This is a very commonly asked question, by many in our communities when they meet each other in wedding or during any events. Partly high Blood Pressure (BP) is very common after the age of fifty, as well as other illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. Here, I will mainly discuss high blood pressure, which is also known as hypertension.

Types of hypertension

Primary which used to be called essential hypertension. This is the most common type of hypertension.

Secondary hypertension is due to different medical conditions like chronic kidney disease, endocrine causes and .drugs like steroids,oestrogen containg contraceptives,and liquorice.

Hypertension is one of the main causes of stroke or heart attack and so should be taken seriously. Unfortunately many patients with high BP have no symptoms.

The most well known symptoms are giddiness, headache, bleeding from the nostrils (epistaxis), breathlessness due to heart failure, and visual symptoms such as blurring of one’s vision.

Untreated patients are often admitted to hospital following a stroke or heart attack. Women after menopause can also tend to develop high BP.

Simple tests could be done at your surgery or the hospital.
Repeated BP check to confirm the diagnosis in two to three weeks.
Blood tests: Kidney function tests, Fasting Cholesterol and,Blood sugar test
Urine test for :protein and blood
ECG an important diagnostic tool.
An eye test to reveal any changes in the eye.

A chest x-ray would reveal large heart or pulmonary congestion.

Change in life-style and diet is important.
Weight reduction
Reduction of heavy alcohol consumption
Salt restriction. Please don’t add any salt at the table.
Regular exercise
To stop smoking
If one has high cholesterol, needs to be corrected.

Once the diagnosis is made as having high BP, then it should be treated adequately by medication and change of life style. High Blood pressure could be well controlled with different types of effective medication.

So don’t neglect it, as the complications are serious if the BP is not controlled. If it is controlled well, you could reply to anyone by saying that enakku BP illaie!