Hypertension is defined as an abnormally high blood pressure, but who really knows what that means? With each beat of your heart, blood is pumped through your veins and arteries. Blood pressure is created by the force of the pumping blood as it moves throughout the body. So, the harder the heart has to work, the higher the resistance on the blood vessels and the higher the blood pressure one might have.
Now that we have an understanding of what hypertension is, we need to better understand the facts around it. We’ve heard a lot of misconceptions regarding hypertension, so, with the help of the American Heart Association, we’ve decided to debunk a few of the most common myths.
Myth #1: My doctor is on top of monitoring my blood pressure for me, so I don’t need to do anything on my own.
FALSE! Although it is valuable to have a professional monitoring your blood pressure with you, it is also important to have an at-home monitoring system so you can provide your doctor with information when your blood pressure fluctuates. And it will fluctuate. This will help your doctor be able to better evaluate your treatment plan. Try this one!
Myth #2: I feel great so I don’t need to worry about high blood pressure.
FALSE! 1 out of every 6 adults in the U.S. doesn’t even realize they have high blood pressure so, more than likely nothing they’re experiencing is interfering with daily life. It’s important to take precautionary steps toward fighting high blood pressure, like adopting a healthy diet and exercise routine.
Myth #3: I don’t add salt to my food, so I’m in the clear and in control of my blood pressure.
FALSE! Limiting your added salt is a great first step to fight high blood pressure, however, there’s more to it. A lot of the sodium we consume is hidden in the ingredients we buy and can be found on nutrition labels in processed foods like bars, canned soups, and frozen meals.
Myth #4: High blood pressure runs in my family, so I’m stuck and there’s nothing I can do about it.
FALSE! While high blood pressure can run in family histories, it can also be prevented by lifestyle choices – opting for a low-salt, anti-inflammatory diet, striving for regular exercise and opting for non-alcoholic beverages.
Myth #5: I can lay off my medication now that my readings have been lower.
FALSE! It is wildly important to stick to the medication you’re prescribed, especially when it comes to high blood pressure, which can be a lifelong battle. Your healthcare professionals know best, and it’s crucial to your treatment goals to abide by their guidance.
Now that you have the knowledge, the next step is putting it into action! If lingering questions or concerns are holding you back, talk to your Health Advisor. We’re here to help.
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