What affects blood pressure?

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besure77's profile pic

besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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There are numerous things that affect blood pressure. Some are completely normal while others need prompt medical attention.

  1. When you are awake your blood pressure is higher and when you are sleeping it is lower.
  2. Blood pressure is also affected by the position of your body. If you are lying down then blood pressure will be lower.
  3. The same goes for your current emotional state. If you are upset or anxious your blood pressure will be higher.
  4. Blood pressure will also increase if you are cold.
  5. People also tend to get nervous when they are in a medical setting. When their blood pressure increases due to this it is called White Coat Hypertension.
  6. Smoking, caffeine, and alcohol can all increase blood pressure.
  7. Certain medications may lower or raise blood pressure.
  8. Various medical conditions can alter blood pressure as well.
dano7744's profile pic

dano7744 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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The regulation of blood pressure is multifactorial.

1.Intravascular fluid volume plays a large role, the larger the amount of fluid in the vasculer space-the higher the BP will be. The lower the amount of fluid in the IVS-the lower the BP will be.

2. The renal system plays a huge role, when the kidneys are functioning optimally, BP is normotensive. If the kidneys are functioning less than optimally, the higher the BP will be.

3. Cardiovascular tone- people with good physical fitness have lower BP's, poor physical fitness yields a higher BP.

4. Lipid levels- the higher the cholesterol level-the higher the BP.

5. Sympathetic control- when the sympathetic nervous system is activated the BP rises, due to increased levels of circulating epinephrine. The parasympathetic nervous system lowers the BP.

6. Viscosity of blood- the thicker the blood-the higher the BP.

7. Strength of contractility- the more forceful the heartbeat-the higher the BP.

8. Peripheral vascular resistance-anything that causes the size of the lumen of the arteries to get smaller-raises the BP.

anthonda49's profile pic

anthonda49 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Many things affect blood pressure. A family can have a genetic trait of high blood pressure. Being overweight affects blood pressure as does exercise or the lack of it. Emotions can cause blood pressure to soar or drop dangerously. Diet has been linked to a raised blood pressure, especially if the person uses a lot of salt. Even a person's personality can affect blood pressure. A Type A personality is one that a high strung individual would have since they are less laid-back than a Type B personality..

Most of these, except for the genetic predisposition, can be dealt with rather easily. Maintain the suggested weight for your height and bone structure. Get 20-30 minutes of exercise a day, especially aerobic exercise which raises the heart rate. Avoid too much salt in your diet.

kapokkid's profile pic

kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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There are many different things that can affect blood pressure.  If one is worried about high blood pressure, things that can have a detrimental effect on it can be:

  • smoking
  • being overweight or obese
  • lack of exercise or physical activity
  • high salt diet
  • stress at work or at home
  • heavy alcohol consumption
  • genetics

There is another type of problem with blood pressure called hypertension but the underlying causes of this are not well understood.  It appears to be linked to diet and lifestyle like the other factors.

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