What causes Blood Pressure?

Blood Pressure is a funny thing. You want it. Having blood pressure is an indication that all is well with you. You still happen to be the identity that springs to your head when someone asks Рso what do you do? Doctor? Architect? Scientist? Prime Minister? Blood pressure does not offer differential treatment. Unless of course, you abuse yourself. In such cases, it can turn into either a raging torrent (high blood pressure) or even a trickle (low blood pressure). In both cases, you need to worry. Blood pressure is measured as systolic; the pressure when your heart is beating and diastolic; the pressure when your heart is resting in between beats.

Imagine you ate a salty bag of potato chips. The salt was more than your body likes. Salt binds water. The binding action means that the salt accumulated in your cells attracts more water into the cell making them swell. The excess salt and water now needs to be flushed out. Your blood pressure will rise, and with it, the toxins will be flushed out. The binding action of salt is why people with high blood pressure are asked to cut back on salt.

If you are in the middle of a crisis in your life, your body will create a surge of hormones to cope. This surge of hormones can temporarily increase blood pressure because your heart beats faster and your blood vessels narrow. If the stress persists, this can convert into long-term high blood pressure.

Low blood pressure can occur due to dehydration, fatigue, lack of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, etc.), medication or even an infection. Low blood pressure is equally dangerous and can result in strokes, heart attacks or kidney failure.

Not surprisingly the solutions are common to overall health and well-being. Living a stress-free life, eating a diet comprised of fruits, vegetables, healthy whole grains, nuts and seeds and lean meats.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.