Your blood pressure is the pressure your heart is pumping blood across the body at. Two tests are used to read the blood pressure: the pressure when the heart is beating, and the pressure when it’s resting.
During the day, the blood pressure varies as normal. For example, it may be higher after exercise, or after taking other medications. But if after a short time it doesn’t return to normal then you might have a question.
Hypertension is called high blood pressure. It may harden and narrow your blood vessels, and increase your chances of having a stroke or heart attack.
Hypotension is called low blood pressure. It’s less risky for your overall health, but if your blood pressure drops suddenly, or frequently fluctuates, it can cause dizziness, lack of concentration and fainting.
Signs and Symptoms
There are often no signs of high blood pressure, so the only way to know is to have the blood pressure checked. This can be performed by your physician or nurse, or at the local pharmacy.
By contrast, low blood pressure makes it easier to detect yourself. The symptoms are:
- Blurred Vision
High blood pressure can result from:
- Poor nutrition
- Is overweight
- Sedentary Lifestyle
- Anxiety and pain
- Drinking too much alcohol
Low blood pressure can be caused by:
- Side effect of a drug
- Heart disease
As you get older your chances of developing high or low blood pressure will increase. One in three people will be on high blood pressure medicine by age 55.
You can also inherit high and low blood pressure and reside within your family.
If you’re over 30, testing your blood pressure every year is a good thing. This can be done by your physician or nurse, or at your local pharmacy. If you have a reading of blood pressure beyond normal range, make an appointment to see the doctor.
The best time to measure your blood pressure is when you are lying down. You won’t get a very accurate reading if you’ve just been running, or you’ve just taken your medicine.
The blood pressure is assessed as two:
Top number–blood circulating pressure as the heart beats.
Higher number–the blood pressure circulating in between heartbeats.
Generally speaking, 120/80 is a good reading, but in a range of about plus or minus 20 a safe reading can be inside. Ideally, you want the map to be in the green range.
If your level of blood pressure falls outside the normal range, the doctor will schedule a few more tests in the next few weeks, before determining what measures to take. We will sometimes give you a blood pressure monitor to take home so that you can take the readings of the follow-up yourself.
The doctor will ask you questions about your lifestyle, such as how depressed you are, if you smoke, what you eat, what supplements for men are you taking, how much exercise you get and if you add salt to your food. You should come up with a plan together to strengthen those risk factors.
You might get medicine, too. This will depend on how high your blood pressure is and the risk of having a stroke or a heart attack. Prescribing more than one medication to help reduce your blood pressure is quite common for people.