10 Common Myths About Hypertension
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a long-term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated.
It can damage one’s health and if left untreated for a longer period, it can result in a heart attack or stroke. However, besides being an alarming medical condition, it is also a source of false myths and lies that people believe in. Therefore, it is important to get your facts right.
Here are some common myths about high blood pressure that you need to stop believing.
Myth 1: High Blood Pressure is Nothing
Many people are not even aware of high blood pressure’s evil effects and when it is not treated on time, it can cause fatal results. The myth that blood pressure is not a big deal needs to be busted at the earliest. People should be made aware of serious consequences like stroke or heart attack.
Myth 2: High Blood Pressure Cannot be Controlled
Many live with high blood pressure and believe that it cannot be treated. High blood pressure can be treated effectively with the help of medical assistance combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Regular exercise, weight management, consumption of a healthy diet, stress control and quitting smoking can help regulate blood pressure numbers.
Myth 3: It’s genetic
High blood pressure can run in families. If your parents or close blood relatives have had high blood pressure, you are more likely to develop it, too. However, the American Heart Association is of the opinion that people with a high risk due to family history can avoid getting hypertension by making good lifestyle choices.
Eating a good diet, lowering the intake of sodium, exercising regularly, staying away from stress, limiting alcohol and quitting smoking are important changes that one needs to make.
Myth 4: I Don’t Use Common Salt, So My Sodium Levels are Fine
Consuming table salt does indeed spike blood pressure levels for a lot of people, but avoiding this one ingredient will not mean your sodium levels will go down. Sodium is actually hidden in a lot of processed foods, including tomato sauce, chips, condiments like mayonnaise and pre-packaged chutneys. Eliminating these foods is likely to benefit you more than eliminating common salt from your diet.
Myth 5: I Have No Symptoms, So I don’t Have to Worry About High Blood Pressure
Most of the high blood pressure patients fail to experience any symptoms. Even if you are hale and hearty, it is important for you to check your blood pressure at least once in six months, to avoid severe health complications.
Myth 6: High Blood Pressure is a Geriatric Problem
High blood pressure is often mistakenly considered to be a geriatric problem or a health concern for the elderly. More and more research findings are now establishing that hypertension can occur to any individual at any time. Young adults living a sedentary life and indulging in unhealthy lifestyles are at a high risk of developing high blood pressure.
Myth 7: High Blood Pressure is All About Systolic Pressure
When you or your doctor measure your blood pressure, it includes two numbers – one written on top (systolic), and the other below (diastolic). Most of us tend to pay more attention to the systolic rate rather than diastolic reading. Both of the numbers are very important. If either of your blood pressure readings is consistently above normal, then you need to take action right away.
Myth 8: High Blood Pressure is Gender Biased
Both males as well as females are at high risk of developing high blood pressure. However, the condition is more common in men under 45 years and in women, it usually occurs after menopause. But is imperative you check your blood pressure levels every six months.
Myth 9: Drinking Wine is Good for High Blood Pressure
No alcoholic drinks can be good for blood pressure, instead it may add to the problems related to heart and liver. It can cause to alter the blood flow and can also increase triglycerides in the bloodstream that can thicken the walls of the artery.
Myth 10: It is Okay to Quit Treatment Once Symptoms are Under Control
People tend to stop medication once the symptoms are under control. But you should not stop the treatment unless your doctor advises you to do so. Also, follow all necessary prevention methods as long as required.