Myths About Blood Pressure

Last week, we went over the basics of what blood pressure is and why is it relevant to us but you may have already heard some information about blood pressure that may also be partly incorrect or misleading. That is why we are going to cover some of the myths regarding blood pressure and give you the facts on what is necessary to keep your blood pressure under control to stay healthy during this pandemic.

Salt:

You might’ve heard by using kosher or sea salt, it’ll lower your sodium intake to maintain healthy blood pressure but sadly, table salt, kosher salt, and sea salt all have the same levels of sodium as they are identical in composition. The only way to keep blood pressure down through sodium is to consume less. While you might also think that you could cut back or avoid table salt, a lot of products have plenty of salt in them, especially packaged and snack goods. Make sure to check on the nutrition facts of any grocery item you buy to make sure it’s low in sodium and if unavoidable, just make sure to limit the amount of sodium you eat in a day not to exceed the daily limit.

Age:

While age is a factor, just because you may still be young doesn’t mean that you can’t be afflicted by high blood pressure. It’s recommended that once you turn 18 your blood pressure should be checked regularly and perhaps even sooner than 18 depending if your diet, exercise, weight, and family history puts you at risk for high blood pressure.

I feel fine so I don’t need to get it checked:

One of the reasons why high blood pressure is so dangerous is because there are very little signs that your blood pressure is negatively affecting you until it’s too late. Because there are virtually no obvious symptoms, it’s even more important that you get your blood pressure checked regularly to catch any potential problems down the road ahead of time before they spiral into more serious health implications.

I got it checked out not too long ago, I should be fine:

Whether your blood pressure was checked during your last doctor’s appointment a month ago or last week by yourself, it’s important that you check it on a regular basis, if not daily then weekly. Your blood pressure fluctuates often and relying on an older reading won’t give you an accurate description of your current blood pressure as it’s volatile based on several factors. To learn more about what causes fluctuations in blood pressure, read last week’s blog post on A Discussion About Blood Pressure.

Family History:

Just because you’re more susceptible to blood pressure due to family history doesn’t mean it’s hopeless and that you should just accept it. Because you’re more at risk for higher blood pressure levels means all the more important that you maintain a proper diet, exercise, and weight to make sure that your levels stay down to keep healthy and prevent serious health complications in the future.

I don’t need medicine anymore:

If you’ve been prescribed medication for blood pressure and your blood pressure levels have since started to go down, continue to take blood pressure medication until your healthcare provider advises you to stop. If your levels are going down, it means that the medication is doing it’s job and that your levels are only temporarily down as a result of medication. As mentioned before, blood pressure levels are volatile and once you stop taking the medication you become prone to having blood pressure levels spike.

Medication:

One thing that people commonly overlook is side effects of medicine and how they interact with your current conditions. Over the counter medicines with decongestants such as cold and allergy medicine can adversely affect your blood pressure levels and cause them to spike. Ask your healthcare provider if these types of medications are safe for you to use if you suffer from high blood pressure and if there are other alternatives.

Catching high blood pressure issues early and taking preventative measures are much easier than dealing with the potential outcomes from having high blood pressure. It’s important to be informed about blood pressure to make sure that you, as well as your friends and family remain safe during these difficult times. 

Forbes Aggabao -Alexander’s Hope Intern

Sources:

North Bay

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