The best way to start educating yourself is by shattering some of the most commonly-believed myths. These are some of the most prevalent misconceptions about hypertension:
If I feel fine then I don’t have high blood pressure
This is the most dangerous misconception about hypertension. Many people assume that symptoms like heavy sweating, troubled sleep and a flushed face are clear indications that you have hypertension. But this is not true and many people live with high blood pressure for years without knowing it.
Health professionals refer to high blood pressure as the ‘silent killer’ due to many people unknowingly living with it as it shows none to very few symptoms. That’s why it’s important to always check in with your family doctor to ensure that your blood pressure is in the safe zone.
I use table salt sparingly, therefore, I can’t have high blood pressure
In many cases, salt or sodium can increase blood pressure. But it goes further than just being aware of how much salt you add to your food. Many fast foods or ready meals are loaded with added sodium to add flavour and prevent spoiling. That’s why you should always look at nutrition labels when purchasing food to see how much sodium has been used.
My family members have hypertension and I can’t do anything to prevent it
Having high blood pressure is not an inevitable fate when your family suffers from it. You can lower your chances of contracting high blood pressure by changing your habits like limiting your salt intake, increasing your physical activity, managing your weight and not smoking.
My blood pressure is under control so I can stop taking my meds
The rule of thumb is to always follow your healthcare professional’s instructions. In many cases, high blood pressure is a lifelong disease and can only be managed with medication. If you test your blood pressure at home and it seems like you have it under control, then don’t make the decision yourself to stop taking your medication.