10 Myths about hypertension one must know
Clinical Nutrition • • 1 minute to read • By Dr Poonam Vichare, INFS Faculty
Author- Dr Poonam Vichare
- If there are no signs & symptoms, the blood pressure will be normal.
Hypertension is called the “silent killer” as most of the time it goes unnoticed.
There are several stages of hypertension. The initial stages may remain undiagnosed as it doesn’t necessarily lead to symptoms but it may lead to internal damage to many vital organs of the body like heart, blood vessels, brain, kidneys, brain etc.
- Wine is good for health, helps regulate blood pressure so one can have it on a daily basis in large quantities.
Red wine contains an antioxidant called Resveratrol which protects the body from free radicals.
But the American Heart Association and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute don't recommend that you start drinking alcohol just to prevent heart disease. Alcohol can be addictive and can cause or worsen other health problems.
- Hypertension comes inherited & nothing can be done about it.
Hypertension cannot be inherited. Exercise, eating a low-salt diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding alcohol and smoking can have a positive impact on your blood pressure.
- Checking the blood pressure only at the clinic visit is enough.
One should keep monitoring the blood pressure at home. Having a log for the daily Blood pressure fluctuations can help the doctor give a fair idea if the medications prescribed have been helpful in controlling the blood pressure.
- Just avoiding table salt is sufficient to keep a check on the sodium intake.
Most of the dietary sodium comes from packed & processed food which is very high in sodium & trans fats, both of which contribute to the pathogenesis of Hypertension. Monosodium glutama te is often used in processed food as a flavor enhancing agent which also increases the overall dietary sodium intake.
- Use of kosher salt or sea salt instead of the regular salt is a good choice.
Both Kosher salt & sea salt have the same amount of sodium as the regular salt. Thus, using them as a safer replacement is definitely not a good idea.
- One can stop medication as the blood pressure reading gets normal.
It is very important to understand that the blood pressure values will drop as a result of the medication. There are pretty high chances of the blood pressure value bouncing back once the medication is stopped. It is always wise to listen to the physician’s advice even if it means taking the medication lifelong.
- Young individuals need not worry about high blood pressure.
It is a known fact that hypertension is common in the older individuals as the arteries become less elastic with aging. But hypertension can also occur in young adults especially if they are obese & sedentary.
- If already on medication for high BP, there is no need to watch for the diet or to exercise.
There is no substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Medication is started when the physician feels that the lifestyle interventions are not alone enough to regulate the blood pressure.
- Hypertension can be cured.
Sadly, there is no cure for hypertension. But, it can be regulated with lifestyle & medical interventions. The American Heart Association recommends:
- Eating a well-balanced, low-salt diet
- Limiting alcohol
- Enjoying regular physical activity
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Taking doctor-prescribed medications properly
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