About Blood Pressure, Its Readings, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments, Medications

By Helen PackFeb 15, 2021478

About Blood Pressure, Its Readings, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments, Medications

Blood pressure is a unit of the force required by your heart for pumping the blood. Blood pressure is essential because oxygen and other nutrients get supplied to our circulatory system. These nutrients and micronutrients work to nourish the organs. They take part in the various biochemical processes in the body. Blood pressure is necessary for delivering the antibodies across our system to build up the immune system.

The circulatory system expels waste substances from the body, such as toxins, chemicals, and carbon dioxide. However, further, the toxins and chemicals are processed and removed by the liver and kidneys. The blood also has its temperature. It carries various substances, including platelets, to clot the blood if there is any bleeding due to injury.

The blood is pumped across the body when the heart contracts with every beat. This mechanism exerts the pressure to supply the blood to and fro. Normal blood pressure is essential for good health. Increasing or decreasing blood pressure can invite various health problems.

Understanding Blood Pressure Readings

The blood pressure in our body is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). The blood pressure is measured in two numbers or figures like a fraction. The uppermost digit is the systolic pressure, and the bottom digit is the diastolic pressure. 

  • systolic pressure – is the pressure generated by our heart to push the blood out
  • diastolic pressure – is the pressure when your heart eases between the beats

The ideal standards for normal, high, and low blood pressure are as follows:

  • The normal blood pressure range is between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg
  • High blood pressure ranges from 140/90mmHg or higher
  • Low blood pressure ranges from 90/60mmHg or below

Types of Blood Pressure

  • Normal blood pressure

The normal blood pressure is known to have a systolic pressure from 90 and less than 120, and the diastolic pressure ranges from 60 and less than 80. The American Heart Association (AHA) states this is the normal blood pressure range. People with normal blood pressure have good cardiovascular health. 

  • Elevated blood pressure

Elevated blood pressure means a higher than usual range, which is generally more than 120/80 mm Hg is. In elevated blood pressure, the systolic blood pressure ranges between 120 and 129 mm Hg, and the diastolic pressure is lower than 80 mm Hg. However, this category is not linked with high blood pressure. It is just a slight increase from the normal range. Elevated blood pressure can further lead to hypertension or high blood pressure.

  • High blood pressure

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a dangerous cardiovascular disorder. Millions of people are suffering from hypertension. The systolic pressure is 140 or higher, and the diastolic pressure is 90 or higher, then it is considered as high blood pressure. For treating hypertension, your health expert will advise you on one or more medications. However, for treating hypertension, one should not depend on medicines. One should opt for a good and healthy lifestyle such as healthy food and working out.

  • Low blood pressure 

Low blood pressure is not usual. Few people may get affected by it. Hypotension or low blood pressure can be a result of the side effects of various medicines. However, it can occur because of various health disorders. Usually, drugs are not used to treat low blood pressure. Health professionals may suggest you make changes in your diet and lifestyle.

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

A person is supposed to suffer from high blood pressure if they are suffering from below mentioned symptoms:

  • kidney disease
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • congenital heart defects
  • problems with your thyroid
  • side effects of medications
  • use of illegal drugs
  • alcohol abuse or chronic use
  • adrenal gland problems
  • certain endocrine tumours

Symptoms of low blood pressure include:

  • Dizziness 
  • Fainting
  • Blurred or fading vision
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of concentration

Diagnosis of Hypertension

Low blood pressure is uncommon and it is recognized based on symptoms or by checking the readings. So, we will now understand about diagnosis, treatment, medications for hypertension. 

To diagnose hypertension, one needs to check the blood pressure readings. Most health professionals routinely check the blood pressure level of their patients. In case; if your blood pressure is not tested, you may request it. For people with elevated blood pressure, their doctor may advise them to check their blood pressure often for few days for monitoring closely. Your doctor may not directly state the diagnosis regarding hypertension; he might investigate for more evidence. It is because of exposure to a particular condition or due because of some stress at the doctor’s waiting area. However, the blood pressure level keeps changing all day long.

For the individuals who are considered to have hypertension, their doctor will advise them to take some lab tests to strike out other health disorders. The tests are:

  • urine test
  • cholesterol check and other blood tests
  • ECG
  • ultrasound of your heart or kidneys

These are some tests, which will help your health professional identify if you are dealing with hypertension or just elevated blood pressure. Besides, your doctor will also check if the high blood pressure has affected other organs. Later, your doctor will start the treatment of hypertension.

Treatment of Hypertension

The treatment of hypertension depends on various factors such as type of hypertension and the causes of hypertension recognized by your health professional. In case; your doctor identifies a typical health issue that causes hypertension, then the treatment is focused on that health condition. For instance, if you are taking a particular medicine that stimulates an increase in blood pressure, he might advise another drug that does not cause hypertension.

In some cases, hypertension is constant despite a particular health issue. If this is the case, your health professional might recommend you to make alterations in your lifestyle. Treatment for hypertension is usually progressive and keeps changing over time because some treatment methods might not work later.

Medications for Hypertension

Doctor’s usually advice; trial and error medications according to your health progress. A person who undergoes hypertension treatment needs to try various combinations of medicines to control high blood pressure.

Below-mentioned are the common medicines used for treating hypertension:

  • Beta-blockers

Beta-blockers are drugs that efficiently work to make your heart beats slower with reduced force. It decreases the quantity of blood pumped in your arteries with each and every beat. This whole reaction leads to the reduction of blood pressure. It also works for blocking some hormones that cause an increase in blood pressure.

  • Diuretics

Another reason for high blood pressure is higher sodium levels and excessive fluids in the body. Diuretics are also called water pills, which work to expel the extra sodium from your body by working on the kidneys. As the sodium levels reduce, extra fluid in the blood is transferred to the urine. It results in a decline in blood pressure.

  • ACE inhibitors

Angiotensin is a hormonal protein that causes vasoconstriction or constriction of arteries. ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitor medicines stop the body from secreting this hormonal protein. This way, it helps to reduce blood pressure effectively.

  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)

The ACE inhibitors focus on stopping the secretion of angiotensin. On the other hand, Angiotensin II receptor blockers work to inhibit the receptors of angiotensin protein. Without the binding of the protein to the receptors, it cannot contract the blood vessels. ARB’s are very efficient for controlling blood pressure.

  • Calcium channel blockers

Calcium channel blockers medicines are also commonly used. They work by inhibiting the entry of calcium into the cardiac muscles. These medicines help to control the forceful heartbeats and work to lower blood pressure. Calcium channel blockers work on the blood pressure and help to inhibit the arteries from getting contracted.

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