Blood pressure is not something we often think about if our health is not adversely affected by it. But we should be aware of it nevertheless. It refers to one of the most essential processes, which occurs in our body continuously. It’s what forces out blood to move around in through our veins and arteries, delivering oxygen, hormones, white cells, antibodies and nutrients to our organs, propagating the existence of life itself.

Not only does it provide, but it also takes away the waste our body produces when it filters food and liquids through the liver and kidneys. It is an understatement to say that it’s essential to have optimal blood pressure. When something effects it and causes it to be either too high or low, it impacts the entire body and can have adverse effects on our health.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

This occurs when your heart has to go into overdrive, thus increasing the pressure to stimulate blood flow. Not only will this deteriorate your arteries, but it can lead to a heart and kidney failure, among other things. It is hard to pinpoint the exact reason that causes this, most likely because it is the result of combinations of an unhealthy lifestyle and genetic factors.

These conditions most often cause high blood pressure:

  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Maintaining an unhealthy diet
  • Large intake of salt through food
  • Being under prolonged stress
  • Consuming a large amount of alcohol
  • Caffeine

This can be divided into two categories: a) Essential high blood pressure and b) Secondary high blood pressure. While the combination of abovementioned factors most likely causes the first case, the secondary high blood pressure is often the result of some other serious health problem. Unfortunately, high blood pressure does not show the symptoms until your body reaches the breaking point and then you have an emergency in your hands.

woman with headache

Symptoms that you should be aware of:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Heart palpitations

If you are experiencing these signs, you should immediately contact your doctor.

Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)

While this is not considered as dangerous as high blood pressure, it is still a condition that should be monitored.  Even though we mentioned that high blood pressure is regarded as a more dangerous condition, hypotension can also lead to a medical emergency.

These conditions most often cause low blood pressure:

  • Dehydration
  • Blood loss
  • Pregnancy
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Infections

Also, it is essential to note that there is a range of drugs, whose side effect is to lower your pressure. This includes antidepressants, alpha and beta blockers, and pills for erectile dysfunction. This is why it is essential to be aware of the side-effect of prescribed drugs.

man having headache and fatigue

Symptoms that you should be aware of:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Inability to concentrate for a prolonged time

If you are experiencing these signs, you should immediately contact your doctor.

How To Control A Healthy Blood Pressure

The symptoms of high or low blood pressure can be scary and should be taken seriously, especially during the older years of life. As we age, our vascular system changes, arteries get stiffer, and our blood pressure increases. The following lifestyle tips can help reduce your risk of the symptoms discussed above:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Reduce your intake of salt
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Avoid smoking
  • Get restful sleep
  • Relax and reduce stress

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