Get your blood pressure checked and make some practical lifestyle changes

It is commonly regarded as a silent killer responsible for half of all strokes, 40 percent of heart attacks and about 60 percent of kidney failures – yet very few South Africans get tested for high blood pressure or hypertension.

Of those who know of their raised blood pressure, only a portion are on medication, and only a quarter of hypertensive patients achieve adequate control of the disease.

These disturbing figures that have prompted the national department of health, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation to embark on a massive testing campaign, starting on Tuesday.

Globally hypertension is receiving attention today on World Hypertension Day.

An initiative of the World Hypertension League, for the past 11 years, the day has been commemorated to promote public awareness of hypertension and to encourage citizens of all countries to prevent and control this silent killer.

Christelle Crickmore of the Science and Programme Manager: HSFSA, says increased western style diet and other factors have created 'a perfect storm' of hypertension or high blood pressure in South Africa with 1 in 3 adults suffering from this disease.

It's not only old people. It's not only people in the cities. It's not only a specific race group. It's really effecting all of us.

Christelle Crickmore of the Science and Programme Manager: HSFSA

High blood pressure is just the common name on the street that people use for it, but the medical term is hypertension.

Christelle Crickmore of the Science and Programme Manager: HSFSA

Crickmore explains that normal blood pressure is around 120/80. Blood pressure is the pressure needed to punp the blood through the body.

But uncontrolled high blood pressure over a long period of time, can cause damage to our blood vessels.

The blood vessels stiffen and harden, losing their elasticity. Tears can develop, and eventually blood to the heart and brain can be blocked off and that leads to heart attacks and strokes.

Unfortunately it is called the silent killer because we cannot really feel anything. The only way you will know is to have your blood pressure tested.

Christelle Crickmore of the Science and Programme Manager: HSFSA

Crickmore implores everyone over the age of 20 to get tested annually at a local clinic, pharmacy or doctor.

Themed, “Know your numbers”, the league has called for a testing campaign. The campaign with the National Department of health aims to get 3 million people to test their blood pressure between 17 and 24 May.

And if you have high blood pressure there is hope...

Medication if needed, but also lifestyle changes are key.

It is important to lose weight as obesity and being overweight is a contributing factor.

Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, cut out salt and watch portion sizes.

Start exercising.

Stop or at least cut down on alcohol and smoking as they are big factors that cause high blood pressure.


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Eskom: WhatsApp message about Thursday 'blackout' is fake news

Eskom: WhatsApp message about Thursday 'blackout' is fake news

Eskom's head of generation, Andrew Etzinger, says the WhatsApp message doing the rounds about a blackout is misinformation.

Eskom and authorities have to plan for worst case scenario, says energy expert

Eskom and authorities have to plan for worst case scenario, says energy expert

Analyst Chris Yelland says South Africans should be comforted and not alarmed by the fact that Eskom has made contingency plans.

Plea agreement for murder accused Cape Town pastor postponed to Monday

Plea agreement for murder accused Cape Town pastor postponed to Monday

The ex-Mitchells Plain pastor faces two counts of murder, four counts of rape and additional charges of theft and crimen injuria.

[LISTEN] 'Die bleddie ligte alweer uit!' - John recites listener's Eskom poem

[LISTEN] 'Die bleddie ligte alweer uit!' - John recites listener's Eskom poem

CapeTalk listener Denrik, fuelled by load shedding woes and other governance fails, penned an Afrikaans poem about his frustrations.

We've always rejected convention, says 'The Cure' frontman Robert Smith

We've always rejected convention, says 'The Cure' frontman Robert Smith

The Cure is in Cape Town to headline the 2019 “Rock on the Lawns” music festivals at Kenilworth Racecourse on March 21.

SA's new e-visa system to be piloted in New Zealand from April

SA's new e-visa system to be piloted in New Zealand from April

The promise of e-visas was first officially introduced in 2018. The Tourism Business Council says SA govt hasn't been swift enough.

Popular articles
Eskom: WhatsApp message about Thursday 'blackout' is fake news

Eskom: WhatsApp message about Thursday 'blackout' is fake news

Eskom's head of generation, Andrew Etzinger, says the WhatsApp message doing the rounds about a blackout is misinformation.

What are the rules and regulations when it comes to owning a generator?

What are the rules and regulations when it comes to owning a generator?

A listener on the Afternoon Drive has shared his frustrations with a neighbor's noisy generator and the health risks it posed.

SA second most stressed nation in the world - Here's what you can do about it

SA second most stressed nation in the world - Here's what you can do about it

Health and Performance Educator and Consultant, Richard Sutton discusses methods for de-stressing.

Distraught caller describes harrowing experience on Baden Powell Drive

Distraught caller describes harrowing experience on Baden Powell Drive

A CapeTalk caller explained to Lester Kiewit how he went through flames and over rocks, and debris to escape his car being stoned.

What's next with Jacob Zuma's corruption charges trial?

What's next with Jacob Zuma's corruption charges trial?

Investigative journalist, Karyn Maughan, reflects on a year since charges against former President Jacob Zuma were reinstated.

Here's how to check your load shedding schedule in Cape Town

Here's how to check your load shedding schedule in Cape Town

Eskom has warned that more power cuts can be expected as maintenance continues over the next twelve months.