Myths & Facts About Hypertension

Monday, 29 Nov 2010 04:09 PM

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 According to various surveys, hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects at least one out of every three adults in the United States. The age of suffering from this condition has also decreased significantly, making young people much more vulnerable to it than before.
 
Unfortunately, a number of myths have cropped up about hypertension. The following are the top five hypertension facts and myths:

--Hypertension increases the risk of strokes and heart attacks.  Research shows that there is no direct connection between hypertension and heart problems. Myths about hypertension, like this, are untrue and every person faces the same risk of heart problems. For example, with a normal blood pressure of about 120/80 two persons whose blood pressure has increased to 140/90 and 160/90 face the same risk of heart-related problems.
--Hypertensive people must reduce their salt or sodium intake. Most people believe that sodium causes hypertension or high blood pressure, but in fact, an imbalance of the essential salts like magnesium, sodium, and potassium in the diet causes hypertension. The information and myth about hypertension might have some relevance in case of processed foods where the concentration of salt is very high but the concentrations of magnesium and potassium are very low. This is worsened by the fact that we generally add table salt to taste to this processed food. This creates a big imbalance in the body and hence causes hypertension. The hypertension myths about treatment by reducing the salt intake can be modified to mean that it is best to eat whole and natural foods to maintain a balance in sodium, magnesium, and potassium.

--Lifestyle changes cannot reverse hypertension -
Taking medication is the only alternative.  The best way to treat hypertension is to adopt a healthier lifestyle, which includes good diet and proper exercise. Stopping habits such as smoking and drinking can also dramatically change the prognosis. Most doctors are forced to give medications because the patients are not ready to make such lifestyle changes.

--Hypertension is asymptomatic
. It is a well-established fact that most of the people who suffer from hypertension in the United States have stage 1 or stage 2 hypertension, which are only moderate forms of the disease. Due to the moderate form, most people do not see any symptoms. Unfortunately, they fail to recognize that hypertension can progressively get worse due to damage to blood vessels. In the later stages, many symptoms like stroke, heart attack, and congestive heart failure may be observed.

--Older patients are not compliant with the treatment
. Most of the hypertension myths about adults state that the response of older patients to treatment and medications is not as good as that of younger ones. This myth about hypertension medicine has been proved false in recent clinical studies that demonstrate the efficacy of anti-hypertensive medication on senior patients.
 

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