.

Genetically people from families with a history of high blood pres­sure are also likely to suffer from it. It is important to embrace a healthy lifestyle by taking up regular exercises, balanced diet and having reg­ular health check-ups. We, at The Karen Hospital run a wellness health check up programme. This programme is packaged with different tests for different genders and ages. Through the tests we are able to have a clear view of all your body functions. This way we are able to stem and manage medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, kidney diseases among others.

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