Dr Stuart joined Leah to tell us everything we need to about blood pressure.
Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in your circulatory system. “The lower your blood pressure, the better. However, if it drops to zero that’s not a good thing. So we want to keep it low for as long as possible.” When a doctor takes your blood pressure they will give you two numbers. “That’s to do with the fact that the heart is just a squeezy pump. The higher number is when the heart is squeezing. In other words, it’s the highest pressure. The lower number is when the heart is at its most relaxed, and that’s the lowest pressure.“
There are some exceptions but generally, the highest number should be between 120 and 140. The lower number should be between 65-90.
High blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes and problems in the blood vessels. “The body does not like sitting with that high blood pressure. The kidneys in particular are not a fan, and you’ll start to damage them. The blood vessels don’t enjoy it, the heart doesn’t enjoy it and you are at risk of having strokes and other things.”
Low blood pressure is less concerning and can make you feel lightheaded or weak. “There are several reasons why that can happen. Sometimes it’s because we’ve given you some medicine, which is doing it for other reasons. Maybe you’re not well hydrated, or you’ve not been eating properly. Low blood pressure can cause problems, particularly for elderly patients who are at risk of falls. But if you suffer from low blood pressure, it’s something to get investigated by your GP.”