Top 5 Hypertension Myths You Should Never Believe

hypertension myths
Hypertension or high blood pressure has been notorious for being a “silent killer” and its prevalence is increasing. Having an above normal blood pressure measurement can increase a person’s risk of developing heart-related problems like heart attack and stroke.
But here’s the thing:
It is the lack of health education that kills people more than the disease itself.
As a nurse, it’s important that you know the most common hypertension myths patients believe in and how to correct them. The list below should be able to help you out with that:

Myth # 1:  Only people who are obese can get hypertension. Those who are slim should never worry about it.

Anyone can develop hypertension and body size is not a good basis to know who are at risk and who are excused. People who are obese at a young age can develop hypertension earlier compared to their thinner counterparts. However, that doesn’t mean that only people who are considered “fat” can get high blood pressure.

According to research, slim and obese people have equal chances of developing high blood pressure. This is because inactive lifestyle , stress, smoking, and unhealthy eating habits can put so much strain on our blood vessels, leading to uncontrollable blood pressure readings.

Myth # 2: Hypertension is normal, especially for older adults.

Experts agree that changes in the flexibility and strength of blood vessels are normal phenomenon caused by aging. However, any medical professional will agree that hypertension is not normal for any age.

How you take care of yourself during your younger years will determine how you will enjoy your life later as you grow older. Being old will never be an excuse to take your health for granted.

Instead, it should give you an extra motivation to watch out for hypertension. Remember,  in the long run, a poorly managed blood pressure can damage essential organs like your eyes, kidneys, brain, and heart.

Myth # 3: In a blood pressure reading like 120/80, the upper reading(systole) is more important than the lower number (diastole).

The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood 2003 guidelines (JNC VII) defines hypertension as blood pressure greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg systolic pressure (top number) or greater than or equal to 90 mm Hg diastolic pressure (bottom number).

Systolic pressure is the force that your blood makse with the vessel walls during a heartbeat. Diastolic, on the other hand, is the force your blood make with your vessel walls during the resting stage or in-between heartbeats.

These two numbers are equally important so you should consult your doctor if you get consistent high readings on either one of them.

Myth # 4: Young people are not prone to hypertension.

Recent studies have revealed that first signs of hypertension can develop as early as teenage years. That’s why it’s not unusual to find people as young as 18 years old being rushed to hospitals due to hypertensive crisis and other related problems.

For this reason, blood pressure reading above 120/80 are now categorized under “pre-hypertensive stage”. It can lead to higher blood pressure measurements if not controlled through appropriate lifestyle modifications.

Myth # 5: Hypertension is not preventable; all people will get its as they age.

There might be some risk factors that will increase your chance to get hypertension but it is preventable. You can start by having a one-on-one talk with your doctor for valuable suggestions you can use to keep your blood pressure readings at a target rate.

Aside from medications and supplements, you can develop a healthy lifestyle. You can start engaging in regular exercise and monitoring of your weight. Choosing the quality and quantity of foods you eat will also help you a lot. You must be disciplined enough to avoid fatty foods and those that contain excessive salt and sugar.

Final Thoughts

Having a life free from worries about hypertension can give you the quality of life you are always aiming for. However, you need to develop the discipline to make it possible. Knowing what are the right and wrong things to do or believe will help you not just to take care of your own health but also to protect the well-being of the people you really care about. Always remember that in choosing health, you’re also choosing wealth.

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