High and Low Blood Pressure

All being well, your heart will be constantly pumping blood around your body. The blood provides the oxygen and energy needed to keep everything working correctly. The force of the blood moving acts on the sides of the blood vessels. It is this force which is measured to give your blood pressure.

High blood pressure (sometimes called hypertension), is often symptomless. In cases of extremely high pressure some symptoms such as; headaches, nose bleeds, breathlessness and some problems with vision can be indications of this problem. However, the only way to be sure is to visit your GP or a doctor to have your blood pressure taken and assessed.

If you have high blood pressure it is important that it is treated. Your risks of suffering a heart attack or stroke are much higher than those with a normal blood pressure. The longer this condition goes untreated, the more damage will be done. Cases of kidney failure and loss of sight have been attributed to long term high blood pressure problems.

The main risk groups in the UK are those with African-Caribbean and south Asian origins. While everyone should periodically have a health check-up, if you fall into one of these ethnic groups, it is important to keep a closer eye on your blood pressure.

Causes of high blood pressure include:

Being overweight.

Lack of exercise.

Excessive alcohol intake.

Too much salt.

Family history of high blood pressure.

 

Low blood pressure (or hypotension) is not normally considered a problem. Recent studies would suggest that those with a low blood pressure tend to live longer than those with higher readings.

Low blood pressure is defined as a reading below 90/60mm/Hg and in rare cases can cause light headedness and fainting. It could be caused by other medical conditions or due to the side effects of any medication that is currently being taken.

Dehydration is a common cause of low blood pressure and making sure you are drinking enough can often alleviate any symptoms and bring the blood pressure up. In the vast majority of cases, there will be no requirement to prescribe any treatment for low blood pressure. However, if you experience any symptoms that suggest a problem with your blood pressure it is important to get it checked out by a doctor. Make an appointment today!