High Blood Pressure: Popular Misconceptions Debunked.
Written by Eli Ben-YehudaOn May 21, 2017
A myth can be a widely held but false belief in something. This can be especially dangerous when the myths are about our health. So today we want to dispel 5 myths concerning high blood pressure. Why? Because high blood pressure is called the silent killer. Not the visiting friend, not some light disease that will leave eventually by itself, no it is called a killer. Why a silent killer? High blood pressure works in the shadows with virtually no symptoms to speak of. Like a highly trained assassin it goes undetected, and if remains undetected it can kill you.
So let’s take a look at some of the most commonly held mythical beliefs about high blood pressure.
First Myth: High Blood Pressure Is No Big Deal
Early on, you may not notice symptoms of high blood pressure, so you may not be too concerned. However, in the long run high blood pressure can kill you. Normally, your heart beats regularly, pumping blood through the vessels all over your body. As the blood is pushed by the heartbeat, the blood in turn pushes against the sides of your blood vessels. Blood vessels are flexible and can widen or constrict as needed to keep blood flowing well. For a variety of reasons, your blood may begin to push too hard against the blood vessels. This is high blood pressure, which can cause your arteries to become stiff over time. This is how problems begin.
Health care professionals agree: High blood pressure is a big deal.
Second Myth: You Can’t Prevent High Blood Pressure
Perhaps you have other relatives with high blood pressure. Maybe you’re a member of a group of people who are at greater risk. For these or other reasons, you may be tempted to think that there’s nothing you can do about high blood pressure.
Here is some good news about high blood pressure: Even if you have many risk factors, there are steps you can take to prevent high blood pressure:
- Keep your weight at a healthy level. You can accomplish this by a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise
- Eat a healthy diet. This includes eating only the amount of food your body needs and choosing foods high in nutrients and low in fat, sugar, and salt.
- Limit how much salt you eat. Most of the sodium you eat is in the form of salt. It may be salt that you add at the table or salt added to processed foods you consume.
- Limit how much alcohol you drink.
- Don’t smoke tobacco, and minimize your exposure to second hand smoke.
- Get regular exercise. Try to get at least 30 minutes of activity each day, at least five days a week. Exercise relieves stress and helps you control your weight.
- Don’t let stress build up. The chemicals your body makes in response to stress make your heart beat harder and faster and your blood vessels tighten. All this makes blood pressure higher.
Ask your doctor for suggestions about high blood pressure and how to prevent it. Your doctor may refer you to other healthcare professionals who can help.
Third Myth: It’s OK As Long As One Number Is Normal
Many people pay more attention to the systolic rate than the diastolic, but experts say that the heart can tolerate a high top (systolic) number better than a high bottom (diastolic) number.
Fourth Myth: Treatment is nasty with harsh diets and many side effects
Give up your favorite foods. Take drugs with annoying side effects. These are some things you might fear when you think about high blood pressure treatment. It might take time to find the right solution for you, but it is out there.
Fifth Myth: Treatment Doesn’t Work
If you work with your doctor to develop a comprehensive program for managing your high blood pressure, that plan can work.
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