Definition of Blood Pressure:
Blood pressure is defined as the pressure exerted by the column of blood on the walls of arteries. It is exerted when the blood flows through them. The maximum pressure exerted on the arteries is called systolic or upper limit blood pressure. Minimum pressure exerted by blood on arteries is diastolic or lower limit blood pressure.
Normal Values of Blood pressure:
Normal Systolic blood pressure is 120 mmHg. It ranges between 110 and 140 mmHg.
Normal Diastolic blood pressure is 80 mmHg. It ranges between 60 and 120 mmHg.
Variations In Blood Pressure:
- Age: Blood pressure increases as the age advances. Usually the children have lower ranges of blood pressure as compared to adults. And of course old people have higher ranges because of the toneless arteries.
- Sex: Males are more prone to increased blood pressure as compared to females of same age.
- Body Built: Obese have high blood pressure than non chubby.
- Diurnal Variations: It is slightly low in early morning and gradually increases to maximum in noon. Again it becomes slightly low in the evening.
- After meals: It is increased for few hours after meal. It is normal phenomenon.
- During Sleep: It is reduced up to 15-20 mmHg during deep sleep and increases slightly during nightmare.
- Emotional Conditions: Stress or anxiety causes an appreciable increase in blood pressure.
- After Exercise: Obviously exercise has a great impact on blood pressure. It increases the blood pressure up to 40-50 mmHg.
Pathologies associated with Blood Pressure:
- Hypertension is the increased blood pressure above the upper limits of the normal range.
- Hypotension is lowering down of blood pressure below the lower limits of normal range.
Diet and changes in Blood Pressure:
- High-fat diet: Whatever we eat has direct impact on pressure of arteries. The fat rich diet no doubt provides high energy. The fats are ultimately converted into cholesterol, fatty acids, lipoproteins etc. These products have the potential to accumulate in the blood vessels impeding the normal blood flow. Besides increasing the blood pressure it causes heart diseases if deposition of cholesterol sustains. So be choosy in your diet. Avoid oily food stuffs, junks and high fat content products.
- High carbohydrate diet: The diet rich in carbohydrates has not the direct effect on increasing the blood pressure. But it is reduced due to low carbohydrate content.
- Effect of Calcium: Dietary calcium is the modulator of blood pressure. It has been observed that the diet low in calcium inhibits the sodium and water excretion thus increasing the blood pressure. The high dietary calcium reduces the blood pressure. So there must be an adequate supply of it.
- Effect of Alcohol: Alcohol intake has been tremendously increased. It somewhat effects the blood pressure by increasing it.
- Caffeine: It affects both who are suffering from hypertension and those who are not. Caffeine causes the large arteries to stiffen rendering the increase in blood pressure.
- Chocolate: Dietary chocolates have potential healthier effects. They may improve vascular functions and energy metabolism, reduce the higher arterial pressure and platelet aggregation and adhesion.
- Vegetables: The vegetables are rich sources of nutrients that maintain the arterial pressure. Almost all vegetables have healthy effects on pressure of arteries. The presence of anti-oxidants vitamins helps to reduce the higher arterial pressure.
- Fruits: All kinds of fruits are helpful in lowering the raised blood pressure. They also contain anti-oxidant vitamins so decrease the pressure of arteries.
- Baked Items: These should be avoided because of higher carbohydrate and oil content. They may increase the blood pressure.