What is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure or BP is the force of the blood to the arteries. Each person of different age groups has a varying BP. There are many factors that cause this to shoot up or to lower down.
What are the factors that cause the changes in blood pressure?
There are many causes that contribute to blood pressure. One is environmental factors. It can be from weather changes (cold and hot temperatures), high and low altitudes.
Another cause of blood pressure changes are physical activity such as running, sleeping, stress or fear. Illnesses also contribute to rising and lower of the BP.
How is the blood pressure measured?
The unit of measurement of the BP is mmHg (millimeters mercury). Medical devices are used to measure the BP. This is called the sphygmomanometer and stethoscope.
The sphygmomanometer has a cuff that is wrapped around the arm (1-1.5 inch above the elbow). The stethoscope is placed on the space below the cuff and the fold of the arm. A valve is pumped until 180 mmHg (or depending on the protocol of the hospital). With this action, the cuff wrapped in the arm is tightened, and with a release of air in the valve, the cuff will loosen, and a reading heard from the stethoscope is noted.
In measuring the blood pressure there is what we call Systole and Diastole. Systole is the first beat heard, while Diastole is the last beat. Upon the release of the air, beats are audible through the stethoscope. For example, the first beat you hear is at 130 and the last is on 80 mmHg, then the BP of the person is 130/80 mmHg.
The BP normal values vary depending on the country and hospital policy. Therefore, with this normal values basis, we will determine a high or low blood pressure.
How to Lower Blood Pressure?
For elevated BP, there are many ways you can do to lower blood pressure with the aid of natural and medical remedies.
One of the most natural ways to normalize blood pressure is through lifestyle change. Diet plays a major role in this aspect. Cutting down salt and eating a balanced diet (based on the food pyramid chart) will lower down blood pressure.
Another contributing factor is weight loss. This will also lower blood pressure. Daily exercise is encouraged as well.
After performing the natural interventions and still having a high blood pressure, medical interventions will be done.
The medical interventions to lower blood pressure are medications and surgery (which is the last option). In determining if a surgical procedure is needed, the heart will be undergoing a diagnostic procedure to assess whether there is a blockage in the arteries. Blockage in the arteries means narrowing the passageway of blood that leads to the elevation of BP.
A class of medicine called Antihypertensive is used to lower down the BP. The main action of these drugs is to reduce the blockage and dilate the arteries to provide good blood circulation.
Surgical procedures like arterial dilation or removal of plaques on the arteries are the last option to lower blood pressure. This intervention is done when lifestyle changes and medications were ineffective.
Good blood circulation means living a healthy life. There are preventive measures we can do to avoid high blood pressure such as quitting smoking and complying to healthy diet and lifestyle.