Blood pressure: Destroying your health silently
We know that our body gets the blood through our heart and circulatory system. So, when a heart beats, releasing blood into arteries, the blood puts a certain pressure. This pressure on the arteries is known as blood pressure. So, the pressure on the walls of arteries can vary in people causing blood pressure problems.
How does blood pressure function?
Apart from delivering blood, it is essential because it also delivers blood cells, hormone-like insulin, and antibodies for a better immune system. Therefore, good blood pressure will not only help with better blood circulation but much more than that.
Also, blood pressure functions due to differences in the pressure in arteries throughout the body. The pressure is at its highest at the start when the heart pumps blood in the body. Then the pressure gradually decreases going through the arteries. Therefore, the pressure difference is essential for good blood flow throughout the body. In addition, the arteries are not rigid which prevents the blood flow to be extremely fast. Therefore, maintaining a pressure balance is important for good circulation and a healthy body.
How to know if blood pressure is normal or not?
We can know our blood pressure using an instrument known as a sphygmomanometer. So, a blood pressure measurement takes into account two numbers. These numbers are named systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.
The systolic pressure is measured as pressure on the arteries when the heart beats. Whereas diastolic pressure is the blood pressure between two beats or when the heart rests between two beats. Also, the instrument measures blood pressure in millimeters of Mercury i.e. mmHg. Now, the normal pressure is 120 for systolic and 80 for diastolic which is 120/80 mmHg.
Now, let us see the blood pressure according to the readings:
|Blood Pressure Condition||Systolic||Diastolic|
|Low blood pressure||Less than 80||Less than 60|
|Normal||Less than 120||Less than 80|
|Prehypertension (Risk)||120 – 139||80 – 89|
|High Blood pressure||140 or higher||90 or higher|
According to this table, one can check the condition according to the reading of blood pressure.
Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure aka hypotension occurs when the systolic pressure is less than 80 and diastolic pressure is less than 60. However, doctors do not consider low blood pressure a serious condition or a life threat. However, in chronic cases, hypotension can lead to a low blood supply to the brain, heart, and other vital organs.
Therefore, low blood circulation and deprivation of oxygen and blood can lead to severe symptoms. The common symptoms include dizziness, blurred vision, confusion, Weakness, and fainting.
Causes of Blood Pressure
- Hormonal imbalance like hypothyroidism or hypoglycemia
- Liver disease
- Heart problems
- Heat stroke
- Over-the-counter medications
- Prescription medications for depression
- Widening of blood vessels
Diagnosis and Treatment
For the diagnosis, your doctor will ask about your medical history and will perform some tests. Because hypotension does not show many symptoms for years. These tests include measuring blood pressure, blood tests, ECG, and tilt table tests.
Home remedies or lifestyle changes are great change-maker in health. Therefore, the treatment and home remedies include
- Use more salt after the doctor’s supervision.
- Compression stocking can be of great help during pain and swelling of veins. Also, they increase the blood flow from the legs to the heart.
- Drinking water will help in increasing blood volume
- Eat small low-carb meals frequently to avoid blood pressure drop after meals
- Medications; To treat hypotension showing symptoms, like dizziness while standing up or other, needs medications. Therefore, your doctor may prescribe medication like fludrocortisone or other.
- Also, try to do low to moderate physical activity.
High Blood Pressure
The condition occurs when the arteries become narrow. This creates more pressure on the walls and puts stress on the heart causing it to pump harder. This condition is known as high blood pressure or hypertension. Moreover, this continuous pressure and stress can cause heart disease. Common symptoms include headache, dizziness, flushing, and blood spots in the eye.
However, the symptoms do not occur frequently. So, it can take many years for the condition to show symptoms.
Causes of Hypertension:
The causes can cause primary or secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension takes time to develop whereas secondary occurs quickly without any warning. These causes include
- Excessive alcohol
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Having Diabetes or metabolic disorder
- Sleep apnea
- Kidney disease
- Heart problems
- Side effects of certain medications
Diagnosis and Treatment
For the diagnosis, your symptoms and medical history matter. Also, apart from measuring your BP (blood pressure), there are other certain tests which are:
- Ambulatory monitoring
- ECG (Electrocardiogram)
- Lab tests like blood or urine tests
Treatment and lifestyle changes include:
- Eat a healthy diet with less salt
- Incorporate physical activity
- Maintain a healthy weight or reduce if overweight
- Get a good sleep
- Medications according to age, and overall health condition
Medications are prescribed by the doctor by analyzing the overall situation and risk factors. However, some of the medications for hypertension include ACE inhibitors, water pills, alpha-blockers, and calcium channel blockers.
Conclusion: Why is BP a silent killer?
Having a normal state of blood pressure is essential for proper flow of oxygen rich blood. Also, hypertension can lead to heart diseases in the long run. But blood pressure problems do not show symptoms at an early stage. Therefore, it starts ruining your health before you notice.
Therefore, it is advisable to eat healthy and exercise regularly. In addition, if you have a family history of the condition, make sure to get yourself checked regularly.