Blood Pressure-Basic Things You need to know

Posted by Chandrasekaran Rajamani on Wed, Mar 20, 2024  
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It is time that every health-conscious person knows certain basic things about blood pressure so that he or she may know how to maintain a healthy blood pressure to improve life expectancy.

What is high blood pressure and why is it dangerous?

High blood pressure is potentially a dangerous condition because there are no signs, symptoms, or warnings. You do not know that you have it till it attacks you or till you undergo tests.

This condition is easily treatable if detected early. High blood pressure if left untreated, might cause the overworked heart muscle to grow big and become inefficient leading to heart failure.

Prolonged high blood pressure may burst the blood vessels that carry nutrients to different organs such as the brain causing internal bleeding or stroke and so high blood pressure control methods are to be adopted to counter this condition effectively.

What are the causes and how does it happen?

There may be a single cause or combination of different causes. It may be in your genes or it may be due to your lifestyle and diet or it may be due

to the stress you undergo.

The main reasons for high blood pressure are

1. Your heart can raise the rate of heart beats thereby increasing blood pressure.

2. Your small arteries may constrict due to stress or fat deposits because of which your heart may be forced to raise the pressure for optimum blood circulation.

3. When the kidneys keep more water in the blood without filtering it, the heart may be forced to raise the pressure to circulate the high volume.

What is hypertension and what are the types?

When the blood pressure is regularly high, it is called hypertension. There are two types, primary hypertension or essential hypertension and secondary hypertension. The cause of primary hypertension is not known and 95%of all cases fall in this category.

Secondary hypertension occurs when you suffer from other diseases or due to long-term usage of certain drugs.

Once you eliminate the cause, secondary hypertension vanishes.

Can you explain blood pressure in detail?

Our heart pumps blood throughout our body to nourish the body cells with nutrients and bring back and dispose of the waste products. This happens

non-stop throughout our life span.

Depending upon the body's requirement, blood pressure varies that is, low when we sleep and high during physical strain, exercise, or stress.

The normal blood pressure of a healthy person is 120/80. The number 120 at the top is called the systolic number, which denotes the pressure experienced by the artery wall when the heart pumps out blood.

The number 80 at the bottom is called the diastolic number which denotes the lowest pressure of the heart between beats.

Both systolic and diastolic numbers should be within limits.

If not consult your doctor for a solution.

 What are the treatments for high blood pressure?

If the numbers are 130 to 139mm Hg over 85 to 89mm Hg(130-139/85-89), it is called mild hypertension which can be corrected by simple changes in your diet and way of living without the need for any medication.

If the numbers are 140 to 149 mm Hg over 90 to 99 mm Hg (140-149/90-99) you might need to take immediate medication by consulting your doctor.

The following steps will help.

1. Sleep is found to reduce blood pressure so get plenty of sleep.

2. Avoid alcohol and smoking.

3. Reduce your stress level through yoga and meditation which have been found to help calm the mind.

4. Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercises such as cycling, swimming, and walking are preferable to strength-increasing exercises which might increase your blood pressure.

5. Lose that extra fat and weight as your heart has to work that much more by changing your diet suitably.

Avoid salty foods since salt is known to increase blood pressure. Add potassium-rich foods such as bananas to

your diet since potassium is found to lower blood pressure.

6. Avoid going to high-altitude places since the body naturally raises the blood pressure to cope with less oxygen availability in the high-altitude regions and plan your travels accordingly.

7. Always plan your diet, exercise regimen, and medications with the help of your doctor since he knows what is best for your physical condition.

What is low blood pressure?

Low blood pressure is called hypotension, which may occur due to overmedication for hypertension or other reasons. In this condition, you feel dizzy when you abruptly get up or sit down.

To solve this, add a lot of salty dishes to your diet since sodium present in table salt increases the blood pressure.

Take care and be careful before getting up or sitting down suddenly.

If the diet changes do not produce results, then go in for medications in consultation with your doctor.

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