Dr. Chirapan Chawantanpipat. MD, Interventional Cardiologist at Bangkok Hospital Pattaya’s Heart Center, gave a very comprehensive and informative talk at the May 11, 2022 meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club.
He explained that hypertension occurs when blood pressure (BP) is too high, why it is called the “silent killer”, while describing the causes, risks, diagnosis, damage it causes and the self-treatment and medical treatment available. His key points were: (1) hypertension is a silent killer, (2) the need for diagnosis if you fall into a high-risk category, and (3) that prevention is better than treatment.
He started by explaining what BP is. He described how blood pressure affects the properties of blood, heart muscle and blood vessels. He then mentioned some of the risk factors and co-morbidities such as heart disease, respiratory disease and diabetes which he would cover in more detail.
This was followed by noting that in most cases detection is by blood pressure measurement alone. He then explained how blood pressure is measured and what constitutes hypertension. In most cases, he said, hypertension has no symptoms, which is why it’s called the “silent killer.” Blood pressure is measured using a blood pressure monitor with a cuff placed around the upper arm. The measurement is usually read as two numbers, the normal being 120/80. Hypertension is defined when the first digit, the systolic blood pressure (pressure exerted when blood is ejected through the arteries) is greater than 135 and the diastolic blood pressure (pressure exerted by blood in the arteries between heartbeats) is greater than 135. 85 mmHg or more.
In most cases, there are no specific complaints or manifestations other than elevated systolic and/or diastolic BP, which is why it is commonly referred to as the “silent killer” because no one knows that. he has it unless he periodically measures his BP. But, in some cases, there are indicators such as morning occipital headache (back of the head), dizziness and fatigue. In severe hypertension, it may be epistaxis (nosebleed) or blurred vision.
He said a good idea is to have a blood pressure monitor at home so you can take periodic readings, especially if you are in a high-risk category. But he warned that one measure is not enough. He suggested you take 3 steps – Take the first, wait a few minutes to take the second and wait again to take the third. Discard the first and average the second and third to arrive at a measurement. If it shows you are falling into the high blood pressure zone, you need to start over for a period of time. If these initial measurements give an extremely high result or if the measurements continue to show you a reading that exceeds 135/85, you should keep a record of the readings and seek medical attention.
Dr. Chirapan said it is important to treat hypertension as it can cause various heart diseases. caress; brain hemorrhage or brain dysfunction; renal failure; gangrene of the lower extremities; aortic aneurysm; blindness; chronic renal failure; and/or erectile dysfunction. Many of these conditions can be life-threatening. He showed a few slides noting that hypertension continues to be the biggest contributor to global mortality.
Regarding treatment, he said that prevention is better than drug treatment. He listed the following as high risk factors: older age, family history of cardiovascular disease, sedentary lifestyle, psychosocial stress, smoking, high cholesterol diet, low fruit intake, obesity and weight gain, diabetes , high cholesterol and heavy alcohol consumption.
If you are in a high-risk category, he suggested you see your doctor for an evaluation. For treatment, preventive measures should begin with non-drug treatments: DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension); exercise regularly and lose weight if you are obese; reduce salt and high fat foods; avoid harmful habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. You should deal with stress and treat sleep apnea if you have it.
When it comes to drug treatment, there are many types of drugs to lower BP. Dr. Chirapan presented a slide listing the types and purpose of each: “water pill” diuretics (–ides), beta-blockers (–olols), ACE inhibitors (–prils), angiotensin II receptor blockers (–artans) and calcium channels. Blockers (–ipines). He mentioned that most are long-acting and can be taken once a day.
At the end of his speech, MC Ren Lexander presented Dr. Chirapan with a certificate of appreciation for his presentation and also thanked Bangkok Pattaya Hospital staff for providing free BP and other checks before the meeting and for the many vouchers provided to the public for a free ABI. hospital checks.
He then updated everyone on the latest happenings. This was followed by George Wilson who led the open forum where participants can make comments or ask questions about expats living in Thailand, especially Pattaya.
For more information on the PCEC, visit their website at https://pcec.club. To see a post-presentation interview if Dr. Chirapan visit the PCEC YouTube channel for the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=019iIR4eUT0. To watch a video of the full presentation, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXOrlz59b44.