Bust the myths, know the facts.

In my previous article 'Understanding Hypertension(high BP)', I talked about what is Hypertension and what measures can be taken to prevent it. Now, I'll be talking about the common misconceptions and myths associated with Hypertension and help you know the facts.

Common misconceptions about Hypertension are as follows:

  • I feel normal, I do not have to worry about BP- It is estimated that every 3rd individual above the age of 25 years has high BP and most of them do not know it or do not experience any symptoms. Know your BP numbers.
  • I use sea salt or Sendha namak instead of regular salt, I don’t need to restrict my intake-Chemically table salt and sea salt are the same- 40% Sodium-and count the same towards total Sodium consumption. Alternative salt options contain as much sodium.
  • I do not use table salt in my food, my BP can not rise- 75% of Sodium we consume is hidden in processed foods like tomato sauce, soups, pickles, canned and prepared mixes. Watch labels for sodium content in the form of Sodium chloride, Sodium bicarb. (Baking soda) or MSG(Mono Sod. Glutamate)
Watch for added salt.
  • I was diagnosed with high BP and I have normal BP after taking medications, so I can discontinue the medications and do not need regular BP check ups- Hypertension is a chronic condition. Follow your doctor’s recommendations for regular BP management. By your co-operation you can successfully reach your treatment goals and enjoy the benefits of a healthy life. 
  • Make sure, you  know about your BP medications & follow your physician's instructions.
  • Wine is supposed to be good for the heart, so I can consume as much as I want- If you drink alcohol, including wine, do so in moderation. Regular use of alcohol can dramatically increase BP. It also has deleterious effects on your heart, brain, cholesterol levels and liver.  
  • Have alcohol in moderation.
  • There is nothing I can do, it runs in my family and I too will get it-  Hypertension can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle and awareness about factors which are risk factors for high BP.
  • Medications cause side effects, so I should not have any- There are various classes of anti- Hypertensive medications. It may take some time to regularize your BP medications, nonetheless, you need to take medications as per your doctor’s recommendations, because untreated Hypertension can be very dangerous for your health.
  • Once I begin BP medications, I will have to continue same medicine forever- There can be BP fluctuations, and medicines also need to be changed, added or reduced depending on your BP and other factors. Grade 1 Hypertension may even be reversed back to normal with lifestyle modifications and medications may not be needed. But only your doctor is the right person to decide on that.
  • KEEP BLOOD PRESSURE AT BAY AND ENJOY A HEALTHY LIFE. I will soon follow up with another article on BP medications, things you must know about.