Hypertension – Myths and FactsPosted on Feb 23,2017
“I am fine. That checkup was bogus”. “I feel at ease. How can I have high blood pressure”?
Have you not heard these words time and again after routine annual checkups at the workplace? Of late, it has become more of a fad to rubbish health issues, especially hypertension.
Most people feel that every disease makes us uneasy in some way and the body actually tells you that you are not ok. That is not so with high blood pressure (HBP).
People, however, associate a variety of symptoms with the presence of hypertension. Such as Dizziness, Headache, Weakness, Nose bleeds, Red spots in eyes, Shortness of breath, and Tiredness. Many cannot believe that they could have a high blood pressure without them ‘feeling’ it.
What is the truth? Are there any symptoms?
- If I feel fine, I have no HBP [High Blood Pressure].
- HBP is always associated with some symptoms.
- If my body is not well, it signals me in some way.
- You get angry easily when you have HBP.
- The machine may show a higher record, but you don’t need treatment for everything.
- Once you start medication you don’t stop. So let us start late.
- It is ok for BP to vary. There is no need for meticulous control.
- Most people diagnosed as hypertensives are discovered to be so on routine annual physical exams. They do not have any associated symptoms.
- When people do come with symptoms, they already have some amount of organ involvement.
- Sometimes, it is after a stroke that a person comes to know that he is hypertensive (in people without previous health checkups).
- Many symptoms people associate with Hypertension are due to other causes such as sinusitis, or spondylitis.
- Anger and sleeplessness may be the ‘cause’ of HBP, not the symptom. People who worry a lot tend to develop HBP due to chronic stress.
- Hypertension affects heart, kidneys, eyes, brain and blood vessels and is a high-risk factor for heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease, retinal damage and vessel related disorders.
- Delay in treatment and improper intake of medication result in damage to organs, many of which are life threatening.
- Symptoms such as nose bleeds and headache are seen with very high blood pressures and they require immediate medical attention, sometimes admission.
THE CONCLUSIVE TRUTH
- All medical textbooks unanimously agree that hypertension has no symptoms for early diagnosis. It can go undetected for years.
- Everybody above 18years needs BP checked every two years and those above forty, every year. If there is a family history, checkup needs to be more frequent.
- Hypertension is a ‘silent killer’. There are no symptoms that indicate its presence or progress.
The only way to prevent or delay Hypertension is lifestyle changes, to detect Hypertension is annual checkups, and to remain safe is by meticulous control.
Be aware because “this silent killer can go undetected for years”.
- What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?. Heartorg. 2017. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/SymptomsDiagnosisMonitoringofHighBloodPressure/What-are-the-Symptoms-of-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_301871_Article.jsp. Accessed February 17, 2017.
- Weinberger M. Contemporary Diagnosis And Management Of Hypertension [e-book]. Newtown, Penn: Associates in Medical Marketing Co., Inc; 2009. Available from: eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 17, 2017.
- Overview of hypertension, George Bakris, Merck Manual, professional edition, edited by Robert Porter et al., published online at merckmanuals.com by Merck & Co., accessed February 17, 2017.
- What is high blood pressure? Bethesda, MD, US: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, US National Institutes of Health, information published online, accessed February 17, 2017.