Irregular Blood Pressure
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Haryiatee Mohamed
Posted on: April 6, 1998

I just got the news that my grandmother is not well. What I want to know is, how can a person have high blood preassure and low blood preassure at the same time? What is the normal bllod pressure?

The following information is provided for your research and study, and is not intended as medical advice.

"Normal" blood pressure varies with age. The normal blood pressure of a healthy young adult is 120/80. At age 50, 135/80 is considered normal. Over age 65, normal blood pressure is 165/85. Blood pressure readings must always be compared with past rea dings and the patient’s current state. (for example, whether stressed)

Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by the blood against the wall of a blood vessel, measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The top number is known as systolic and measures the pressure during contraction (the pumping action) of the heart. The b ottom number is known as diastolic, and measures the pressure during relaxation of the heart. The diastolic pressure is an indicator of the flexibility of the blood vessel walls, and in general, a lower number indicates a more healthy vessel wall. Low b lood pressure is one where the systolic pressure consistently measures below 110 mm Hg. High blood pressure is one where the diastolic pressure is above 90 mm Hg. or the systolic pressure above 140 mm Hg.

The contradiction of a person having "high blood pressure and low blood pressure at the same time" could be a confusion caused by one or more of the following:

An older person who normally has a blood pressure of 170/85 is measured with a blood pressure of 110/85. There are many possible reasons for this, including the effect of drugs, a loss of blood as in a hemorrhage, and disease of the nervous system.

The diastolic pressure may be high, and the systolic pressure normal or low.

An abnormally high pressure may result from the stress of being in the hospital or doctor’s office

Arm and leg blood pressures are sometimes taken. A variance in these pressures may indicate arterial disease in one area while the other area is normal

Blood pressure variations can occur when the patient is under stress causing the heart to beat faster, or when there is physical or mental exhaustion and the heart slows down. The blood pressure is generally higher in the evening after a day’s work, and lower at night after rest. Stimulants such as coffee, strong tea, colas and alcohol cause an increase in blood pressure.

There are many possible causes for abnormal blood pressure, including anemia and adrenal gland failure in low blood pressure, and kidney disease, hyperactive thyroid, genetics, heart disorder, blood and blood vessel disease in high blood pressure. It is essential that the cause is investigated by a medical practitioner.

In 90% of the cases of high blood pressure, no disease is associated. Since high blood pressure greatly increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure is treated by the medical profession. A low fat, low salt diet is essential, including plent y of fresh fruits & vegetables and avoiding coffee, strong tea, alcohol and smoking. Herbal remedies can both prevent high blood pressure and lower it when high. Garlic is a useful remedy that lowers blood pressure & cholesterol as well as prov iding antibiotic, anti-viral and anti-parasitic properties. Richters provides bulbs for sale within Canada. Daniel Mowrey, in "Proven Herbal Blends" (available from Richters) suggests a safe nutritional heart tonic that includes Hawthorn berries, Mother wort, Rosemary, Kelp and Cayenne. Hawthorn is a powerful heart remedy that eases strain on the heart by dilating the blood vessels to decrease blood pressure, and increasing the oxygen utilization. Use of this formula is good long term preventative m edicine. In case of heart disease, your physician must be consulted.

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