This quiz is designed to help you better understand what normal blood pressure levels are. We’ll also provide tips for how to get you there so you can take better care of your heart.
What Is Normal Blood Pressure?
Low blood pressure (hypotension) is indicative of your blood pressure dropping below the normal range. Healthcare providers generally define hypotension as 90/60 mmHg or below. A condition that occurs both temporarily and over a long period of time, there are four types of hypotension — orthostatic, post-prandial, severe, and neurally mediated hypotension.
High blood pressure (hypertension), meanwhile, is an excessive force of blood pushing against the vessel walls over a sustained duration. Stage 1 or mild hypertension is diagnosed as 130-139/80-89 mmHg. Stage 2 or moderate hypertension as 140/90 mmHg or higher, and a hypertensive crisis as 180/120 mmHg or higher. Hypertension can also be categorized as either primary or secondary in nature.
Do You Have Normal Blood Pressure?
Learning if you have hypotension or hypertension can help you determine steps you can take to manage the condition effectively. Let’s find out what your answers suggest.
If you answered mostly “A’s:” You may have hypotension
You potentially have hypotension. In Western medicine, the condition is often an indicator of other concerns. For example, dehydration, blood loss or infection, or heart disease or disorders. Pregnancy and intense emotions like fear and pain can also make you prone to hypotension.
Generally, you can relieve several symptoms of the condition by making a few lifestyle changes. Though, it’s worth noting that the steps you take depend on the type of hypotension you have. These include consuming foods high in vitamin B-12 and folate, lesser carbohydrates, eating small meals more frequently, and increasing your intake of water. Wearing compression stockings, focusing on your breathing before you change positions, and getting up slowly after sitting or lying down are also useful.
According to Eu Yan Sang Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) physician Vong U Chan, the condition relates to a blood and qi deficiency syndrome. Because of this, the blood that circulates in your vessels will be insufficient to push against the arterial walls. This will prevent your body from maintaining normal blood pressure. A lack of blood and qi also relates to disharmonies of the kidney, heart, and spleen.
For these reasons, physician Vong recommends the use of herbs that can warm the heart, nourish blood and qi, and tonify spleen and kidney yang. “In terms of TCM herbs, Codonopsis (Dangshen), astragalus root (Huangqi), and white Atractylodes rhizome (Baizhu) can tonify the spleen and boost qi. Chinese Angelica (Danggui), Rehmannia glutinosa (Shudi), and red sage (Danshen) can help to nourish blood and increase circulation,” explains physician Vong.
If you answered mostly “B’s:” You may have hypertension
You may be at high risk of hypertension. Clinically, certain factors can increase your risk of developing the condition. These are excessive weight gain, lack of exercise, or a family history of diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease.
Untreated hypertension can lead to more severe health issues like eye damage, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, or kidney failure. In some cases, pregnant women with hypertension can also experience pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia.
As such, you should eat low-calorie foods or foods that have less salt or fat. If you wish, you can add taste to your meals with flavoring, herbs, and spices. To treat hypertension, it’s also possible that a doctor will prescribe medications like Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), calcium channel blockers, and diuretics.
High Blood Pressure Explained, From A TCM Perspective
TCM perceives hypertension to be founded on a yin deficiency, yang hyperactivity in the superficiality, and phlegm-dampness and blood stasis penetrating all along. Heat syndrome, too — liver Fire, heart Fire, stomach Fire, and intestinal Fire — can be found during various stages of hypertension. You can also drink ginseng tea to help combat high blood pressure.
Gastrodia and Gambir Plant Decoction (Tianma Gouteng Yin) is suitable for addressing a yin deficiency and yang hyperactivity. You can use a decoction of Gentian Root for purging liver Fire (Longdan Xie Gan Tang) to calm liver Fire.
Gardenia and Prepared Soybean Decoction (Zhi Zi Dou Chi Tang) helps with heart Fire. You can put out stomach Fire with a White Tiger Decoction (Bai Hu Tang, which contains prepared licorice root, Anemarrhena rhizomes, gypsum, and non-glutinous japonica rice). Meanwhile, you can treat intestinal Fire with Major Bupleurum Decoction (Da Chai Hu Tang).
Recognizing the signs of low and high blood pressure will go a long way in helping you live a normal life. Do also seek a detailed diagnosis that ascertains that you’re experiencing either condition. If you’re considering TCM medication for either condition, speak to a licensed practitioner beforehand. If this quiz has helped you discover if you have either problem, pass it on to your loved ones!
- Cleveland Clinic. Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension).
- Cleveland Clinic. High Blood Pressure (Hypertension).
- Hindawi. 2011. Control Strategy on Hypertension in Chinese Medicine.
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These articles are so valuable in explaining many conditions and suggest other methods/approaches to treating/addressing the conditions. Most important to me, it gives me knowledge the most valuable gift one can receive. It gives me options with the information provided. It allows me to choose what path, just knowing what “other ” is out there, I do not feel alone in my battle.
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