We have all heard about “blood pressure” but what exactly is it? In simple terms it refers to blood driving against the outer layer of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. When the pressure is too high or low, it can prove to be dangerous and thus lead to health problems.  

There are generally two types of blood pressure conditions we should be concerned with. One is high blood pressure.  High blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. Since high blood pressure can cause such serious ailments, we should take heart and note our blood pressure if it seems to be higher than normal.

On the other end of the spectrum, some people suffer from low blood pressure. You are considered to have low blood pressure when your blood pressure is below 90/60. People suffer from low blood pressure due to various reasons including dehydration and surgical disorders Compared to high blood pressure, low blood pressure gives rise to less serious problems, but still our everyday life will be affected with symptoms like feeling faint, not being able to concentrate, not seeing properly, feeling nauseous  and feeling cold. Medications doctors prescribe are fludrocortisone and midodrine. Some supplements you can take on your own are ginseng, licorice, St John’s wort and bitter orange.

If you have low blood pressure, doctors may advise measures like consuming more salt, drinking more water and doing lots of exercise. 

What is high blood pressure?  It is considered high if your blood pressure is 140/90 or above.  Even if your blood pressure is above 120/80, doctors may advise you to be more vigilant. To lower the chances of high blood pressure, all you need to do is to make small changes to your lifestyle. Some ways are cutting down on stress, exercising more, losing your flabbiness, quit smoking, keeping to a low sodium diet and reducing your intake of coffee and alcohol.

What can you do if you make the lifestyle changes and yet your blood pressure remains high? If that happens you need to check if you are taking medication as your doctor has instructed; or you are consuming high volumes of alcohol and sodium; taking other drugs which may hinder blood pressure stability; not controlling your weight or if you are suffering from kidney problems or sleep apnea. In most cases if you keep to your medications and make lifestyle changes, you should be all right. For high blood pressure, medications you could take include diuretics, angiotensin blockers ,beta blockers and angiotensin converting enzyme.  Besides the medication prescribed by doctors, you could try some natural supplements which you could take to improve blood flow. These include vitamin B-6, iron, Super Strength L-Arginine, Potassium Aspertate,  just to name a few.

Whether you are suffering from high blood pressure or low blood pressure, all you have to do is to take care of your everyday regime and soon you would be on your way to better health.