Check your blood pressure regularly, expert reminds public

The public should always keep track of their blood pressure as this can help prevent certain health problems, a health expert said.

Blood pressure monitoring is important in order to treat and control high blood pressure or hypertension, said Philippine Society of Hypertension (PSH) Vice President Dr. Alejandro Diaz during a recent public briefing.

Diaz noted that hypertension is a “silent killer” as it can increase an individual's risk of developing serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, and it may also affect the kidneys.

“Napakaimportante nito kasi akala ng iba dahil wala silang nararamdaman, wala silang high blood pressure. Sa totoo, ang high blood pressure, karaniwan wala namang nararamdaman – dahan-dahan kasing tumataas (This is very important as people tend to think that because they don't feel anything, they don't have high blood pressure. Actually, high blood pressure usually has no symptoms because it happens gradually),” said Diaz.

“So, napakaimportante na ang ating mga kababayan ay magpa-measure ng kanilang blood pressure (it is very important for our citizens to measure their blood pressure),”  he added.

Diaz said that at home, a person’s blood pressure should be less than 135/85. “So kapag ang blood pressure is 140/90 and above ay high blood pressure na iyan (when the blood pressure is 140/90 and above, that's considered high blood pressure),” he noted.

Diaz encouraged the public to visit the PSH official website to know how to accurately measure their blood pressure at home.

“Itinuturo namin doon papaano mo ba kukunin ang blood pressure nang accurate using iyong digital device sa bahay (We explain there how to take blood pressure accurately using your digital device at home),” said Diaz.

“At relax lang tayo dapat kapag kinuha natin ang blood pressure, para makuha natin ang tamang blood pressure (Also, you should relax when you are taking a blood pressure test in order to get the accurate blood pressure),” he added.

Causes of high blood pressure

Meanwhile, what causes high blood pressure? Diaz said these include overweight and obesity, lack of exercise, lack of eating fruits, consumption of “ultra-processed food” as well as fast food meals.

Also, the chance of having hypertension tends to increase  as people grow older, he added.

“Kapag tumatanda tayo, iyong ugat natin tumatanda rin, so prone ang tao kapag nagkakaedad na na tumigas iyong ugat leading to systolic hypertension na tinatawag (When we get older, our veins also age. So people are prone [to hypertension] when they get older as their veins harden leading to systolic hypertension),” said Diaz.

Diaz reminded the public that hypertension is preventable.

“Preventable kasi iyon dahil may mga gamot tayo, may mga lifestyle changes na puwedeng gawin ng isang taong may mataas na blood pressure (That is preventable because we have medicines and there are lifestyle changes that a person with high blood pressure can do),” he said.