Common Myths and Facts About Hypertension

. Sunday, October 5, 2008
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Myth: Nervous tension is another name for hypertension
Fact: No, it isn’t Hypertension refers to elevated (hyper) pressure (tension) against the artery walls, and not to a person’s emotional state. Actually, many people who are very quit and serene have severe hypertension. However, nervous tension may temporarily elevate blood pressure.

Myth: High blood pressure can be cured.
Fact: High blood pressure can be controlled and brought down to normal levels if prescribed treatment is followed. It can be cured only in rare instances(usually when it is secondary to another condition, such as a narrowed artery supplying blood to the kidney or a tumor that produces excessive adrenal hormones).

Myth: Once hypertension is under control, it is possible to stop treatments, both drug and non drug.
Fact: sometimes an individual may be able to stop anti hypertensive drugs after blood pressure has been normalized for several years, but this tends to be temporary and does not occur in all patients. In such cases, the person should be pressure remains normal. As a general rule, hypertension is a lifelong disease that requires lifelong treatment.

Myth: High blood pressure has many symptoms.
Fact: Hypertension is a “silent” disease: Those who have it often do not know it until it is too late. Even those with dangerously elevated blood pressure can feel perfectly normal. Headaches, dizziness, and weakness sometimes may occur with high blood pressure, but more often, these symptoms are associated with other conditions or states.

Myth: A person with high blood pressure needs to rest more, avoid tense situations, cut back on activities.
Fact: If proper treatment is followed, a person can lead a normal, active life.

Myth: If you take hypertension drugs, you can use all the salt you want.
Fact: No such luck. Reducing sodium often means that the drugs will be more effective in lowering blood pressure and that smaller drugs doses may be prescribed, thereby reduction the potential for adverse side effects.

Myth: Eating garlic will lower blood pressure.
Fact: In a limited number of studies, consuming large amount of garlic has been found to inhibit blood clotting, as well as to lower blood cholesterol. However, there is as yet no objective study showing garlic is useful in treating high blood pressure.


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