Wed, 05/13/2015

High blood pressure is more dangerous than many know

The last Paul-Gerhardt Health Forum, a regular conference organized by the Paul Gerhard Diakonie, the umbrella organization PGD International is a part of, was dedicated to the "widespread disease of high blood pressure". The speakers, Dipl.-med. Martina Jentzsch and chief physician Prof. Dr. med. Peter Jehle, talked about the dangers of high blood pressure and described how diseases such as heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure can be avoided by timely treatment.

"High blood pressure is much more common and above all much more dangerous than most people know. At first one does not feel the high pressure and has no complaints – but this is exactly what makes high blood pressure so dangerous”, explains Dipl.-med. Martina Jentzsch, senior physician at the clinic of Internal Medicine I at the hospital of Paul Gerhardt Stift.

With high blood pressure, blood vessels are less elastic and therefore more prone to wear and tear. Which, when initially unnoticed, can damage the organs. Heart, brain, kidneys and eyes are often affected. The complications may result from kidney failure with dialysis obligation about heart attack and stroke up to blindness. "Therefore, it is important to know ones blood pressure value and to take measures to reinstate it to normal when high blood pressure exists", the internist states.

The some cases a healthier lifestyle is all it takes to reduce blood pressure. A diet low in calories and cholesterol, regular exercise, adequate sleep and rest, but also refraining from smoking and a moderate use of alcohol can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of consequential damage.

If the blood pressure values are higher or there are other diseases, treatment with drugs called antihypertensives, is necessary. "Some patients have side effects with this medication in the beginning of the treatment, because the body must adapt to lower blood pressure first. Yet blood pressure medications should never be set off without consultation with the attending physician, because this can cause dangerous rises in blood pressure", warns Prof. Dr. Jehle, chief physician at the clinic of Internal Medicine I.

High blood pressure and the resulting complications are among the leading causes of death in Germany. "Therefore we can only call to know one’s own blood pressure and treat it if necessary", Martina Jentzsch and Prof. Dr. Peter Jehle stress.