Blood pressure determines the flow of blood to the circulatory system. The nutrients, white blood cells or oxygen wouldn't pass on to the organs without normal blood pressure. The excretion of toxic waste through the kidney is also dependant on blood pressure. Blood is pushed by the heart as a response to each heartbeat. It is the pressure between small blood vessels & the heart. The state of blood vessels/arteries also influences blood pressure & circulation speed.
Blood pressure is expressed by two measurements, the systolic (maximum) and diastolic (minimum) pressure respectively. For most adults, normal blood pressure at rest is within the range of 120–139 (mmHg) systolic and 80–89 mmHg diastolic. Lifestyle changes and medications can lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of health complications.
Hypertension can be classified as Primary Hypertension and secondary hypertension. Hypertension can occur due to lifestyle and genetic factors.Lifestyle factors that can increase risk of hypertension include excess salt in the diet, excess body weight, smoking, and alcohol abuse.
It is difficult to find any indicators or symptoms of high blood pressure, even if it has reached beyond high levels. However, few people might face headaches, nose bleeding, diarrhoea, or shortness of breath etc. None of the symptoms is specific to High BP and may differ from case to case.
The cause of high blood pressure differs according to the type of Hypertension.
Usually, in the case of Primary hypertension, there is no distinct identifiable cause. It develops over a period of time.
-Renal artery stenosis (from atherosclerosis or fibromuscular dysplasia),
Other causes of secondary hypertension include
-Coarctation of the aorta
-Excessive eating of liquorice
-Excessive drinking of alcohol
-Being overweight or obese
-Tobacco consumption & smoking
-Increased sodium in the diet
-Reduced potassium intake
-Consumption of alcohol
-Anxiety & Stress
Certain disease related to kidney & diabetes
Low blood pressure
Low blood pressure
Hypotension or low blood pressure refers to BP lower than normal levels, i.e. less than 90/60mmHg. It causes dizziness, fainting, fatigue & in rare cases, poor organ function & may lead to circulatory shock.
Low BP may present as
-Dizziness or Weakness
-Lack of concentration
-Loss of blood
-Severe infection (septicemia)
-Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
-Lack of nutrients in your diet
Medications that cause low blood pressure
-Excess use of BP medication
-Drugs for Parkinson's disease
The risk factors are age, certain medications and few diseases like diabetes and heart conditions.
Fluctuating blood pressure
Regular variations in BP are adaptive and important. However, if they change from a high level to a low level, the complexities can be high. The situation must be closely scrutinised to avoid any complications. The various treatments that can help are natural remedies, lifestyle changes, and some medications can help to regulate blood pressure.
The most common causes for fluctuating blood pressure are:
-Emotional stress, depression and anxiety
-White-coat syndrome (stress due to consultation with the doctor)
-Medication(few OTC & prescription medicines)
-Stress & anxiety
-Ineffective BP medications and skipping High BP medicine.
Maintaining Right Blood Pressure
It is extremely important to maintain blood pressure as it can affect the health and well-being of the patient. Therefore, to keep BP in good control, changes in lifestyle is extremely important. The following measures can help to maintain blood pressure.
-Exercise every day (at least 150 mins a week).
-Eat a balanced diet and maintain a food diary.
-Minimize sodium intake.
-Avoid eating processed foods.
-Try to reduce alcohol consumption
-Avoid/cut down caffeine intake
-Observe blood pressure regularly
-Get support from family and friends