Most of us know symptoms that need to be examined by the doctor. Blood in the urine, blood in stools, chest pain and 0dd-shaped moles or growths are a few of them. But what if you have a potentially life-threatening condition without symptoms?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, has been dubbed “The Silent Killer.” In many cases, as you navigate through life feeling just fine, your blood may be streaming through your arteries at a rate that could cause serious injury.  Untreated hypertension can lead to a heart attack, a stroke or kidney damage.  Risk factors include age, race, diet, and tobacco and alcohol use. provides a great introduction to hypertension, complete with an animated video that shows the basics of this serious condition:

The good news is hypertension can be controlled by diet, exercise and medication. There are many ways you can check your blood pressure. Several shopping destinations have portable monitoring units. You can buy affordable blood pressure monitors for home use.  If you are near a hospital or clinic, drop in.  See if they can squeeze you in for a free test.

There is a very good reason your nurse straps that thingy on your arm, and pumps until you feel your arm is going to drop off.