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Warning: You could have high blood pressure and NOT know it!

by , 04 September 2013

“Half of people with high blood pressure don't know it!” That's the findings of a worldwide study on hypertension conducted by the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences in Canada. But since its National Heart Awareness Month this month, you should be firmly casting the spotlight on your heart's health. Here are the facts you need to know about high blood pressure…

Because there are no warning signs or symptoms, people don’t realise they have high blood pressure (or hypertension). So it’s no wonder doctors often call it the “silent killer”.

Now a study by universities in Canada confirms that not knowing your blood pressure is one of the most dangerous things you can do to your health. And the worst part is, half of people who suffer from it don’t even know.

"Our study indicates over half of people with hypertension are unaware of their condition and, amongst those identified, very few are taking enough treatment to control their blood pressure,” study author Dr Clara Chow told webMD.

That’s a shocking statistic! Especially considering that at least 80% of premature (under the age of 60 years) deaths from heart disease and stroke are pre-emitted by high blood pressure.

Luckily, treating high blood pressure naturally is easy.

Vitamin D: A great way to treat high blood pressure naturally

“One of the most effective methods I’ve come across during the last few years is vitamin D,” says Dr Jonathan Wright, the natural health specialist behind Nutrition & Healing.

The reason?

Research shows that low levels of Vitamin D is a major cause of hypertension, reports medicalnewstoday.com. This is because without adequate supplies of vitamin D, one of your genes (a tiny part of your DNA) initiates the formation of excess quantities of a molecule called renin. Renin breaks down another molecule into angiotensin I. Angiotensin I is then converted into angiotensin II. And this is the ‘bad stuff’ that (in excess amounts) causes high blood pressure, explains Dr Wright.

The best thing you can do for your heart is know the facts…

And that’s why it’s so important to get your heart tested. After all, South Africans are among the highest sufferers of hypertension worldwide, reports sagoodnews.co.za.

Luckily for you, the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa, in partnership with Clicks, is offering free heart health screenings for the month of September to celebrate National Heart Awareness Month. So get down to your local Clicks store and get your blood pressure tested.

If yours is high, supplement with Vitamin D to keep your blood pressure down. Dr Wright recommends 10,000 IU daily.

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