To lower your risk, first, you should be aware of the condition. Hence, we debunk the common myths related to hypertension (
I cannot prevent high blood pressure if it runs in my family.
Lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of getting high blood pressure.
If your parents or close blood relatives have had high blood pressure, you are more likely to develop it, too. However, lifestyle choices such as following a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise have helped many people with a family history of high blood pressure keep it under control (2✔ ✔Trusted Source
Know Your Risk for High Blood Pressure
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Significant weight loss can decrease systolic blood pressure by 5 to 20 mm Hg. It is also important to reduce stress and make sure that you are getting adequate sleep to reduce blood pressure.
Does only Salt Matter in High Blood Pressure
2. Myth: As long as adding table salt to food is avoided, anything can be eaten.
Fact: Worry about hypertension is not just about table salt.
Yes, consuming too much salt can raise blood pressure by increasing the volume of blood by drawing more water into the blood. But salt doesn’t just mean the one added from the salt shaker. It also means checking labels, because up to 75% of the sodium we consume is hidden in processed foods like tomato sauce, soups, condiments, canned foods, and prepared mixes.
Look out for the words ‘soda’ and ‘sodium’ and the symbol ‘Na’ on labels. These words show that sodium compounds are present. Using low sodium alternatives such as kosher salt and sea salt also contribute the same toward total sodium consumption (3✔ ✔Trusted Source
Dietary Salt Intake and Hypertension
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To avoid this, follow the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan that consists of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. Following the DASH diet may reduce the dietary sodium intake to less than 2,400 mg a day.
High Blood Pressure: The Silent Killer
3. Myth: The signs of high blood pressure are obvious.
Fact: High blood pressure has no symptoms.
Unless the blood pressure is dangerously high, there will not be any symptoms. That’s why hypertension is called a silent killer. Regardless of whether there are symptoms or not, high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels and increase the risk for heart disease, heart failure, and stroke. Therefore, it is important to know the risk factors and start to manage hypertension from an early stage.
Age is no More a Barrier for Hypertension
4. Myth: At a young age, there is no need to worry about blood pressure.
Fact: Hypertension affects not only older people but also young people.
Yes, high blood pressure is more common among older people because blood vessels naturally stiffen with age, and that increases the resistance within it, which in turn increases blood pressure. But younger adults can also have high blood pressure, and this may be behind a disturbing trend toward more strokes among younger adults (4✔ ✔Trusted Source
Investigation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure in Young People
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Children and teens can also have high blood pressure, possibly because of an increase in childhood obesity. This fact again throws spotlight on lifestyle choices as the major risk factor for hypertension and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
Even stress and improper sleep pattern can impact blood pressure levels. More awareness about the increasing trend of hypertension among young adults and children might be the need of the hour.
Managing Blood Pressure is a Lifelong Commitment
5. Myth: If blood pressure is back to normal level on medication, I can stop taking it.
Fact: Continue taking the medication.
High blood pressure is a lifelong condition. Medications do not cure hypertension but will manage the condition. If taking medications is stopped, then blood pressure will rise again. Regular use of prescribed medications and making lifestyle changes can enhance quality of life and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and more.
If you have any questions or concerns about your medications or treatment plan for high blood pressure, talk to your doctor or health care provider.
- Common High Blood Pressure Myths – (https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/the-facts-about-high-blood-pressure/common-high-blood-pressure-myths)
- Know Your Risk for High Blood Pressure – (https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/risk_factors.htm#)
- Dietary Salt Intake and Hypertension – (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/)
- Investigation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure in Young People – (https://www.ahajournals.org/)