Chronic Ailments Hypertension

Difference between High and Low Blood Pressure

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According to the guidelines given by the American Heart Association, if the blood pressure falls in one of the below categories then the condition is called Hypertension:

  • Stage 1 Hypertension: Systolic: between 130-139 or Diastolic: between 80-89
  • Stage 2 Hypertension: Systolic: 140 or higher and Diastolic: 90 or higher
  • Hypertensive crisis : Systolic: Above 180 and/or Diastolic: Above 120

Thus, Hypertension is nothing but high blood pressure and is a serious condition because it makes the heart work harder to pump blood into the body and if not controlled, can result in an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failures.

Similarly, Hypotension is low blood pressure. In this condition, the blood pressure typically falls below a Systolic value of 90 and Diastolic value of 60.

Within prescribed limits, a low blood pressure reading is generally good. However, sometimes this condition can result in dizziness and tiredness. But if there are no adverse symptoms as such then there is nothing to worry.

Causes of High Blood Pressure

While the exact causes of high blood pressure are still unknown, medical practitioners attribute this condition to certain factors namely:

  1. Obesity
  2. Excessive alcohol consumption
  3. Increases salt intake
  4. Smoking
  5. Diabetes
  6. Genetics
  7. Stress
  8. Aging

Causes of Low Blood Pressure

The dropping of blood pressure is a normal scenario. However, certain conditions cause extended periods of low blood pressure such as:

  • Infections in the bloodstreams
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid
  • Blood loss due to injury
  • Weakness due to dehydration and
  • Pregnancy, to name a few

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

While high blood pressure doesn’t show any severe symptom (which is why it is also called a ‘silent killer’) as such, it is sometimes observed that some people suffering from high blood pressure do show signs of sweating, sleeping problems, and anxiety. However, if the Hypertensive crisis condition is reached, the patient may suffer from nose bleeding and headaches.

Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure

Some noticeable symptoms that should raise alarm bells include:

  • Unsteadiness
  • Blurry vision
  • Lack of concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Pale skin
  • Rapid and low breathing

Treatment for High Blood Pressure

While many doctors prescribe medication to deal with high blood pressure, generally, it is best treated by bringing about a change in lifestyle and improving dietary choices.

Some lifestyle adjustments include:

  • Engaging in 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises such as walking, swimming, cycling or jogging
  • Giving up smoking
  • Reducing salt intake
  • Cutting down on alcohol consumption
  • Increasing the intake of fresh fruits and veggies, high-fiber and whole-grain foods, low-fat dairy products
  • Keeping a check on body weight

Doctors generally also recommend a ‘DASH – Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension’ diet for people suffering from high blood pressure which adheres to the above lifestyle adjustments.

Treatment for Low Blood Pressure

Simple, good to implement practices include:

  1. Limit the intake of alcoholic beverages
  2. Increase the intake of water during hot, torrid weather conditions and especially when down with a viral infection
  3. Adhere to a high-salt intake diet
  4. Participate in regular physical activities to augment blood flow
  5. Avoid standing or sitting in one position for a long duration
  6. Be prudent and cautious while arising from lying down and sitting position
  7. To avoid periods of dizziness, try eating light and smaller meals at regular intervals and evade any strenuous activities immediately t eating
  8. Cut down on your carbohydrate intake
  9. Consult a doctor on the usage of elastic stockings that cover your calf and thigh area. This may help in restricting the blood flow to the lower part of the body thereby keeping more blood in the upper part

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