What is Blood Pressure?
Blood Pressure or BP is used to denote a disease resulting in high blood pressure or low blood pressure in medical science. It refers to the symptoms of irregular blood circulation in human body. Some circumstances cause huge fluctuations in the flow of blood from the heart to our various parts of body through arteries and again during its return to heart through veins. In normal sense it refers to the pressure put by circulating blood on walls of blood vessels. With each heartbeat the blood gets pumped out and pressure is created in its flow as the blood vessels exert resistance on circulation. Under normal conditions, some fluctuations in blood circulation are common. But when there is huge difference in the pressure of blood leading to health problems, it is a worrying factor to be controlled.
How Blood Pressure is measured?
Blood Pressure is normally measured with a BP machine known as Sphygmomanometer. An inflatable cuff or band is wrapped around the upper arm at the same height of your heart and pressure is created on the walls of blood vessels or arteries by pumping air into the cuff which presses your hand and creates pressure on blood flow. The first reading is taken as systolic pressure when blood flows out with a sound on first drop of air getting released as you loosen the knob of the cuff.. When the full air gets released from the cuff, the pressure becomes very low which is measured as diastolic pressure. The sounds and flow are heard with the help of a stethoscope by the doctor.The readings of the machine indicate the low and high ranges of pressure during one circulation in the form of pressure required for supporting one millimeter height of mercury which is abbreviated as mm Hg.
When blood gets thrown out from the ventricles of heart through arteries the peak pressure occurs at the end point of circulation which is measured as systolic pressure. When the blood is received in ventricles before it is pumped out, the pressure will be minimum in the arteries which is measured as diastolic pressure. So each beat of heart measures two levels of pressure- the diastolic at the beginning of the beat before pumping out blood and the systolic pressure at the end point of the beat after throwing out blood . It is generally expressed in the ratio of systolic pressure over diastolic pressure for example 120/80 mmHg.
Causes of High or Low Blood Pressure
There are many causes for acquiring the BP symptoms of either high blood pressure or low blood pressure known as hypertension or hypotension. Some of the main causes are tension, diet, exercise, drugs and alcohol intake, obesity, etc. Other physical factors causing blood pressure are presence of greater volume of blood, greater thickness of blood and resistance factors.
When the blood pressure reading denotes higher ranges above the normal range reading of 120/80, then it is regarded as high blood pressure or hypertension symptom. Excess intake of salt, excessive exercise or exertion and continuous stress and worries lead to high blood pressure. Excess blood produced in body, greater thickness of walls of blood vessels and greater resistance causes hypertension.
Blood pressures reading below the normal range of 120/80 denote low blood pressure or hypotension symptom. Blood loss due to injury or due to periods, some toxic medicines and eating habits cause low blood pressure or hypotension.
Tips for controlling High Blood Pressure
- First thing you should do to check high blood pressure is to consult a doctor. The doctor will examine your BP and prescribe medicines to bring it under control.
- Next thing to do is to reduce your daily dose of salt and sodium intake. Even a slight cut in the intake can help to bring down high blood pressure under control to some extent.
- Change your eating habits. Avoid junk food, fats and creams. Develop healthy habit of consuming natural cooked food rich in whole grains along with vegetables and fruits intake. Avoid masala powders and chilli powders which hinder circulation of blood and cause abnormal fluctuations.
- Develop regular habit of exercising like morning walk, yoga, stretching of body and limbs in a rhythm, Playing games and sports also contribute to healthy blood circulation. But the practice should be regular and one thing to note is do not overdo anything. Whatever exercise you do is to be a regular daily habit and limited under your control according to your stamina.
- Avoid consuming alcoholic drinks, smoking, or chewing tobacco and drinking too much coffee and caffeine drinks. You can shift to tea in place of coffee.
- If you are overweight or obese, try to reduce your fat and weight by hectic exercise under the supervision of a doctor. Avoid consuming fat and milk products like Ghee, curd,etc. in total.
- Keep a constant watch on your blood pressure levels by taking measurements constantly for at least 3 or 4 times daily and keep in touch with your doctor and take regular doses of medicines as prescribed by him.
Tips for controlling Low Blood Pressure
Common causes of low blood pressure are poor diet or malnutrition, tensions and loss of blood etc. If you are suffering from low blood pressure you will be experiencing weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness and fatigue,etc.
- To control low blood pressure also you need to consult a doctor and take medications according to his prescriptions.
- Next thing to do is eat a healthy, protein rich balanced diet with vegetables and fruits. One thing to note is that eating in small quantities but for more times in a day is a healthy way of getting food digested easily and blood circulation gets improved quickly.
- Water intake is to be increased for better digestion and blood circulation. So drink as much of water and fruit juices as possible.
- Avoid heat and high temperatures.as it can be fatal to you. Do not go unprotected on summer days and avoid staying too much on hot baths or in poorly ventilated kitchens,etc. Too much exertion also develops high heat in your body. So be in control. Tensions and worries also lead to developing heat and dehydration in your body. So keep free from tensions.
Now you must have been able to understand from above tips that a healthy lifestyle combined with proper medical care can keep you away from the problems of blood pressure defects.
for tips on "How to control cholesterol and keep your blood healthy" read the following article