The force with which the blood pushes against the artery walls is called ‘blood pressure.’ When this pressure is higher than normal, then it’s called high blood pressure or hypertension, and the opposite condition is called ‘hypotension’. High blood pressure is a condition that could take years to develop without showing any signs or symptoms, but throughout this time, it would have done enough damage to your health. High blood pressure is identified as primary and secondary, where the former doesn’t have any known cause while the latter has.
Hypertension results in an increased workload on your heart as well as blood vessels. This increased workload leads to damaged artery walls. Things become worse when LDL cholesterol starts forming plaque along the damaged artery walls, making the passage for blood narrower. The narrow passage further increases the blood pressure and results in more damage to the heart and the rest of the body.
When it comes to low blood pressure or hypotension, then it is caused due to dehydration, which is the inability of the cardiovascular system or nervous system to react according to sudden changes, or any other serious medical condition.
The exact reason that causes hypertension is still unknown, but doctors believe that the condition is associated with poor habits of people. These are called risk factors and include:
Non-modifiable risk factors – There are no ways to reverse these factors. High blood pressure is more likely to occur if these risk factors are high.
The problem mostly affects people aged 30 and above, and they should get their blood pressure checked on a yearly basis.
Modifiable risk factors: These factors can be modified, controlled, or treated through medications or by making changes to the lifestyle.
Here Is How a Bad Lifestyle Leads to High Blood Pressure:
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Minimal physical activity
- History of smoking and/or drug abuse
- Excessive amounts of salt intake (more than 2300 mg sodium/day)
- Extreme emotional stress
People suffering from high blood pressure may see no signs or symptoms, but as the blood pressure reaches a certain level, symptoms become conspicuous. Some of the common symptoms of high blood pressure include:
- Blurry vision or double vision
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Heart palpitations
Most of these symptoms are associated with low blood pressure as well, so it’s better to consult a doctor to know the exact condition you are suffering from to get the right treatment started.
Blood Pressure Diagnosis
People suffering from high blood pressure should get it measured, and go for a blood pressure management program under a medical expert’s advice. The blood pressure reading is given in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and has two numbers.
Systolic Blood Pressure – The number displayed at the top of the blood pressure reading indicates the amount of pressure exerted by the blood against the artery walls during heartbeats.
Diastolic Blood Pressure – The number displayed at the bottom of the blood pressure reading indicates the amount of blood pressure exerted by the blood against the artery walls while the heart rests between the beats.
There Are Four General Categories in Which Blood Pressure Is Measured, Which Include:
Normal blood pressure: A reading of > 120/80, where 120 is systolic blood pressure and 80 is diastolic blood pressure.
Elevated blood pressure: A reading of 120-129 (systolic) and below 80 (diastolic).
Stage 1 hypertension: A reading ranging from 130/80 to 139/89 comes under stage-I hypertension
Stage 2 hypertension: A reading higher than 140/90 comes under stage-II hypertension
In case, the blood pressure reading crosses the 180/120 mark, then one should immediately consult a doctor.
Before Measuring Your Blood Pressure, Make Sure to Keep the Following Things in Mind:
- Don’t smoke or drink any caffeinated drink 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure.
- Don’t indulge in any kind of exercise 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure.
- Keep your bladder empty because if you have the urge to go to the bathroom, then that would raise your blood pressure, resulting in inaccurate measurements.
- Make sure to sit in a relaxed position while measuring the blood pressure.
- Don’t take the measurements over clothes
Blood Pressure Treatment
The blood pressure treatment process varies according to the severity of the condition. Here are some of the best treatment centers for blood pressure treatment:
Gini Health – Their blood pressure management program is one of the best. They make use of advanced technology to do the right diagnosis and follow a holistic approach to blood pressure treatment, with a greater focus on lifestyle changes.
Apollo Hospital – They assess each patient’s medical condition and then chart out a treatment plan accordingly, which ensures optimum results. They have a team of specialists to advise on different aspects related to treatment.
Max Healthcare – They offer health and wellness coaching for hypertension. Their approach to lifestyle disorders including HBP involves a comprehensive approach, with stress on making alterations in diet, besides the right medication.
High blood pressure is a critical condition and one has to consult a specialist in order to get the right treatment. But as an individual, one can make some changes in order to improve their quality of life.
The problem of high blood pressure can be reduced by bringing the following changes into the lifestyle:
- Avoid smoking
- Consuming less salt in meals
- Indulging in exercise regularly as per the instructions of your doctor
- Reducing weight (if your BMI is high)
- Stop consuming alcohol or limit the consumption
- Manage stress by doing yoga and meditation
- Regular follow up with the doctor to keep the blood pressure in check
- Taking medications as instructed
Low BP remedies
Include more salt in the food, but not too high, as that could lead to heart failure, especially in older people
More intake of water to prevent dehydration is a major root cause of low blood pressure.
Both, high and low blood pressure is not good for health, and if you are suffering from either of the conditions, then it is important to consult a doctor right away because the sooner you start the treatment, the easier it is going to be for you.