Blood pressure or BP is the pressure exerted by the circulating blood on the walls of the blood vessels. This pressure is maintained throughout the body day and night by the pumping of the heart. Blood pressure is never constant; it fluctuates throughout the day depending on various factors like circadian rhythm, physical activity, stress, digestion, emotions, and sleep. It is estimated that by 2025, 1 out of every 3 individual above 20 years will be affected by hypertension.
The optimal blood pressure for any non-ill or healthy individual is 120/80 mm Hg (systolic/diastolic). This optimization is maintained by various mechanisms like changing the amount or volume of blood pumped by the heart, diameter of the arteries (vasoconstriction and vasodilation), body temperature and volume of blood in the entire bloodstream, etc. However, BP varies from person to person depending on his/her physiological state. For e.g. an individual can by healthy and fit even if his BP is 100/70 mm Hg.
A state in the body that causes the BP to become persistently high, low or erratic can lead to many disorders. The most common are Hypertension and Hypotension.
Hypertension: When the blood pressure becomes > 140/90 mm Hg, the medical condition is called hypertension or high blood pressure. This condition makes the heart work much harder than required, which may lead to thickening or weakening of the heart muscles. The pressure exerted is too much on the vascular walls and this leads to mechanical stress and causes the growth of unhealthy tissues in the blood vessels.
Hypotension: when the blood pressure becomes < 90/60 mm of Hg, the medical condition is called hypotension or low blood pressure. Low BP is a matter of serious concern if its associated disorders become severe.
There are no accurate causes of BP disorders. In medical terms, hypertension is regarded as symptomless or "silent killer". However, low BP can be characterized by dizziness, fainting, lack of concentration, polydyspia (excessive thirst), nausea, fatigue, blurred vision, shallow breathing, depression, etc.
Certain factors can be regarded to be the underlying causes for a person of the stricken by BP disorders. The factors causing Hypertension are Obesity, High salt intake, Excessive drinking and smoking, Sedentary lifestyle, Stress, Lack of or disturbed sleep, Family history of hypertension and People above 55 years of age. Factors responsible for Hypotension are Less water intake, Lack of required nutrients in diet, Pregnancy, Excessive bleeding, Fluctuation in body temperature, Endocrine (hormonal) disorders, Thyroid disorders, Certain medications. Genetic predisposition and Reaction to certain medicines and toxins
BP disorders can lead to a number of associated illnesses which range from being mild to serious. Diseases associated with Hypertension are Tachycardia (high heart rate), Heart arrhythmias (abnormal heart rate), Cardiovascular diseases, Enlarged heart, Aneurysm (bulging arteries), Myocardial infarction (heart attack), Brain stroke, Ischemia, Edema (swelling of the body), Dementia, Cognitive impairment, Arteriosclerosis (damage of arteries), Atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries), Renal (kidney) failure, Choroidopathy (fluid buildup in eyes), Retinopathy (damage of blood vessels of eye), Sexual dysfunction, Menstrual disorders and Preclampsia (disorders in pregnant women). Associated disorders of Hypotension include Bradycardia (low heart rate), Vasovagal syncope (blackout), Sepsis and shock, Hemorrhage, Hypoxia or anorexia, Heart exhaustion, Bulimia (excessive overeating), Anaphylaxis (allergic reaction), Severe diarrhea and vomiting.
Nowadays, BP disorders are becoming a lifestyle-related disorder. Young people in the age group of 20-30 years are suffering from hypertension due to stressful lives and eating disorders. Hence, if one is aware and becomes conscious of certain symptoms, certain tips can be followed to prevent the disorder from becoming serious:
A balanced diet (diet rich in fruits and vegetables in case of hypertension; diet rich in fiber and nuts in case of hypotension), Drinking plenty of water, Checking salt intake in diet, Regular exercise (90 minutes everyday), Proper sleep (6-7 hours daily),, Weight loss (for obese individuals), Wearing compression stockings, Going for regular check-ups (particularly after 50 years of age).
There are certain myths that are associated (and thus, followed) by people. This foul practice can often lead to certain misconceptions, chaotic conditions, and shock. Its a myth that a person with hypertension remains angry and sweats profusely, even when the outside temperature is low. Another myth (which is actually funny) is that a person with low BP cannot stand for a long time. People should become more aware and conscious of correct symptoms of any disease rather than believing in the wrong.
Can Ayurveda help to cure BP disorders? The answer is YES. Ayurveda and yoga can reduce and normalize blood pressure very quickly and efficiently. Panchakarma, the five-fold ayurvedic healing process has been described extensively in the Charaka Samhita. Management of Vata-Pitta Pradhana Rakta Pradoshaja Vikara on patients with hypertension has yielded fruitful results. Basti chikitsa and Virechana are the main lines of treatment for the maintainence of systolic and diastolic pressure. Research carried out in 2013 has described that Virechana proved better relief (44%) to patients with BP disorders than Basti (29.3%).
The virechana karma clears the Margavarodha(obstruction), eliminates the morbid Doshas (toxins) from the Rakta (blood) and thus, regulates its movement and activity. After Virechana, the levels of catecholamine in hypertension patients decrease in a statistically significant manner. Evacuation of excessive fluid from Rakta is the direct mode of action of Virechana in controlling BP. On the other hand, Basti acts mainly by neural stimulation and sbsorption. When Dashmoola Taila is administered through rectum in Basti therapy, it causes the secretion of bile from the gall bladder and it absorbed by the GI tract that breaks the pathology of the disease. Basti also stimulates the CNS that works in synergism with enteric nervous system (ENS) to activate the depression of Vaso-motor centre (VMC) that finally causes a decrease of BP. Thus, Panchakarma has promising results in controlling BP disorders.
Yes, high blood pressure (BP) may cause leg pain. This happens in a situation if you will not get treatment for your high blood pressure. High BP puts an extra strain in legs which results in leg pain.
Symptoms of high blood pressure could be different depending on the severity of high blood pressure. Common symptoms of very high blood pressure are a headache, fatigue, chest pain, blurry vision, irregularity in a heartbeat, and difficulty in breathing.
Anxiety may cause high blood pressure occasionally, but this hike in blood pressure does not stay for a long time. However, severe anxiety attacks could make the situation even worse by triggering extremely high blood pressure.
Yes, high blood pressure causes fatigue. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms which point out the increase in blood pressure. Moreover, nausea and tiredness due to high blood pressure could also lead to fatigue.
Yes, lemon is one of the great remedies for high blood pressure. Lemon is enriched in vitamin B which benefits the heart and reduces the chances of heart failure. Moreover, lemon helps in keeping the blood pressure normal.