Thursday, July 29

Common myths about blood pressure – Times of India

As per the data by National Family Health Survey, 2017, one in eight people in India suffer from hypertension. As per the data from World Health Organisation, around 1.13 billion people have high
blood pressure worldwide.

Despite hypertension’s increasing prevalence, it is still widely misunderstood. Here are some common myths about hypertension.

Myth: Hypertension is not serious

Fact: Hypertension is called a silent killer. Without treatment, it can increase the risk of health issues like heart attack, stroke, kidney diseases, heart failure, vision loss, sexual dysfunction and peripheral artery diseases.

It can cause damage in a number of ways, for example, over time it can increase arterial pressure that can cause vessels to become less elastic, which reduces the amount of blood and oxygen that reaches the heart and thereby damaging organs.

Myth: If it’s in the family, there is nothing you can do

Fact: Hypertension can be genetic in some cases. But it’s not something inevitable, even for people who may be genetically susceptible to it. Also, the condition develops due to lifestyle factors, such as poor diet and physical inactivity.

Myth: It’s inevitable with age

Fact: Hypertension is not inevitable and is not a normal part of ageing. Though the condition is common among older adults, high blood pressure occurs in middle-aged and young people too.

Myth: If you have hypertension, it will show visible symptoms

Fact: The only way to detect hypertension is to measure blood pressure. There are usually no signs and symptoms to indicate that someone has hypertension. Many people don’t even know they are suffering from hypertension.

Myth: You don’t consume table salt, you don’t have to worry about hypertension

Fact: The World Health Organisation recommends using 5 grams of salt each day for a healthy body. But only avoiding table salt is not enough to limit the overall salt intake. 10 other foods that can increase your salt intake include bread, pizzas, sandwiches, cold cuts, cured meats, soups, tacos, chips, popcorn, chicken, cheese and eggs.

Sea salt and kosher salt are chemically the same as table salt and thus no less harmful.

Myth: When your blood responds to medication, you can stop taking it

Fact: People who take medicine for hypertension may find that their blood pressure returns to normal. But this does not mean you can stop your medication on your own.

Follow your doctor’s recommendation, for reducing or stop taking the medicine on your doctor’s advice.

Myth: Hypertension is curable

Fact: There is no cure for hypertension, however, there are ways to manage the condition and reduce its impact on the health. You can control your bp by reducing alcohol intake, eating a healthful diet, exercising, managing stress, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and taking medication.

Myth: Only men develop high blood pressure

Fact: Although men have a higher risk of developing hypertension, everyone can develop hypertension. Everyone has a similar risk for developing hypertension.

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