How Hypertension Snuck Up On Me: Patient Testimonial
Hello there. I am a Public Health Medicine Specialist and PhD student, and this is my testimonial on hypertension.
Last November, I had just trained at the gym and I decided to have my blood pressure checked as there was a nurse on site. It turned out that my BP was higher than normal. My trainer suggested that it may be because I had been exercising hard and I should not be too concerned. A few weeks later, I had another check, and it was even higher; when I went to have a third test, it was an astonishingly high 190/120. Readings above 180 systolic pressure or above 110 diastolic pressure indicate that you are in a hypertensive crisis, which meant that my health was at risk. To make matters worse, I was about to leave for London on a work trip. I went to the emergency room at the hospital where it was confirmed again that my BP was dangerously high. The doctor on duty advised me to see a specialist in order to obtain a comprehensive diagnosis. My husband was seriously concerned, and he suggested I see his physician before I board the plane.
I am 45 years old, I go to gym twice a week, run twice a week, I had just completed a half marathon, changed my lifestyle and had just lost 10kg when I got the diagnosis. Like many people with hypertension, I had no signs or symptoms of the disease, which is why it was such a surprise to me.
I was started on a specific treatment which I started taking on the same day as my flight to the UK. On my return, I went to my physician who over a few weeks changed my treatment to two types of medication and was relieved after a few months to discover that my BP had returned to a normal, healthy level. I haven’t experienced any side effects which is great as I will have to take the medication for the rest of my life. As a family, we have made a few changes to our diet, avoiding too many carbs and cutting out sugar. The thing I am struggling with most is giving up salt, but I’m working on it. It’s important to talk to your children and educate them about what it means to be conscious about your lifestyle and what you eat. My two children are now far more aware of the importance of a healthy diet.
The higher your blood pressure, the stronger the likelihood of serious consequences for your heart, brain or kidneys. I recommend that everyone over the age of 40 has regular BP checks.
For me, it was a lifesaver, as hypertension is a silent killer and I was nearly a statistic!
Ask your healthcare professional for more information about the disease and how to get your blood pressure checked. For more information, visit the following link for the Because I Say So campaign.
How old is your heart actually? Click on the link to find out.