Implications Of High And Low Blood Pressure
There is a very high degree of complexity in the way the fluid systems within our bodies function. This holds true, as well, for the circulatory system. Because the circulatory system is complex, there are many different blood pressure causes which are possible. Our heart rate and the thickness of our blood are just two of the many different factors which can affect the pressure of blood circulating within our body. There are many influences outside of our bodies which affect our blood pressure. Some examples of these factors are exercise, diet, drug or alcohol use, pre-existing disease and many others. In fact, there are many more outside influences which affect blood pressure as compared to the influences within our body.
First of all, let’s look at the most important element which is responsible for high or low blood pressure causes. The heart rate, or more specifically, the number of times our heart beats per minute is one of the biggest features related to our blood pressure. For the average healthy adult, a heart rate somewhere in the range of between 60 to 75 beats per minute would be considered normal. As our heart rate increases, so too does our pressure. Now another important element which has an influence on our pressure is the total volume of blood within our body. When the volume of blood increases, the volume of blood returning to the heart via our circulatory system also increases. This in turn, drives up our pressure. There is also a very direct relationship between our blood volume and our salt intake. As we increase salt intake, our blood volume and therefore blood pressure will rise due to a biochemical reaction known as osmosis.
Two other significant elements which are responsible for blood pressure are viscosity and peripheral resistance. Now peripheral resistance is essentially the amount of pressure within the arteries which pushes back against the heart itself. The 2 things that affect this resistance are the smoothness of the arterial walls and the actual size of the blood vessels. Now there are several forces in play which can affect the diameter of our blood vessels. Some of these forces will make the walls wider and thereby decrease blood pressure, while other forces will have the opposite effect. One example of this is when we have fat or plaque being deposited on the inside walls of our arteries. This effectively narrows the blood vessels which increases peripheral resistance and therefore increases pressure within the blood vessels. The term viscosity relates to how thick or thin your blood is. Your pressure will rise as the blood becomes thicker because it takes more force for the heart to pump the thick blood through the arteries. The viscosity of the blood can be affected by many things such as certain pre-existing illnesses. Additionally, the blood sugar level can be a factor for viscosity as well as many other possibilities. Essentially, high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) causes a deterioration of our blood vessels. This, in turn, increases our risk for heart attack, stroke and several other conditions.
When people consider their blood pressure, they usually think of avoiding hypertension. It is true that hypertension is bad for you, however, low pressure can be equally as hazardous. A few of the low blood pressure causes include internal bleeding, toxins, hormone imbalance, septic shock and several others. Even standing up from a sitting position can lower your pressure, but this is usually short lived. The low blood pressure causes are usually more severe and dangerous than the causes which create hypertension. Both conditions, without question, should be monitored by a trusted family physician.