Hypertension or high blood pressure is an alarming medical condition. It can damage one’s health and if left untreated for a longer period, it can result in a heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure is a condition when the pressure of the blood flow against the arterial wall is high.
Though unhealthy food habits, stress, lifestyle, ageing and constriction of blood vessels are the major reasons for hypertension, there are many myths related to it. Some of them are:
1. It’s genetic
The very first myth that needs to be broken about hypertension is that it runs in the family. It has always been feared that heart diseases are passed off from generation to generation. But medical experts have identified that hypertension can be cured with lifestyle modification and reduced stress levels.
2 Say no to table salt
Once someone is diagnosed with hypertension, the very first advice from family and friends is to reduce salt in food as sodium increases blood pressure. But this is a partial myth as sodium is also used in many other processed food items like pickles, ketchup, fries, etc.
3. High BP 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 and awareness has to be created with the help of medical practitioners.
4. BP is all about systolic pressure
The blood pressure monitor records two numbers and they are written one upon another. The top number is known as systolic pressure. For hypertension, the systolic pressure will be above 130 mm Hg. The bottom number is known as diastolic pressure. For average good working heart, the diastole should be 80 or below. A common myth while recording BP is that many tend to look only at the top number. But the truth is both systolic and diastolic readings are important.
5. Drinking wine is good for high blood pressure
Consuming alcohol or any intoxicating substance is not good for the heart. It can cause to alter the blood flow and can also increase triglycerides in the bloodstream that can thicken the walls of the artery.
6. Stop the medication if the BP is normal
The most common and most dangerous myth about hypertension is that, if the blood pressure measured is normal, one can stop the medication. Blood pressure medication includes blood thinners which will help more blood flow through constricted arteries easily. If one stops the medicine without the doctor’s advice, it can increase the harmful effect of hypertension.
With ageing, hypertension can be detected with symptoms like headache, shortness of breath or nose bleeds. But these symptoms could be misleading as well. If a blood pressure monitor records high blood pressure and the doctor confirms the same, one can follow medical advice to keep blood pressure under control.