Hypertension

Updated 07 July 2014

'I knew nothing about hypertension'

Gavin Herbert, aged 49, was taken aback when he was diagnosed with high blood pressure in his mid-forties. At the time of diagnosis, he knew almost nothing about hypertension.

Gavin Herbert, aged 49, was taken aback when he was diagnosed with hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) in his mid-forties. “From school I had always been a physically active person, with no problems in pushing myself. I thought I was healthy and had no idea that I had this condition.”

Never having been tested, he only found out he was hypertensive when he got a job that required him to undergo a full medical examination every year. “It was difficult at first to accept that I had this condition and my first impression was that it was something over which I had no control. I was also initially resistant to the idea that I would have to take medication every day for the rest of my life.”

At the time of diagnosis, Gavin knew almost nothing about high blood pressure and feels strongly that greater awareness is required. “We hear so much about HIV/Aids, for example, but high blood pressure hardly ever gets any media attention.” He made it his business to learn all he could about it in order to empower himself and take control of his condition. He is also very passionate about informing and helping others in this regard.

'Permanent lifestyle change'

“High blood pressure requires a permanent lifestyle change,” he says. “I continue to exercise and have made many changes to my eating habits. In addition, it’s an ongoing challenge to remember to take my blood pressure medication every single day.” He admits that he does forget now and then, especially when he is overseas on business, as is frequently the case.

“My wife always knows when I’ve missed doses, however, as I apparently exhibit a certain moodiness and agitation when I haven’t taken my medication. I’m not sure about the reasons for this – maybe just that on a subconscious level I’m calmer and more comfortable when I know I have taken it.”

More evidence of Gavin’s commitment to managing his high blood pressure was his purchase of a blood pressure monitor. He monitors his blood pressure on an ongoing basis at home, as keeping track of his readings helps him to feel more in control of this silent killer.

“I’m glad to say that with the medication and lifestyle changes, my blood pressure has returned to normal and that I’m now generally well controlled,” he concludes.

(Press release from Bespoke Strategic Communications)

- (Health24, May 2012)

Read more:

Hypertension: the silent killer
Are you at risk for hypertension?
The Dash diet
Are you eating too much salt?
8 important facts about hypertension

 

 

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Hypertension expert

Dr Jacomien de Villiers qualified as a specialist physician at the University of Pretoria in 1995. She worked at various clinics at the Department of Internal Medicine, Steve Biko Hospital, these include General Internal Medicine, Hypertension, Diabetes and Cardiology. She has run a private practice since 2001, as well as a consultant post at the Endocrine Clinic of Steve Biko Hospital.

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