Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) is known as the silent killer. However, for the purposes of this article, the definition of ‘The Silent Killer’ will be extended to include some other diseases / conditions which in many instances (especially in the early stages) will be asymptomatic (symptom-free).
I have based these “facts” on more than 50 years of experience not academic research. The purpose of this article is to merely encourage the public to take responsibility for their bodies / health and take the opportunity to be tested. When test results do identify a potential problem, act immediately. Most importantly of all, do not smoke, eat correctly and exercise regularly.
Delays in treatment of these ‘Silent Killers’ caused by denial or delayed action might worsen the condition, with unwanted results. Too often patients have come to M-KEM’s Clinics for routine tests and due to their high readings obtained, find themselves in an ambulance or on the way to the hospital.
Regularly, when M-KEM’s Clinics offer screening days, our nursing sisters identify a percentage of those tested with very high BP’s, high Cholesterol (LDL) or high blood sugar. Unfortunately children are NOT excluded from this.
The big question is this – “WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED TO THOSE PEOPLE IF THEY HAD NOT BEEN TESTED?” My advice is to avoid having to say “I SHOULD HAVE…”
By the same token, ones situation does change and the test result does not mean that these conditions are necessarily permanent and can be controlled and in some cases reversed with lifestyle changes. Special care should be taken if one has a genetic predisposition due to family history of hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, certain cancer strains or other diseases.
Measurement of blood pressure is non-invasive and may be carried out by a nursing sister, medical practitioner or even at home through the purchase of a reliable devise. One single measurement is not enough as fluctuations occur which are dependent on circumstances at the time of testing.
Although lifestyle changes such as body mass control and reduction of stress would reduce a high BP, even one very high reading is an indication that medical intervention is necessary to avoid a stroke or other life threatening symptoms.
Headache tablets mask symptoms and regular use thereof is alone a reason to have oneself tested. Unfortunately, however, many people with high BP do not feel ill at all and then have to contend with the consequences when the body gives in to the condition.
Excess sugar in the blood is easily measured by obtaining a drop of blood from a finger prick which is placed on a test strip. Unfortunately the incidence of Diabetes world-wide is increasing at an alarming rate, largely due to obesity and sedentary lifestyle. By the time symptoms such as excessive thirst, sweating, fatigue, eye problems and other symptoms are felt, the disease could be well advanced. It must be noted that even at an advanced stage, a change of lifestyle would most certainly benefit the patient. Unfortunately, more and more children are being tested positive for Diabetes.
Diabetes patients should be aware of the different blood sugar levels obtained by testing as well as the necessity to use the relevant medication at different times. M-KEM Diabetes Educators are available for advice and mentoring in this respect.
The bad news is that clogging of the arteries, usually resulting in an untreated condition, does not cause pain. The good news is that a family history of this condition will ensure a carryover of the condition to the next generation(s) and is therefore a good reason to test -learn from the past!!
Unfortunately, onset of this condition can take place from a very early age. Where genetic predisposition is a factor, medical practitioners see this as a ‘red flag’ and a ‘fasting’ level test is advisable. A level taken as a result of random testing (even on a full stomach) would, if low enough indicate healthy, non-clogged arteries.
Medication relating to this condition can be obtained via prescription or in mild cases is available over the counter. Over the counter products should be used with caution and only if regular blood test levels are taken.
On occasion, there have been unsuspecting patients tested at M-KEM’s Clinics (who have only been tested due to curiosity or motivated by family or friends) that end up having an unhealthy and potentially deadly cocktail of high blood pressure (Hypertension, high blood sugar (Diabetes) and high cholesterol (Hypercholesterolemia).
The main thing to note is that none of these tests are expensive or time consuming. The public is therefore encouraged to actively take advantage of testing opportunities.
In conclusion, this article would be incomplete without drawing attention to CANCER. Mammograms are conducted for the detection of breast cancer and a medical examination for the detection of colon cancer. Both these forms of cancer, if detected early enough, may be controlled and managed to ensure a quality, healthy life.
Hylton Mallach (Mr M)