2017-08-23 06:00

HIGH blood pressure (hypertension), also known as a silent killer, affects one in every four people (aged 15-65). It estimated that an average of 53 men and 78 women die in South Africa every day from the complications of uncontrolled hypertension.

What does “high blood pressure” refer to?

High blood pressure refers to the pressure of blood on the blood vessels that it runs through. Much like the pressure air has on a bicycle wheel. If the pressure of a bicycle wheel gets too high it can damage the wheel and can stop the bike from moving. Similarly, uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause damage to the blood vessels and organs that have a lot of blood supply, like brain and heart leading to strokes and heart attacks, among other ailments.

How do I take control?

Taking control means to avoid blood pressure from staying high and damaging vessels and organs. Follow the simple ABC of blood pressure control:

A – active lifestyle: living a more active life works by different mechanism to lower blood pressure. Increased oxygen and improved circulation are some of the benefits. Now I’m not saying start to train for the Comrades. Start small and build, every little bit helps. Take the stairs instead of the lift and take your dog for that much-deserved stroll.

B – be knowledgeable: test your blood pressure regularly especially if it is not within the range of textbook score of 120/80mmHg. One reading on its own does not mean much, since blood pressure rises and drops regularly. What we should try to understand is whether there is a long-term trend, and avoid that.

C – consumption: cutting down on things that increase blood pressure goes a long way in improving and avoiding this and other conditions. These include salt, caffeine products, alcohol, red meats and smoking.

Supplied by Charldon Jacobs from Royal Pharmacy.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.