Hypertension and High Blood Pressure: Too Low is Not Good Either

When the relationship between high blood pressure, or hypertension, and serious health risks was first discovered, there was a push to lower blood pressure in the medical industry. Sometimes, this push was based on the premise that the lower you get a persons blood pressure, the healthier they will be. However, just like having too high of a blood pressure can cause a number of health problems, so can having too low of a blood pressure.

In the past, even only 60 years ago, many doctors felt that high blood pressure was natural and should not be addressed, instead looking as it as a normal part of aging. In some regards this is true, as it is natural for a persons blood pressure to rise as they grow older, usually caused by the hardening of blood vessels.

Blood pressure is the pressure that is being exerted on the walls of the blood vessels that run throughout the body. When the heart beats, it send blood shooting throughout the body, with the walls of the vessels expanding and contracting to help reduce the amount of work on the heart. As the walls of the blood vessels grow harder and less flexible, often due to things like smoking, obesity, alcohol, and lack of exercise, they are not able to expand or contract as much, causing blood pressure to rise.

While many old medical books and doctors advocated not addressing rising blood pressure, some doctors soon started bucking the trend, as it were, and started researching ways of lowering blood pressure, as well as what effect this had on the body. They soon found that by lowering a persons blood pressure, they could reduce the risk of a stroke or heart disease, as well as helping people to live longer.

Today, of course, it is well known that lowering a persons blood pressure is very important to maintaining a healthy body, but in some ways we have come full circle. Where once doctors believed that high blood pressure should not be addressed, some still believe that the lower they can make someones blood pressure the healthier they will be. In truth, both of these approaches can be very dangerous and lead to complications that are often quite similar.

The most common symptoms caused by low blood pressure are lightheartedness, blurry vision, a confused mental state, and fainting. Further, in those who have heart disease or other coronary problems, such as clogged arteries, a very low blood pressure can interfere with the way the heart pushes blood throughout the body.

In a study at Roosevelt Hospital, it was found that while lowering blood pressure was generally a good thing for those with hypertension, lowering it too much, actually increased the risk of heart attacks.

Ultimately, having too high of blood pressure is likely a bigger risk factor that affects more people than having too low of blood pressure, but it is important to realize that there is a limit where the benefits of going low are outweighed by the risks.

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