Sun | Oct 2, 2022

The difference between high and low blood pressure

Published:Wednesday | August 3, 2022 | 12:07 AMKeisha Hill/Senior Gleaner Writer

Having high blood pressure is a key risk factor in developing heart disease, stroke and other complications. Blood pressure means the pressure of blood in your arteries as it is being pumped by the heart.

Very high blood pressure or rapidly rising blood pressure can cause headaches, vision problems, nosebleeds, trouble breathing, fits, blackouts. Similar to high blood pressure, the symptoms of low pressure may not always be apparent. If you do get symptoms, they may be identified as any of the following: feeling dizzy, light-headed or fainting, blurred vision, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, feeling nauseous, and confusion.

Too high blood pressure tends to result from a build-up of cholesterol within the walls of blood vessels. This causes narrowing of the blood vessels, restricting blood flow and raising blood pressure.

Narrowed arteries raises the risk of heart problems and stroke if too little blood gets to these vital organs or if a blood clot blocks the blood flow to them.

A normal blood pressure level is less than 120/80 mmHg. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is blood pressure that is higher than normal. Your blood pressure changes throughout the day based on your activities. Having blood pressure measures consistently above normal may result in a diagnosis of high blood pressure (or hypertension).

In most cases, there are no visible symptoms of high blood pressure. However, because of many reasons, doctors have seen some symptoms like sweating, sleeping problems, anxiety, and many more.

If your resting blood pressure level is above the targets, this puts you at an increased risk of heart and vascular problems as well as diabetes complications, such as kidney disease and sight damage (retinopathy).

High blood pressure is also associated with poor circulation which increases the risk of foot ulcers and can lead to foot amputation, if regular foot care is not taken.

Anxiety, stress or strenuous exercise can all cause temporary high blood pressure levels in both diabetics and non-diabetics. However, high blood pressure is diagnosed when you have several high readings.

Some people will find their heart beat rises, and therefore their blood pressure goes up, as a direct result of being tested.

In the condition of low blood pressure or hypotension, some symptoms are unsteadiness, blurry vision, fatigue, depression, nausea, lack of concentration, place skin, and rapid and low breathing. Low blood pressure is a reading of less than 90/60mmHg. It does not always cause symptoms, but you may need treatment if it does.

Chronic low blood pressure with no symptoms is almost never serious. But health problems can occur when blood pressure drops suddenly and the brain is deprived of an adequate blood supply. This can lead to dizziness or light-headedness.

Sudden drops in blood pressure most commonly occur in someone who’s rising from a lying down or sitting position to standing. This kind of low blood pressure is known as postural hypotension or orthostatic hypotension. Another type of low blood pressure can occur when someone stands for a long period of time. This is called neurally mediated hypotension.

If you know this is happening, speak to the doctor or nurse as this should be taken into account. It is also possible to have blood pressure readings taken at home if this is known to be happening.

To treat high blood pressure, you can start the following changes:

• Do moderate exercises for at least 30 minutes, like swimming, walking, cycling, and jogging

• Avoid smoking

• Reduce your salt intake, and regulate your alcohol consumption. Use fresh fruits, veggies, high fibre, and whole-grain foods

• Some doctors will suggest adopting dietary approaches to stop hypertension. It includes various types of diets for different patients

To treat low blood pressure, you can use the following tips:

• You have to control alcohol consumption

• Drink plenty of water during hot and torrid weather, and also when you suffer from a viral infection. Use high salt diets and foods

• Never avoid doing regular exercise, activities, and workouts

• Try to eat light and smaller meals according to your routine to avoid dizziness

• Regulate or cut down the intake of carbohydrates

• Do not stand or sit in one position for long periods

• Follow the guidelines that your doctors give so that you can get healthy as soon as possible

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.comSOURCE: Harvard Health