Blood pressure is crucial to measure and be aware of to continue to live a long and happy life. Known as hypertension and hypotension, high blood pressure and low blood pressure are severe medical conditions that can dramatically affect your health.
We'll learn how Atlanta urgent care doctors can help patients treat hypertension and hypotension.
Hypertension Vs. Hypotension: What's The Difference?
Patients must know the difference between hypotension and hypertension. Here are some basic facts and key symptoms to be aware of if you suffer from these conditions.
But before, let's examine systolic blood pressure, the chief way of detecting any cardiovascular problems on the horizon.
What Is Systolic Blood Pressure?
Systolic blood pressure is the higher number in a blood pressure reading. It represents the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and pumps blood.
For example, a blood pressure reading of 120/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) would have a systolic blood pressure of 120.
The normal range for systolic blood pressure is typically considered to be 90-119 mm Hg.
It's important to note that blood pressure can vary throughout the day and may be affected by factors such as activity level, stress, and medications.
Diastolic Blood Pressure
Diastolic blood pressure is the lower number in a blood pressure reading. Diastolic blood pressure represents the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats when the heart is at rest.
For example, a blood pressure reading of 120/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) would have a diastolic blood pressure of 80.
The normal range for diastolic blood pressure is typically 60-79 mm Hg.
Hypertension: What To Know
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is consistently too high.
It is a common condition that can lead to serious health problems if left untreated, such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
Hypertension is typically defined as having a systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) of 140 or higher. Or they could have a diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number in a blood pressure reading) of 90 or higher, or both.
Having your blood pressure checked regularly and working with your healthcare provider to manage it if it is high is essential.
Known as the "silent killer," since it usually has no symptoms, people may not be aware that they have it.
However, in some cases, people with hypertension may experience the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Blood in the urine
Hypotension: The Facts
Hypotension is low blood pressure.
Hypotension is generally defined as a blood pressure reading below 90/60 mm Hg.
However, it is essential to note that normal blood pressure can vary from individual to individual. And what is considered low for one person may not be low for another.
Hypotension, or low blood pressure, can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fainting or feeling faint
- Lack of concentration
- Blurred vision
- Rapid, shallow breathing
If you experience any of these symptoms, and they are severe or persist, you should see a doctor or urgent care provider in Atlanta.
It's important to note that some people may not experience any symptoms at all with hypotension.
The Causes Of High Blood Pressure And Low Blood Pressure
There are causes of high blood pressure and low blood pressure.
Causes of hypertension:
- Being overweight or obese
- Lack of physical activity
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Family history of high blood pressure
- Chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and sleep apnea
- Certain medications, such as birth control pills and decongestants
Causes of hypotension:
- Low blood volume
- Heart problems
- Endocrine disorders, such as an underactive thyroid
- Certain medications, such as blood pressure medications, antidepressants, and medications used to treat Parkinson's disease
- Sudden blood loss
- Severe infection
It's important to note that in some cases, the cause of high or low blood pressure may not be known. It's always good to speak with a healthcare professional like an Atlanta urgent care doctor to determine the cause of any changes in blood pressure.
Risk Factors Of Hypertension and Hypotension
There are several risk factors for developing hypertension and hypotension.
Risk factors for hypertension:
- Age: As we age, the risk of developing high blood pressure increases.
- Gender: Men are more likely to develop high blood pressure than women.
- Family history: If you have a family history of high blood pressure, you may be at an increased risk.
- Race: African Americans are more likely to develop high blood pressure than other racial groups.
- Lifestyle factors: Being overweight, having a high-sodium diet, not getting enough physical activity, and consuming excess alcohol can increase your risks of developing high blood pressure.
Risk factors for hypotension:
- Age: Again, the chances of developing low blood pressure increase with age.
- Gender: Women are more likely to develop low blood pressure than men.
- Medications: Some medications, such as blood pressure medications and diuretics, can cause low blood pressure.
- Medical conditions: Chronic conditions such as heart problems, diabetes, and an underactive thyroid can increase the risk of low blood pressure.
- Pregnancy: Low blood pressure is standard during pregnancy.
- Dehydration: Not getting enough fluids can cause blood pressure to drop.
How To Treat Hypertension Vs. Hypotension
Treatment for hypertension (high blood pressure) and hypotension (low blood pressure) may involve lifestyle changes, medications, or a combination of both.
- Weight loss and exercise: Losing weight and regular physical activity can help lower blood pressure.
- Dietary changes: Reducing salt intake, increasing potassium intake, and following a healthy eating plan, like the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.
- Medications: Several medications can lower blood pressure, including diuretics, beta-blockers, and ACE inhibitors.
- Stress management: Reducing stress through relaxation therapies, exercise, or counseling may help lower blood pressure.
- Increasing fluid and salt intake: Drinking fluids and increasing your intake of salty foods may help raise blood pressure.
- Medications: Your doctor may prescribe medications to raise your blood pressure, such as fludrocortisone or midodrine.
- Adjusting medications: If you are taking medicines that may be causing your blood pressure to drop, a doctor may adjust your dosage or switch you to a different medication.
Working with a healthcare professional to determine the best treatment plan for your situation is important.
Helping Regulate Blood Pressure At Atlanta Urgent Care WestsideMed
Atlanta urgent care doctors at WestsideMed can help you if you have a history of hypertension or hypotension. With comprehensive urgent care and primary care services in Atlanta available with no waits, you can address any symptoms or issues arising from both conditions.
At WestsideMed, you can receive an annual physical, EKG reading, and quick urgent care X-rays in Atlanta. For more information, get in contact with us today!