Common Myths on High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is surrounded by ambiguity & myths. You may hear all kinds of advice from well-meaning friends and family. And with an overwhelming amount of information available online, it can be difficult to determine what is true and what’s not.  

In this blog, we will dispel some common myths about hypertension.

Myth: I am too young to get high blood pressure.

Most people believe that high blood pressure is a common occurrence amongst old people. Or that it is simply just a natural part of ageing. This is however not the case, as high blood pressure is any reading above 140/90 mmHg, no matter the age. High blood pressure is not a part of ageing, and it is certainly not inevitable. We do not know exactly what causes high blood pressure, but we do know that lifestyle has a lot to do with it. The less healthy a life you lead, the higher your chances of developing blood pressure at an early age. 

Myth: High blood pressure runs in the family. 

Most people believe that if their parents or close blood relatives have had high blood pressure, they are likely to develop it too. However, healthy lifestyle choices have allowed many people with a family history of blood pressure to avoid or prevent it. Conversely, a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits have led to pressure problems in people who don’t have any traces of hypertension in their family history.

Myth: I don’t use table salt, so I’m in control of my sodium intake. 

Controlling sodium doesn’t just mean not using salt while cooking. It also means checking labels when buying prepared and pre-packaged foods. Labels that have the words ‘soda’ and ‘sodium’ or the symbol ‘Na’ contain sodium compounds and should be avoided or consumed in moderation. 

Myth: I feel fine. I can’t have high blood pressure. 

High blood pressure doesn’t have symptoms. It may take years or decades for the condition to become severe enough to exhibit symptoms. One in five people with the condition don’t know they have it. The only way to know if your blood pressure is too high is to have it checked. That is why it’s recommended that people have their blood pressure measured at regular intervals. 

Myth: Only people who are stressed, need to worry about their blood pressure. 

Yes, stress and anxiety will raise your blood pressure in the short term, but when you relax your blood pressure will go down again. The only way that a stressful lifestyle can raise your blood pressure is if it’s coupled with an unhealthy lifestyle. The truth is that anyone can develop high blood pressure. 

Myth: If you have high blood pressure you can’t exercise anymore 

Some people think that an increase in blood pressure puts them at greater risk of a heart attack or stroke. While you exercise, your blood pressure does increases temporarily, but once you stop exercising, your blood pressure goes back down to its usual levels. On the contrary, regular physical activity can help you lower your blood pressure.

The more you know about blood pressure, the better equipped you are to control it. And monitoring your blood pressure regularly is as important as knowing about it. For accurate blood pressure results, be sure to use a validated Home Blood Pressure Device such as the devices offered by Circa 120/80.

Obesity and high blood pressure, the correlation 

Hypertension is surrounded by ambiguity & myths. You may hear all kinds of advice from well-meaning friends and family. And with an overwhelming amount of information available online, it can be difficult to determine what is true and what’s not.  

In this blog, we will dispel some common myths about hypertension.

Myth: I am too young to get high blood pressure.

Most people believe that high blood pressure is a common occurrence amongst old people. Or that it is simply just a natural part of ageing. This is however not the case, as high blood pressure is any reading above 140/90 mmHg, no matter the age. High blood pressure is not a part of ageing, and it is certainly not inevitable. We do not know exactly what causes high blood pressure, but we do know that lifestyle has a lot to do with it. The less healthy a life you lead, the higher your chances of developing blood pressure at an early age. 

Myth: High blood pressure runs in the family. 

Most people believe that if their parents or close blood relatives have had high blood pressure, they are likely to develop it too. However, healthy lifestyle choices have allowed many people with a family history of blood pressure to avoid or prevent it. Conversely, a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits have led to pressure problems in people who don’t have any traces of hypertension in their family history.

Myth: I don’t use table salt, so I’m in control of my sodium intake. 

Controlling sodium doesn’t just mean not using salt while cooking. It also means checking labels when buying prepared and pre-packaged foods. Labels that have the words ‘soda’ and ‘sodium’ or the symbol ‘Na’ contain sodium compounds and should be avoided or consumed in moderation. 

Myth: I feel fine. I can’t have high blood pressure. 

High blood pressure doesn’t have symptoms. It may take years or decades for the condition to become severe enough to exhibit symptoms. One in five people with the condition don’t know they have it. The only way to know if your blood pressure is too high is to have it checked. That is why it’s recommended that people have their blood pressure measured at regular intervals. 

Myth: Only people who are stressed, need to worry about their blood pressure. 

Yes, stress and anxiety will raise your blood pressure in the short term, but when you relax your blood pressure will go down again. The only way that a stressful lifestyle can raise your blood pressure is if it’s coupled with an unhealthy lifestyle. The truth is that anyone can develop high blood pressure. 

Myth: If you have high blood pressure you can’t exercise anymore 

Some people think that an increase in blood pressure puts them at greater risk of a heart attack or stroke. While you exercise, your blood pressure does increases temporarily, but once you stop exercising, your blood pressure goes back down to its usual levels. On the contrary, regular physical activity can help you lower your blood pressure.

The more you know about blood pressure, the better equipped you are to control it. And monitoring your blood pressure regularly is as important as knowing about it. For accurate blood pressure results, be sure to use a validated Home Blood Pressure Device such as the devices offered by Circa 120/80.

Evidence suggests that the prevalence of obesity among Indians has doubled over the past two decades, so much so that today, one in three Indians is Obese. High blood pressure is more likely if you are overweight or obese because the greater the body mass, the more blood you need to supply oxygen and nutrients to your tissues, increasing the blood going through your vessels thereby putting more pressure on your arteries, increasing blood pressure. Studies show that many obese patients in India suffer from high blood pressure. Therefore, to avoid any health complications that arise from hypertension, doctor’s advice obese patients to keep track of their blood pressure regularly.

Regular home blood Pressure monitors are not suited for obese patients:

Obese patients fall under Special Patient groups (SPGs). While regular home blood pressure monitors work well for straight non-obese patients, obese patients face a specific problem related to the cuff size, as they tend to have a greater arm circumference. While measuring blood pressure, the ideal cuff should have a bladder length that is 80% and width that is at least 40% of the arm circumference., as an undersized cuff increases the chances of getting inaccurate blood pressure readings. This means that, if the blood pressure of an obese patient is measured with non-SPG-validated devices, there could be two possible outcomes. An obese patient could falsely test positive for hypertension, which may put them at the risk of a misdiagnosis or, hypertension may go undetected that could lead to a disability, or even a fatal heart attack or stroke.

SPG-validated Cuffs can ensure accurate blood pressure readings in obese patients:

In the case of Obese patients, the size of the cuff is as important as the accuracy of the Blood Pressure Monitor itself. If a patient is Obese, they should only use home blood pressure monitors, with clinically validated cuffs sizes.

Circa 120/80 has monitors and cuffs (S, M, L-XL) that are clinically validated for all Special Patient Groups (SPG). It’s L-XL cuff enables obese patients with large arm-circumferences get accurate blood pressure readings, thus helping them monitor their pressure better.

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