29 May 2017, Edition - 685, Monday
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Mistakes people with high BP make

Dr Ilangovan Veerappan, Chief Nephrologist
Image credit : Illustrative Image

Hypertension or high blood pressure is the top killer disease in the world. But being a lifestyle disease, the good news is that hypertension can be controlled with diet, lifestyle modifications and medications. There are several misconceptions and mistakes that need to be avoided when it comes to the treatment of hypertension.

Myth : High blood pressure affects people who are tensed or work in high tension jobs
Truth : Anxiety can increase blood pressure, but hypertension affects all kinds of people. Even a yoga guru can have hypertension

Myth : I eat very low salt; I will control my hypertension by restricting salt intake
Truth : While salt restriction helps control and sometimes get rid of hypertension, in many people, lifestyle changes alone may not be enough

Myth : I feel good even when my blood pressure is 180 mmHg. If I have mild headache, it means my blood pressure is high and at that point I will take the anti-hypertensives
Truth : Sometimes, you can be without any symptoms even if your blood pressure is 290 mmHg. Do not be your own doctor and self treat

Myth : My blood pressure is not controlled by many anti-hypertensives. I am going to take native medications and stop all allopathic medicines
Truth : The most common cause attributed to uncontrolled hypertension or resistant hypertension is failure to take medicines regularly. Many patients stop medicines when the blood pressure comes within the normal range, especially midday . This results in the blood pressure going up in the evening and night and the cycle continues. If you have side-effects from a drug inform the doctor and take a different medicine. Do not stop the medicines without consulting the doctor

Myth : I am a vegetarian, non smoker and teetotaler. I do not get angry at all. It is impossible for me to have hypertension
Truth: Hypertension is hereditary and runs in families. There is no way of detecting high blood pressure unless we check it with a blood pressure apparatus

People undergoing proper treatment for hypertension will not just have their blood pressure controlled well, but will also need to consume very little hypertensive medications.

If your need for blood pressure medications increase, it is likely that you are not taking medications daily; or you have kidney disease; or other rare causes of hypertension that needs a hypertension specialist’s consultation.

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