Dr. Alexander Tkachev grew up in the emergency room; not because he was always in need of immediate surgery, but rather, because his father was a doctor in the emergency and cardiology departments, and would sometimes take him to work to play with the phonendoscope.
As. Dr. Tkachev reflects on the nearly twenty years that have gone by since he first entered medicine studies, he reiterates how he still stands by the sentiment that the main pillars of medicine are goodness and mercy, and that too often they are being forgotten in modern health care. He answered a few questions with us from his office in Russia, to talk about hypertension and the seriousness of it and why we should be cognizant of what it entails.
DC Life Magazine: You are living and practicing medicine in Russia and you just created a youtube video on blood pressure. Can you tell us about your career and what motivated you to create the video?
Dr. Alexander Tkachev: The motivation for this video was the death of my mother who had passed due to a hemorrhagic stroke, which was a complication of her high blood pressure. Anti-hypertensive therapy was prescribed for her for the last 5 years.
The problem is, however, that the disease is often asymptomatic (showing no symptoms), and with no further warning, tragedy had happened. To this day, I fully understand that my mother will not return, but I hope that my video will attract people’s attention to this problem. I also hope that in the future it will help to save a life of someone’s mother, father, brother, grandmother, friend or even a stranger.
DC: What are the top warning signs of high blood pressure?
AT: The main symptoms by which people can suspect themselves having high blood pressure include headache, dizziness, anxiety, facial flushing, increased sweating, pain in the heart area. But the main danger is that often this disease is asymptomatic, as I mentioned, therefore it is also called “the silent killer”.
DC: What should someone do if they think they have high blood pressure?
AT: The most important thing to do is visit your doctor, who will be able to diagnose this disease at an early stage and promptly prescribe a treatment. A patient only has to follow doctor’s recommendations.
DC: Is it a serious issue in Russia?
AT: Yes, but this is a very serious problem not only for Russia. The main mistake patients make worldwide is poor control of their blood pressure and irregularity of taking prescribed medication. And this is the mistake that leads to tragic consequences and death.
DC: What treatments are available for high blood pressure?
AT: Currently, there are a lot of drugs for the treatment of this problem. The treatment must be assigned by your doctor at the time of personal examination.
DC: What would you like your film to accomplish around the world?
AT: The main purpose of my film is to draw attention to this problem. After all, in everyday life we quite often forget to pay attention to the most important thing we have – our health. And this forgetfulness can be very costly.
DC: Do you speak on this topic in other countries?
AT: Not yet. This is my first interview with a foreign publication.
DC: Can we expect additional youtube videos in the future?
AT: Yes, I plan to release videos on back pain and intervertebral hernias by the end of August 2017.
Check out Dr. Tkachev’s video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO704cvxCI8
You can follow Dan Fecht on Twitter: @realdanfecht