Blood pressure is the pressure of circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels or the pressure in large arteries of the systemic circulation.
Two kinds of instrument is been use to measure the blood pressure of an individual
- A blood pressure cuff with a gauge
- The older mercury sphygmomanometer, which shows the level of mercury.
The blood pressure could be:
1. Normal blood pressure
2. High blood pressure
3. Low blood pressure
Normal blood pressure
The normal blood pressure for an adult is usually around 120/80, but anything from 100/60 to 140/90 can be considered normal. It is usually the bottom number that tells us more about a person’s health.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure also known as hypertension is a common medical condition that affects so many people. Hypertension comes as a result of elevation of blood pressure in the arteries.
A bottom number of over 100 usually means the blood pressure is high enough to require attention (diet and perhaps medicine) example 135/110 means the individual has a seriously high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is deadly and termed a silent killer because at first it causes no signs, however the condition should be lowered before danger signs develops
High blood pressure can cause many problems, such as heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. Fat people are especially likely to have high blood pressure
Signs of high blood pressure
- Frequent headaches.
- Pounding of the heart and shortness of breath with mild exercise.
- Weakness and dizziness.
- Occasional pain in the left shoulder and chest.
This entire problem may also be caused by other diseases. Therefore, if a person suspects he has high blood pressure, he should see a health worker and have his blood pressure measured.
Consequences of high blood pressure
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to stroke by damaging and weakening your brain’s blood vessels, causing them to narrow, rupture or leak.
- Long term high blood pressure, however, is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, vision loss, and chronic kidney disease.
- Stroke is a very common consequence of poorly or uncontrolled high blood pressure.
- High blood pressure can also cause blood clots to form in the arteries leading to your brain, blocking blood flow and potentially causing a stroke.
- High blood pressure can also harden your arteries, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart and lead to heart disease.
In addition, decreased blood flow to the heart can cause:
- Chest pain, also called angina.
- Heart attack can also occur, when the blood supply to your heart is blocked and heart muscle begins to die without enough oxygen. The longer the blood flow is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart.
- Adults with diabetes, high blood pressure, or both have a higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease than those without these diseases. Approximately 1 of 3 adults with diabetes and 1 of 5 adults with high blood pressure have chronic kidney disease.
- Heart failure, a condition when your heart can’t pump enough blood and oxygen to your other organs.
What to do to prevent or care for high blood pressure
- Overweight people should lose weight.
- Fatty foods especially pig fat, and foods with a lot of sugar or starch should be avoided. Always use vegetable oil instead of pig fat.
- Do not smoke or drink alcohol.
- When the blood pressure is very high, get medical advice. The medicine to control blood pressure should be taken regularly. Many people can lower their blood pressure by losing weight if they are fat, and by learning to relax.
Low blood pressure
A sudden drop in blood pressure is a danger sign, especially if it falls below 60/40, this however could indicate that the person is losing blood or at risk of shock. But most time if a person regularly has low blood pressure, there is no need to worry, in fact blood pressure on the low side of normal 90/60 to 110/70 means a person is likely to live long and is less likely to suffer from heart troubles or stroke.
People who need their blood pressure monitored all the time include:
- Pregnant women
- Anyone with signs of heart trouble, stroke, difficulty breathing, frequent headaches, swelling, diabetes, chronic urinary problems or swollen or painful veins.
- Fat people
- Person known to have high blood pressure
- Women taking or planning to take birth control pills.
- People over 40
- A person who may be losing a lot of blood from any part of the body, inside or outside.
- Mothers before and during child birth
- A person who might be in shock.