Five Myths About High Blood Pressure

high blood pressure factsDo you have misconceptions about high blood pressure?  Many Americans do – and that lack of information may be costing them their health.

What do you think?  The following five statements may make sense, but the answers may surprise you.

1.  If I have high blood pressure, it’s dangerous to exercise.

Not true.  Though you should check with your health team first, moderate exercise is safe, and in fact, beneficial for those with high blood pressure.  Exercise can strengthen your heart, reduce stress, and regulate weight; all of which have a beneficial effect on blood pressure.

2.  All of my stress is going to give me high blood pressure.

Relax.  Although blood pressure can rise when under stress, there is no proof that stress causes high blood pressure. Factors for high blood pressure include:

  • smoking
  • drinking too much alcohol
  • obesity
  • lack of exercise
  • genetics
  • advanced age

3.  I’ll be able to tell when my blood pressure goes up.

Unfortunately, high blood pressure often goes undetected for long periods of time.  In the United States, 20% of those diagnosed with high blood pressure didn’t have any indication their blood pressure was raised.  It pays to check your blood pressure on a regular basis, especially if you have any risk factors.

4.  If I have high blood pressure, I’ll be stuck taking medication for the rest of my life.

Not necessarily.  Physicians agree that there is a lot you can do to reduce your blood pressure without medication. Even if you must start taking medication, you may be able to stop in time. Try the following lifestyle changes, if necessary:

  • get regular exercise
  • create healthy eating habits
  • lose weight
  • quit smoking
  • eliminate salt intake

5.  I never add salt to my food, so I must not be taking in too much sodium.

There’s a good chance that table salt isn’t the greatest contributor to high sodium in your diet.  What is the culprit?  Processed foods! Prepared soups, bread, frozen dinners, and cold cuts can be especially high in sodium.  Be sure to read labels, and if your blood pressure is elevated, limit your total sodium intake to less than 1500 mg  for the day.

At Brian’s Pharmacies, we really care about our customers’ good health.  We hope this information has been helpful to you and your loved ones.  If you have questions about your blood pressure medication, we’re here to help.

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