Truths About High Blood Pressure

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  • Written By: Horizon Health
Truths About High Blood Pressure

When it comes to high blood pressure, it is important to know fact from fiction. To help understand the differences, the American Heart Association offers answers to some common myths about high blood pressure:

Myth: High blood pressure runs in my family. There is nothing I can do to prevent it.

Truth: High blood pressure can run in families. If your parents or close blood relatives have had high blood pressure, you are more likely to develop it, too. However, lifestyle choices have allowed many people with a family history of high blood pressure to avoid it themselves.

Myth: I use kosher or sea salt when I cook instead of regular table salt. They are low-sodium alternatives.

Truth: Kosher salt and sea salt are like table salt and count the same toward total sodium consumption.

Myth: People with high blood pressure have nervousness, sweat¬ing, difficulty sleeping, and their face becomes flushed. I don’t have those symptoms so I’m good.

Truth: Many people have high blood pressure and do not know it. It is often called “the silent killer” because it usually has no symptoms. Know your blood pressure numbers and do not assume specific symptoms will warn you when there is a problem.

Myth: I read that wine is good for the heart, which means I can drink as much as I want.

Truth: If you drink alcohol, including red wine, do so in moderation. Heavy and regular use of alcohol can increase blood pressure dra¬matically. It can also cause heart failure, lead to stroke, and produce irregular heartbeats. Limit consumption to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.

Myth: I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, but I have been maintaining lower readings, so I can stop taking my medication.

Truth: High blood pressure can be a lifelong disease. Follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations, even if it means taking medication every day for the rest of your life.