40% of the global adult population has high blood pressure: do you?

Cartoon icon of a hand holding pressure gauge that measures blood pressure

High blood pressure, called hypertension, has become increasingly common. According to the World Health Organisation, raised blood pressure is estimated to cause 7.5 million deaths, about 12.8% of the total of all deaths worldwide[1]. The WHO explains that around 40% of the global population above the age of 25 has raised blood pressure[2].

It’s a dangerous condition, even more so because it’s often symptomless. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the vessels as it flows throughout the body. If it’s consistently too high, it can damage them and the circulatory system as a whole. Called the “silent killer,” it leads to strokes, vision loss, heart attacks, heart failure or kidney disease if it’s not managed well. Understanding blood pressure readings The only way to know if you have high blood pressure it to get it checked. If your doctor does find elevated rates, it’s important to monitor your numbers. Many pharmacies Read more

LOOKING BEYOND THE SIX LETTER WORD: Focus on cancer and the many treatments

Female cancer patient who has undergone chemotherapy

This month we will focus on the dreaded disease, cancer. There are nearly as many treatments for cancer as there are types of cancer, making it one of the most complex and life-changing diagnoses possible.

Cancer can begin in the lungs, the breasts, the colon or even in the bloodstream. It can stagnate in certain areas of the body or spread through the body, and the spreading can happen slowly or very rapidly. While cancers are alike in some ways, they can differ significantly in many others—including how they grow and spread. Oncology research has advanced to the point that more people than ever before lead full lives after cancer treatment, but there is still not a definitive cure for cancer, and the multitude of treatment options further complicates managing the disease. In addition, cancer has Read more

The Darker Side of Misdiagnosis: depression and hypothyroidism

Doctor performing an ultrasound on the thyroid of her female patient

This month on the Best Doctors Blog, we bring our attention to depression and hypothyroidism.

Although they are two separate diseases, depression can be a symptom of hypothyroidism, which is a deficiency in the levels of hormones created by your thyroid gland. The medications prescribed to increase low thyroid levels can often alleviate the many symptoms of hypothyroidism, including depression. Since the indicators of hypothyroidism and depression are similar, doctors sometimes overlook the possibility that a person who is depressed may have low thyroid levels as well. There are many symptoms linked to hypothyroidism and depression, including fatigue, sluggishness, lack of mental focus and sleeping too much. The huge list of other hypothyroidism signals also includes: Slower Read more