True or False: Busting 6 High Blood Pressure Beliefs

High blood pressure has been one of the most common ailments among Filipinos. However, majority are worried about their welfare due to lack of proper awareness. These worries might have stemmed from witnessing the lifestyle and suffering of someone who has it or just myths that have been passed around.

But before you indulge yourself with unnecessary worries regarding high blood pressure, we’ve listed SIX common beliefs and their explanations on why they are true or false.\

1. High blood pressure is hereditary = TRUE but…

Several studies have proven the strong connection between high blood pressure and heredity, most especially in men. However, several studies have also proven that with healthy lifestyle choices, one can prevent high blood pressure even with said family history.

2. High blood pressure isn’t preventable = FALSE

As mentioned above, even with risk factors that might deem you be more vulnerable to high blood pressure, certain lifestyle choices can help prevent it. Some of these ways include:

  1. Maintaining normal weight count
  2. Healthy and balanced diet
  3. Limit salt/sodium consumption
  4. Limit alcohol consumption
  5. Exercise regularly
  6. Prevent too much stress
  7. Quit smoking

Moreover, high blood pressure can also be treated through doctor-advised meal plans, activities, and medication.

3. High blood pressure can be caused by processed meat = TRUE

Processed meat is just among the several types of food that boost the chances of having high blood pressure. Sausages, hotdogs, tocino, and other breakfast favorites are loaded with sodium, which is one of the main causes of high blood pressure.

Moreover, food like canned beans, premade soups, canned or bottled tomato products, frozen meals (pizza, chicken strips), and sugar (candy, soft drinks, pastries, sauces, alcohol) can cause high blood pressure as well. Doctors’ advice is to take everything moderately.

4. High blood pressure is only seen in adults = FALSE

Yes, a child as young as three years old can have high blood pressure. Just like in adults, obesity, poor diet, and inactive lifestyle cause high blood pressure in children. To prevent this, heart-healthy meals for the child and sports or any regular physical activity are encouraged.

5. The normal blood pressure is 120/80 = TRUE

It is true that the normal blood pressure is 120/80. Here is a chart from WebMD:

  • Normal: Less than 120 over 80 (120/80)
  • Prehypertension: 120-139 over 80-89
  • Stage 1 high blood pressure: 140-159 over 90-99
  • Stage 2 high blood pressure: 160 and above over 100 and above
  • High blood pressure in people over age 60: 150 and above over 90 and above

    The top number is called the systolic blood pressure which is the force of blood through your blood vessels in a heartbeat. While the bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure which represents the force of blood through the blood vessels in between heartbeats while at rest.

6. I don’t have the symptoms. I’m fine = FALSE

It isn’t called “the silent killer” for nothing. A lot of people suffer from high blood pressure without knowing it as it does not display symptoms visibly. Nervousness, sweating, difficulty sleeping, and a flushed face are the usual symptoms, but they aren’t as visible to those who are just in the prehypertension stage.

Always visit your doctor to make sure your blood pressure is in its normal rate.

SOURCES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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