What to know about the highs and lows of blood pressure

Your body is an ingenious machine. And, one of the reasons it works so well is because your blood pressure fluctuates.

Blood pressure is the force exerted by your heart, against the resistance created by the arteries, to keep blood flowing through your body applesdgothicneo 다운로드. Blood pressure measurement consists of two parts – systolic and diastolic.

The first number is the systolic blood pressure; this is the highest pressure when your heart pushes the blood around your body. The second/bottom number is diastolic. This is the lowest blood pressure when your heart is relaxed. When your doctor takes your reading, he’s looking to see if one number is higher or lower than it should be, according to the standard.

 

A normal reading would be a systolic (top) number between 90 and 120 and a diastolic (bottom) number between 60 and 80. Blood pressure is essential to your survival. But when it remains too high for too long or drops too low, it can become dangerous and cause problems.

 

The low down
In general, the lower your blood pressure, the better – as long as you feel well. If the force with which your heart contracts or the resistance in your arteries decreases, your blood pressure will also decrease as a result. If your blood pressure drops below a certain level though, blood supply to your brain, heart and kidneys, decrease which could land you in trouble. Blood pressure that’s abnormally low or causes light-headedness or fainting is called hypotension.

 

Chat to your doctor if:

Hypotension is not necessarily dangerous. However, you may need to get some tests done if:

  • you frequently feel dizzy
  • experience diarrhoea and vomiting
  • have gone into shock previously
  • you’re constantly dehydrated.

 

The high end

Hypertension is the other end of the stick; high blood pressure. This is when the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high. This happens when there’s increased resistance to blood flow through the arteries, which don’t stretch and swell as they should.

 

Chat to your doctor if:

Read  Sauna: the hot new therapy for a healthy heart

The trouble with hypertension is that it doesn’t show many symptoms either, so you will need to do a blood pressure test to know for sure. Symptoms to look out for:

  • intense headaches
  • consistent fatigue
  • chest pain
  • bouts of dizziness.
  • difficulty breathing
  • irregular heartbeat
  • nosebleeds
  • blurred vision.

 

Keep up to date with your doctor screenings to catch this problem early!

 

Complications:

An enlarged heart is just one of these scary consequences. The extra load placed on the heart by a prolonged increase in blood pressure can cause the heart muscle to become thickened and stretched. The heart isn’t able to pump properly, resulting in heart failure and an accumulation of fluid in the lungs.

You also run the risk of:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • kidney damage
  • blockages of the arteries.

 

Let out the pressure…
There’s a reason the conventional health wisdom is still touted today; it works. Eating healthily, staying away from cigarettes, drugs, excess alcohol, effectively managing stress and generally living well are still the gold standards. Controlling your blood pressure is no exception.

Small good habits can help your blood pressure immensely, asserts a study by the University of Alabama. “Even slight improvements in cardiovascular health can reduce your risk for developing high blood pressure,” says the study.

They surveyed a few thousand people over an eight-year period. They found that half the group developed high blood pressure while the other half were less likely to do so – based on them following simple tactics. These included not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, following a relatively healthy diet and exercising regularly.

Salt is also a huge contributory factor to high blood pressure – and it’s pretty much in everything we eat. So, make a concerted effort to dial back on the salty foods; bread, cold meats, pies, margarine, soups, gravies, chips, breakfast cereals, and sauces.

It’s also a good idea to have your blood pressure tested every one to two years. If you have diabetes, heart disease or kidney problems, have your blood pressure checked at least once a year.

References