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Blood Pressure

Symptoms and treatment of high and low blood pressure

Blood pressure can have negative effects on your body if it's too high or too low. The good news is that steps can be taken to get both types of blood pressure under control. The key is to stay in communication with your doctor and ensure that he or she checks your blood pressure. Once you've been given advice, be sure to follow it.

What are the symptoms associated with high blood pressure?

There actually aren't that many symptoms of high blood pressure. That's why you must have it tested by your doctor. It's dangerous to have high blood pressure because you could develop early blood vessel damage or damage your heart. The risk of heart disease, kidney problems and stroke is also greater with high blood pressure.

The good news is that high blood pressure can be treated. You can make several lifestyle changes that can make a difference. In fact, these changes alone may be enough and you wouldn't have to take medication (but if these steps don't work, then medication might be required). Here are some lifestyle changes that can help:

  • Limit your sodium and alcohol intake.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Get regular, moderately intense exercise. Relaxation exercises might also help.
  • Make sure you're getting enough magnesium, potassium and calcium.

What about low blood pressure?

Low blood pressure can be dangerous when the drop in pressure occurs suddenly. Certain symptoms can also be a cause for concern when they accompany the drop. The following symptoms are often associated with low blood pressure:

  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Constant fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Cold, clammy, pale skin

What can lead to low blood pressure?

  • Being dehydrated
  • Getting pregnant
  • Taking certain medications
  • Deficiencies in your diet
  • Significant blood loss
  • Heart or endocrine problems

What treatment options are available?

Treatment options vary greatly, depending on the cause of the low blood pressure. For example, you may need to make some simple diet changes or alter some of the medication you take.

What is normal blood pressure

If you look at a blood pressure chart, you'll see that there's a fairly wide range that's considered normal. It's healthiest to have blood pressure that is at or below 120 over 80 (120/80). If you can maintain a blood pressure range around this level, you'll have a greatly decreased risk of heart disease or stroke.

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