According to a study presented last week by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) 2012 Congress by Dr. Rafael Diaz (Instituto Cardiovascular de Rosario, Argentina). Hypertension is truly a global epidemic, being highly prevalent in all communities worldwide, according to new data from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study.
Without going too much into the research, the study which measured blood pressure in 153 000 individuals from 528 urban and rural communities in 17 countries from five continents, the outcome showed that hypertension is truly a global epidemic. 40% of Adult population worldwide has hypertension.
So what causes hypertension? In my case, it was burning the midnight oil, lack of sleep and lack of exercise. So, let me share with you what happened to me.
Yes, I will own up that I smoked from the age of 15 to around 35. During those years I was a mum and had full time jobs like, Accounts… Managing Director’s Secretary… Shipping Manager… Office Manager… quite demanding jobs, then getting home and cooking dinner… time with the kids… washing/housework at the weekend… one child playing soccer… another on horses… yet, no hypertension as far as taking bloodpressure was concerned.
Was it the age? Was it the fitness? Well… I had a Rhodesian Ridgeback that I took for a walk every day. In fact, Sasha and I used to run 8 times around 2 soccer pitches that were side by side just about every morning. That was the time I learnt to breathe in a way that I breathed normally as though I was walking instead of jogging. (I do not expect my clients to do anything that I cannot do.)
Then one day I damaged the ligaments in both my knees. Running and getting on my haunches and sitting on my heels ceased. Only a mere memory that I actually ran the City to Surf one year, and how proud I felt hearing my daughter saying; “It’s quite embarrassing having a mother that can run further than you.” Ahh! Those were the days…
Go forward a few years… I went to bed one night and felt a heavy pressure in my forehead. I thought I should get this checked out with the doctor – after all, I was no longer a ‘spring chicken’.
So I went to the doctor. He didn’t have much knowledge about me. I outlived the doctor before him who I had known for the previous 25 or so years. I think he had about 3 x A5 cards which showed when I had pap smears done. Even now, the only thing I have at home is a packet of aspirin, a few bandaids and bandages from the First Aid courses I have completed. We are not a family that takes medicine. In fact, if I wanted an aspirin, that packet has been there that long; I would probably shuck it out and buy a new packet in case they had gone off.
The doctor took my blood pressure and told me that it was high. He gave me a script for some blood pressure medication. I knew in my mind that I needed to make some changes; like go to bed earlier and do some exercise. However, I did not want to have a heart attack until I got myself back on track. Therefore, I took the tablets prescribed. However, the tablets made me cough… cough… cough…
Therefore, I went back to the doctor, who advised me not to worry, and that this should cease in a few days. A few days later… cough… cough… cough… Back to the doctor, who now wrote out a new script for an alternative tablet… Guess what? cough… cough… cough… back to the doctor, who gave me a third script. And again, cough… cough… cough… only this time, in addition to the cough, my ankles and knees also swelled up.
I already suffered slight oedema since having had my children, but now it was worse. I was pretty angry by this time and threw the tablets out.
I have since learnt that your blood pressure should be taken by the doctor for at least a week and at different times of the day. Not only that, but that they should take your blood pressure on both arms, for if there is a quite large discrepancy between the two arms, it could indicate that you have a heart problem. None of that had happened of course.
I bought a blood pressure machine and take my own blood pressure these days. It varies, sometimes as low or lower than 120/69, sometimes as high as 145/75 (usually night time).
Two things I want to mention here:
1. My mother was an accidental addict through 30 years of taking vallium. In those days, ‘evidence based research’ (Ha!) said that this was a safe drug, yet she ended up in a psychiatric hospital with psychosis.
2. I think that I may have a mind-body reaction to medication based on my mother’s sad outcome.
I could not shake that cough these medications gave me. Using self-hypnosis and visualisation had not made a difference at this time. I still had the cough 6 months later, now chronic. At nighttime, I would go to bed sucking a sweet, or I would cough. During working with my client’s I would need to suck on a sweet so I wouldn’t cough (luckily I didn’t put on weight – not sure what my pancreas or kidneys thought about this diet…) So rather than keep on coughing, I went to visit a friend that I had previously worked with in a trauma centre. He gave me Chinese herbs and did acupuncture, which finally put me right again.
I have many clients that tell me that they are on medication, including blood pressure medication that does not seem to have such side effects for them. You are hearing this story to remind us that each one of us is different. In addition, that we are responsible for checking out our own health and what we are taking to correct any imbalance is not causing yet another secondary imbalance.
If I think about this as I write to you – had I not had an allergy to the medication, I might today still be on blood pressure tablets, and possibly for the rest of my life rather than putting right what caused it in the first place. Think about that!
This personal story of mine is not intended as a substitute for medical advice and persons suffering from any physical, psychological or mental health disorder should consult their medical practitioner.
Cited from: Hughes, S. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/770431?src=mpnews