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7 Myths About Hypertension and Facts

Hypertension is defined as high blood pressure in the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

7 Myths About Hypertension and Facts

Hypertension is defined as high blood pressure in the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The blood pressure is usually determined by the heart's capacity to pump blood and the health of the blood vessels. According to the medical guidelines followed worldwide, if the blood pressure in the arteries exceeds 130/80 mmHg, the condition is referred to as hypertension.                 
 
While high blood pressure has become increasingly common, several misconceptions about hypertension are prevailing. Let us look at a few of these – 

Myth 1 – Hypertension is common and not a cause for much concern.

Fact: While it is true that the modern lifestyle has made hypertension increasingly common, it is best to remember that high blood pressure is a condition that needs immediate attention. If left unchecked, High Blood Pressure can damage vital organs, including the kidney, heart, blood vessels, and even lead to a sudden heart attack or a stroke. The biggest challenge that hypertension poses is that it is often unaccompanied by symptoms, which is why hypertension is often referred to as the 'silent killer.'                           

Myth 2 - It is not possible to prevent hypertension

Fact: It is true that there is no cure for hypertension yet, but this does not make it a condition that cannot be prevented or managed. Doctors across the world are aiming to prevent hypertension by spreading awareness. Here are commonly accepted recommendations for those who are at risk of developing high blood pressure –       

•     Maintain a healthy weight and live an active lifestyle.
•     Hypertension can be kept at bay by exercising regularly (30 min/day, five days a week) and leading a stress-free life.
•     A healthy diet high in nutrients and low in salt and saturated fats keeps high blood pressure away.    
•     Quit smoking and avoid alcohol intake. 
 

Myth 3 - Hypertension affects men, and women are rarely affected

Fact: Given the stress levels and the sedentary lifestyle of men and women these days, both genders are equally prone to developing hypertension. Post-menopause, women are more at risk of high blood pressure and Cardiac problems

Myth 4 – Hypertension is a geriatric problem

Fact: Hypertension is often mistakenly considered 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 5 – Hypertension is inherited

It is often believed that 'hypertension runs in the family.' . It is one of the common misconceptions about hypertension. While the genetic propensity to develop hypertension is not in our hands, much can prevent, delay, and even manage the condition. Leading a healthy lifestyle is of prime importance. A low salt diet, fruits, vegetables, regular exercise, and stress reduction techniques such as yoga and meditation go a long way in preventing and managing hypertension despite genetics. 

Myth 6 –Hypertension medicines can be stopped if the blood pressure is normal  


It is also one of the misconceptions about hypertension. Doctors usually monitor a patient for a considerable time before diagnosing hypertension. They also take the patient's lifestyle and medical history into account. Once the patient is started on the medicines, the blood pressure usually stabilizes and comes back to normal. It would be a mistake to stop medicines at this time. While the effect of medicines may last over weeks, hypertension again crops up. Since its symptoms are silent, it can damage vital organs like the heart, brain, and kidney. Skipping medicines can lead to irreversible organ damage.  

Myth 7 –Wine is good for health; it keeps hypertension at bay

Fact: Earlier, people used to consume red wine in small quantities to maintain Cardiac Health. Recent studies, however, reveal that alcohol in any form has no beneficial value and is best avoided.