Blood pressure is the force that keeps blood circulating throughout the body. Each heartbeat pumps blood through the arteries to the body’s organs.
There are two blood pressure readings you should know. Systolic pressure is when the heart pumps, and pressure in the arteries increases briefly. Diastolic pressure is between beats, when the heart relaxes, reducing pressure in the arteries temporarily.
Normal blood pressure readings fall between 100 and 140 mmHg for systolic and 60 to 90 mmHg diastolic. Readings above 140/90 are considered high blood pressure.
Having high blood pressure is much more common than having low blood pressure.
High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.
Low blood pressure leads to the body’s cells not getting the oxygen and nutrients they need to thrive.
Risk factors for high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, include smoking, obesity, sleeplessness, stress, dehydration, genetics or family history, and heavy consumption of alcohol.
The first line of treatment for hypertension is lifestyle adjustments. Getting regular, moderate exercise, eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruit and low in refined salt, drinking more water, and taking certain supplements, like nattokinase, can all lower blood pressure without prescription drugs.
There are several different types of medication for treating high blood pressure. Doctors may prescribe beta-blockers, diuretics, and/or calcium channel blockers. Side effects are common with all these medications. They include symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, erectile dysfunction, headache, muscle cramps, dehydration, frequent urination, and other issues.
When you are prescribed a medication, the instructions on the bottle usually provide very generic instructions. “Take one pill once a day” is a typical directive. Rarely does the bottle (or the more detailed instructional pamphlet, for that matter) tell you exactly when or what time to take the drug. And it turns out, this […]
Wine lovers: Here’s another reason to rejoice! It turns out that having a little merlot or pinot noir once in a while may do your tummy good. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Let me explain… It’s widely known that red wine has properties that protect your heart. This is courtesy of compounds called […]
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Considering the headlines, the health advice, the supplements and medications all designed to help lower blood pressure, you’d think low blood pressure is a sign of good health. But low blood pressure can also be bad thing. For most people, low BP is nothing to worry about. But, for some people, chronically lower than normal […]
About 75 million American adults have high blood pressure—that’s one in every three people. High blood pressure (also called hypertension) is known as a silent killer because you can have it for years and never know it. And all that time, the condition is slowly destroying your health. If your doctor discovers that you have […]
High blood pressure is treated like an illness…but it’s really a symptom of an underlying problem that no drug actually addresses. It’s hard to turn on the TV these days without seeing another ad for a blood pressure medication. And many doctors treat these drugs as the catch-all, cure-all for anyone with high blood pressure […]
On November 12, 2017, nearly one third of U.S. adults—75 million or so—had high blood pressure (HBP). On November 13, that number jumped to around 105 million. Here’s what happened, and how it might affect you. An overnight high blood pressure epidemic? Did 30 million people “catch” HBP overnight? Of course not—it’s not contagious. So […]
I’ve got a brand-new tool in the fight against dementia. And, oddly enough, it’s one of the very first tools any medical student learns to use. It’s something you’ve probably had tested hundreds of times—never realizing that it could give you a glimpse of your future. I’m talking about your blood pressure. Long a harbinger […]
High blood pressure is treated like an illness…yet it’s really a symptom of an underlying problem that no drug actually addresses. It’s hard to turn on the TV these days without seeing another ad for a blood pressure medication. And many doctors treat these drugs as the catch-all, cure-all for anyone with high blood pressure, […]