Cardiovascular Support [rate]

Blood pressure abnormalities and related complications are among the highest causes of mortality in modern society.  What makes them so deadly is the fact that they are silent killers.  Blood pressure abnormalities build up in a victim’s body over time with no discernible symptoms until it is too late.  Statistics show that more often than not, symptoms begin to present from forty years of age and above.

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is a product of cardiac output and resistance by arteriole walls.  In layman’s terms, this refers to the pressure the heart exerts as it pumps blood into arteries in order to overcome tension in the arteriole walls. It is measured using an instrument known as a sphygmomanometer.  It is given as a ratio of systolic pressure to diastolic pressure. The normal range is 110-130 for systolic pressure and 70-90 for the diastolic pressure.  Anything above these ranges qualifies as high blood pressure whereas below the ranges is a sign of low blood pressure.  Neither of the two scenarios is ideal.

Blood Pressure

 

Abnormal Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure is considered low if the value recorded is below 90/60 (ninety over sixty).  This condition is referred to as hypotension.  It can be an indication of two things.  The first is that your heart is not strong enough to pump at a pressure enough to overcome resistance by the arteriole walls.  The second indication is that the arteriole walls have become weak and do not exert as much resistance as normal ones do.  Low blood pressure is caused by dehydration, excessive bleeding and other medical conditions.  It is characterized by dizziness, blurred vision, fatigue, nausea and rapid shallow breathing.

The opposite is high blood pressure or hypertension.  A reading of over 130/85 warrants this as a diagnosis.  This occurs either when the heart is exerting too much pressure due to an underlying disease or when the artery walls harden causing the heart to have to use more force.  The main causes are high salt intake, alcoholism and excessive smoking. Hypertension often leads to other complications namely heart attacks and strokes.  This is because of clot formations where the blood cannot easily pass through the blood vessels.  The stroke and heart attack occurs when the clot dislodges and makes its way to the brain or to the heart respectively.

 

How to manage your blood pressure

· Adapt a healthy diet – This allows your body to function properly especially your circulatory system. Include foods such as spinach and beets in your diet.  These are rich in an amino acid known as L-Arginine useful in a biochemical pathway for creating proteins.  It reduces tension on arteriole walls, thus reducing blood pressure.

· Reduce sodium intake – Lowering your salt intake reduces your risk for getting hypertension.

· Increase Physical activity – As weight increases, risk of getting high blood pressure increases. Exercising regularly results in weight loss and management reducing chances of getting blood pressure abnormalities.

· Cut down on the cigarettes and alcohol – They contain compound that coat the walls of arteries making them narrower and increasing blood pressure as a result.

 

References

www.m.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure-toc

www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood pressure/art20046974