April 19, 2011

Hypertension - A Silent Killer

Do you get headaches often? Spells of dizziness at times? Bouts of anxiety? If you've just said yes, then you may be suffering from hypertension. Hypertension, referred to as the ‘silent killer', is especially dangerous because it often has no specific warning signs or symptoms. Of those who have high blood pressure, almost 35 per cent don't even know they have it. Fortunately, it is easy to monitor blood pressure by having it regularly checked.


High blood pressure causes the heart to work too hard. It increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. It can damage the eyes, kidneys, liver and the nervous system. Although genes play a role in the occurrence of hypertension, lifestyle habits play a crucial part in controlling this condition.

Causes behind the silent killer


A high-salt diet


Alcohol consumption


High caffeine consumption

High cholesterol levels

Take charge now!

Maintain a healthy weight; lose weight if you are overweight.

Exercise regularly – a minimum of 30-minutes of a moderate intensity exercise regime such as walking is recommended.

Limit your salt intake to less than 2,400mg (about 1-teaspoon). A high intake of sodium in the diet can increase blood pressure in about 40% of individuals.

Consume fruits, vegetables and a low-fat diet.

If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

Relaxation and deep breathing exercises are beneficial.

Avoid too much caffeine. Several cups of coffee can mildly increase blood pressure throughout the day.

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