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Myths and Facts About Hypertension or High Blood Pressure

Published on Nov 17, 2013 and last reviewed on Jun 23, 2022   -  4 min read

Abstract

Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood against the walls of the blood vessels. This article discusses blood pressure and its various misconceptions.

Contents
Myths and Facts About Hypertension or High Blood Pressure

Introduction:

Usually, when your heart beats, the blood is pumped out of the heart to course through the vessels and spread all over your body. The blood that is pushed out by the heart, in turn, pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. The blood push in the vessel causes pressure on the wall of the vessel. This pressure of blood on the containing vessels is blood pressure.

What Is Normal Blood Pressure?

Blood vessels are flexible and can widen or constrict to adjust the flow of the blood, thereby keeping the blood pressure normal despite the initiation of a problem for a long time. It also helps to keep blood flowing well. The normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg.

When the push of the blood on the vessels becomes too high, or the compliance and the vessels' elasticity are insufficient to contain it, the blood pressure may rise gradually. This is hypertension or high blood pressure. There are several reasons for the same.

Blood pressure changes throughout the day and with the activity level.

What Can High Blood Pressure Do to You?

High blood pressure is also called hypertension and causes many health-related problems. The patient may have issues like headache, chest heaviness, sweating, breathlessness, fatigue, or simply a feeling of being unwell.

Heart disease and stroke as the most common complications of high blood pressure. So in case, you are worried about high blood pressure for a family member, a friend, or even you should visit a doctor as soon as possible.

What Are the Common Myths About Hypertension?

Unfortunately, hypertension is surrounded by a large number of myths and misconceptions. Here are a few of the most common misconceptions about hypertension or high blood pressure.

Myth 1 - High and Uncontrolled Blood Pressure Is Not Something to Be Worried About:

One of the most problematic facts about high uncontrolled blood pressure is that one may not notice any symptoms. This makes it difficult for the affected person to get to a doctor to have it checked.

The second problem many doctors face is that the patient does not take the issue seriously because there have been no symptoms. Therefore, they do not realize that high blood pressure can cause significant morbidity and mortality.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage blood vessels carrying blood to any part of the body, especially the heart, brain, and kidneys.

Consider it as a water pipe. When the water in the pipe causes too much pressure on the pipe wall, there will be damage to the pipe, causing rupture and leakage. It is the same with the body.

Hypertension is a silent killer.

Myth 2 - High Blood Pressure When It Happens Cannot Be Prevented:

Many, especially the elderly, take blood pressure for granted as a part of the old age syndrome they feel comes with every age. You may have a significant family history of high blood pressure. For one or more reasons, you may think there's nothing you can do to prevent high blood pressure. However, it can be prevented.

Some of the easy steps one can take to prevent high blood pressure are:

Myth 3 - It Is Fine as Long as One Number Is Normal:

Blood pressure has two readings - systolic blood pressure (the number on top) and diastolic blood pressure (the number at the bottom).

The systolic blood pressure represents the pressure that the blood exerts on the walls of the blood vessels when pumped out by the heart. Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure the blood exerts in blood vessels between heartbeats. The systolic pressure rises with age, while the diastolic pressure drops.

Normal blood pressure is measured at 120/80 mmHg of mercury. A value of 120 to 139/80-89 is read as pre-hypertension. A value above 140/90 is read as hypertension. Many experts say high diastolic blood pressure can cause more damage than high systolic.

Myth 4 - Treatment Is About Giving up Favoured Foods and Tolerating Serious Side Effects:

While it does take time to individualize a treatment plan, a suitable treatment plan is likely to have the following components;

Myth 5 - Many Perceive That Treatment Does Not Work:

The patient and a doctor must work longer to get to a good regimen. The patients most commonly skip appointments or simply ignore the medicine.

One needs to follow up on the appointments and check one's blood pressure regularly. Besides, skipping medicines will not help the cause of controlling blood pressure.

Communicate with the doctor. If you feel the doctor has not understood you, or you have been unable to explain yourself, emphasize saying so. Many people are simply too scared of talking to the doctors. Others just assume the doctors know what one is suffering from. Effective communication is the key.

Conclusion:

Hypertension is often underestimated as many myths are associated with this issue. The misconceptions further lead to complications from high blood pressure. People should not believe in myths and be aware of the facts to recognize the seriousness of hypertension and take necessary action to prevent and treat them as advised by the healthcare provider.

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Last reviewed at:
23 Jun 2022  -  4 min read

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