10 Common Myths and Facts about High BP


10  Common Myths and Facts about High BP

In India, it is estimated that over 75% of the people1 have uncontrolled BP, and the bigger problem is that almost half the people do not even know about their condition. In today's fast-paced world, high blood pressure has become a common health condition among people from all walks of life. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a condition that can put you at risk of cardiovascular diseases. This makes high BP a major contributor to morbidity as well as premature death.

This unawareness often leads to misinformation and myths about high BP, and despite the high prevalence, hypertension is widely misunderstood. To make people more aware of this health condition, several myths about this condition must be dispelled.

Briefing High Blood Pressure

Before exploring the facts, let us firstexplain what is high blood pressure and what is the main cause of high blood pressure.  Simply put, high blood pressure is a condition in which the pressure of blood against the arteries wall is too high. This pressure rises and falls depending on the activity an individual indulges in. For example, while climbing stairs or exercising, your BP will typically be higher compared to while sitting. The rate at which a person's heart beats determines the blood pressure and severity- ranges from 120/80 as normal to 180/120 as severe.

High Blood Pressure: Myths Busted

As it is said that information is power, you should be aware of the right concepts and discard the myths. Here are the actual facts you must know:

Myth 1: Hypertension is not a Serious Matter

Fact: The condition of high blood pressure needs to be addressed timely and carefully. Your heart normally pumps blood smoothly through flexible vessels. However, sustained high pressure overworks arteries, restricting flow as they lose elasticity.  This pressure on the arteries, in the long-term, can make you vulnerable to severe health conditions such as heart disease, kidney failure, stroke or other conditions damaging your body organs 

As there are no exact causes of sudden high blood pressure and early signs or symptoms of high blood pressure;  it is called a silent killer. Hence, the risk of a sudden heart attack or stroke always prevails. .

>>Check: What is High Blood Pressure?

Myth 2: Men are More Prone to High Blood Pressure than Women

Fact: In today's modern lifestyle, both men and women can be prone to high blood pressure. According to research, men have a higher risk of developing hypertension before the age of 50, whereas, women over 50 may develop high blood pressure after menopause. In addition to this, taking birth control pills or developing high blood pressure during pregnancy are what causes high blood pressure in women in later life.

Myth 3: Inherited Hypertension can’t be Controlled

Fact: While hypertension has a genetic component, it is not inevitable. If you have inherited hypertension, you can easily control it by changing your lifestyle. Do regular exercise, follow a healthy diet and ensure that you get sufficient sleep and proper medication. A healthy lifestyle prevents hypertension and leaves a positive effect on your body. 

>>Also Read: Problem of High Blood Pressure in Women

Myth 4: Stop Medicines as soon as Your High Blood Pressure Subsides

Fact: Taking medicines for high blood pressure for a long time has a profound effect. If one stops taking medicine early, there is no problem in the initial days. However, avoiding medicines for a long time can cause the issue of high blood pressure to resume. High blood pressure is mostly a lifelong condition for most individuals. Therefore, the medicine should not be stopped without consulting the doctor.

Myth 5: High Blood Pressure can be Cured

Fact: Unfortunately, there is no cure available in medical science so far for hypertension. However, high blood pressure can be kept under control by following a healthy lifestyle.  By altering lifestyle habits and bringing small modifications into your daily routine can help manage the disease. For example, eating nutritious food, exercising regularly, abstaining from smoking and drinking alcohol and using less oil and spices in food can prove to be helpful, along with medication. Depending on your current health, your doctor will determine the best course of action. 

Myth 6: You Get Early Signs of High Blood Pressure

Fact: There are no early signs of high blood pressure. Hence, if someone develops high blood pressure, the person can have no clue of its early existence.  Therefore, doctors recommend to keep a  track of your blood pressure level once every 3-4 months and addressing  immediately in case the levels rise up. 

Myth 7: Drinking Coffee Regularly can Increase High Blood Pressure

Fact: While caffeine has little impact on blood pressure for most, alcohol consumption raises it significantly. Regular caffeine does not typically influence blood pressure, but high amounts from concentrated sources may be a risk factor. However, excessive alcohol intake reliably elevates blood pressure over time. Limiting alcohol to no more than 2 drinks daily for men and 1 for women can modestly reduce systolic pressure.

Myth 8: Young People do not Develop High Blood Pressure

Fact: While high blood pressure risk rises with age due to stiffer arteries, it can impact anyone, including youth, possibly explaining an uptick in early-life strokes. Both childhood obesity and lifestyle factors are what causes high blood pressure in men and women, even at early ages. Thus, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and go for regular health check-ups.

Myth 9: The Risk of Blood Pressure is the Same for all Races

Fact: Coloured people face an increased risk of developing high blood pressure compared to fair-skinned people. While the exact reasons are yet to be discovered, higher rates of obesity, diabetes and associated socioeconomic challenges faced disproportionately within the coloured community are believed to contribute to these disparities. Addressing both lifestyle and societal determinants can help in preventing the risk of high blood pressure.

Myth 10: Not Consuming Table Salt can Help Control Sodium Intake

Fact: Limiting table salt is not enough to control sodium intake as sodium is also present in our daily consumables like bread, cold cuts, snacks, chicken, cheese, eggs, and ultra-processed foods. Moreover, both kosher and sea salt contain the same amount of sodium as regular table salt; therefore, swapping the salt cannot solve the issue. Limit overall salt consumption to less than 5 grams daily as it is recommended by WHO.

How to Reduce High Blood Pressure?

While medicines can help you in managing your blood pressure, here are a few tips on how to reduce high blood pressure. However, keep in mind that the treatment you need to follow depends on the doctor’s diagnosis of what is the main cause of high blood pressure in your case. Make sure you discuss all modifications with your doctor first.

Regular Exercise is Key

To stay healthy and reduce the risk of chronic ailments, it is important that you exercise every day for at least 30 to 45 minutes.

Sleep Well

Maintaining blood pressure can seem easier when you let your body rest for at least 6 to 8 hours. Good quality sleep and sleeping at the right time is important.

Watch Your Food Plate 

Not eating right is said to be one of the causes of sudden high blood pressure. Processed and packaged food can affect the body’s ability to assimilate nutrients. Take care of the following eating habits:

  • Eat the right kind of salt
  • Cut back on sugar
  • Increase your intake of potassium 
  • Limit process foods

Try to Manage Your Stress Levels

Anxiety or stress is a key player in what causes high blood pressure in men as well as women. Practice deep breathing, listen to good music, and avoid stressful situations as much as possible.

Lead a Normal Life with High BP!

Chronic illnesses like high BP are common these days. However, by acting proactively, one can lead a healthy life with hypertension. Being proactive also means that you plan for the future as well by prioritising your finances. And your financial planning remains incomplete without a health insurance plan if we consider the current medical inflation rates. Even a single hospitalisation can cause huge monetary drain, you should not ignore health complicacies owing to high BP that can cause hospitalisation.

You can consider our health insurance for hypertension and let us take care of your financial worries. With Care Freedom, we aim to provide coverage and peace of mind to those requiring extra support while managing diseases like hypertension. 

At Care Health Insurance, we understand the burden of lifestyle illnesses and are dedicated to supporting our customers' health journeys with compassionate, comprehensive insurance plans.

Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

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