Are you worried about high blood pressure in yourself, a family member, or a friend? Your concern is well-founded. If left untreated, high blood pressure– also called
hypertension — can lead to a range of health problems, including heart disease and stroke Knowing more about high blood pressure can help you prevent this condition from damaging your health, or the health of someone you love. You can start by learning what’s true about this condition — and what’s not. Here are five common misconceptions about high blood pressure
First Misconception Is That High Blood Pressure Isn’t a Big Deal
Early on, you may not notice symptoms of high blood pressure so you may not be too concerned. However, in the long run high blood pressure can kill you. Normally, your heart beats regularly, pumping blood through the vessels all over your body. As the blood is pushed by the heartbeat, the blood in turn pushes against the sides of your blood vessels. Blood vessels are flexible and can widen or constrict as needed to keep blood flowing well. For a variety of reasons, your blood may begin to push too hard against the blood vessels. This is high blood pressure, which can cause your arteries to become stiff over time. This is how problems begin.
High blood pressure can lead to damage of your blood vessels, heart, kidney and other organs in your body. Heart disease and stroke both caused by high blood pressure, are the first and fifth leading causes of death in the U.S.
The scary thing about high blood pressure is that you may have it without even knowing it. That’s why doctors often call high blood pressure the “silent killer.” Health care professionals agree: High blood pressure is a big deal.