Heart to Heart: It’s Hypertension Awareness Week!
Have you ever felt your heart beating at an accelerated rate, for no real reason? What about feeling a little confused or anxious, or having early morning headaches or nosebleeds? You might think it’s nothing to be concerned about, as these are quite common ailments, but it could be a lot more serious than you think. It could be Hypertension. It sounds scary, but Hypertension is another name for high blood pressure, and with a few lifestyle changes, it can be effectively managed in many instances.
So, how does hypertension occur? As your heart pumps blood around the body, the pressure that it is pushed around the walls of the blood vessels changes. When the heart is squeezing blood into the arteries, the pressure is high. When the heart is relaxed, the pressure is lower. Blood pressure is a measurement taken of the highest reading and the lowest reading. It is given as 2 figures — highest (systolic) over lowest (diastolic). If your blood pressure reading is higher than 140/90, you have hypertension, which can affect the blood flow to your organs, put you at a higher risk of having a heart disease, as well as a number of other serious conditions.
The prevalence rate of Filipinos with hypertension rose to 37% in 2021, indicating a progressive increase, which is cause for concern. Many Filipinos have low awareness of this disease, and therefore treatment rates are also low. May is Hypertension Awareness Month, which is a great time to make yourself aware of the dangers of high blood pressure, and to make some changes that will result in a healthier, happier, you. The Philippines Hypertension Association is urging the public to join its’ 52100 campaign’, encouraging people to have 5 serves of fruit and vegetables, 2 hours of screen times, 1 hour of moderate exercise, 0 sugary or sweet drinks, and 0 exposure to smoking and second-hand cigarette smoke each day.
People who are obese are at a high risk of developing hypertension, so why not discover how you can alter your diet to lose some of that stubborn weight? This test is designed to help you look at genetic markers that are known to be involved in your weight. The results of your mouth swab will closely analyse your food intake, helping you understand the interaction between what you eat and your genetic makeup. You will receive a detailed report that will answer many of your diet related questions, that could prevent the development of hypertension. You will learn how well your body loses weight, what proportions of fats, carbs and proteins are optimal for your genetic makeup, the best vitamins (within the food you eat, and in supplements) for you, and how exercise can help in your health journey.
So break out of your health rut, and take charge of your body to ensure that you aren’t at risk of high blood pressure, and don’t forget World Hypertension Day on May 17. Measure your blood pressure, control it, live longer!