Check Your Blood Pressure

Dear Neighbour,

Recently I went to my doctor for routine blood tests and was shocked to discover that I had dangerously high blood pressure – 190/120 (read as “190 over 120”). On all previous checks my blood pressure had been normal and what was so frightening was that I had NO SYMPTOMS. Over the same period I became aware of three people who had also been diagnosed with high blood pressure, one person unfortunately having a stroke and the other a brain aneurysm…

Suffering with Rheumatoid Arthritis for over thirty years has created in me an eager anticipation of the believer’s promise of a resurrection body that is free from pain, suffering and degeneration. However, this event made me realise that I am not ready to go to be with the Lord as there is still so much I want to do for Him in this life! I am so grateful that I belong to Jesus as He knows how to care for those who belong to Him. My life and times are in His hands and I feel secure even when the wheels fall off. I am grateful to the Lord that with relatively low doses of medication my blood pressure has already begun dropping and I am doing everything I can to address the issue in my daily life.

God has not only given me a love for the souls of people, but I also try to pass on any practical health advice whenever I can. I am praying that you will not only read this column yourself but that you will share it with your friends and family. One can buy a BP arm cuff monitor (the wrist monitors don’t seem to be as accurate) at Dischem for about R400 and it could literally save your life. I would strongly advise families to purchase one and keep a regular weekly/monthly reading. I have downloaded an excellent chart for tracking blood pressure that I would happily email to you on request ( Below is a helpful Blood Pressure Chart which will give you a rough idea, but remember that blood pressure increases with age, so always check with your doctor:

Normal = SYSTOLIC NUMBER: less than 120 DIASTOLIC NUMBER: less than 80

Prehypertension = S:120 – 139 / D: 80 – 89

(Hypertension) Stage 1 High Blood Pressure = S:140 – 159 / D: 90 – 99

(Hypertension) Stage 2 Hypertensive Crisis = S:160 or higher/ D: 100 or higher

(Emergency care needed) =  S: Higher than 180 / D: Higher than 110

The Systolic Number (top number) measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats i.e. when the heart muscle contracts.

The Diastolic Number (bottom number) measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats i.e. when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood.

PLEASE NOTE: I am not a doctor and I would strongly recommend that you ask your pharmacy/doctor to regularly check your blood pressure. I am simply trying to raise awareness of the SILENT dangers of high blood pressure. We are to be wise and good stewards of our God-designed bodies.

May God use my words to bring both physical and spiritual healing to you today.

x Libby