Blood Pressure


Blood pressure is the term given to the pressure of the blood that pushes against the walls of our arteries as it circulates around our bodies. The arteries transport blood from our hearts to the rest of the body and this pressure can fluctuate throughout the day. 

When our blood pressure is measured, the readings are based on two factors. Systolic blood pressure measures the pressure in the arteries as the heart beats and diastolic blood pressure looks at the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats. When you have your blood pressure measured it is done so in numbers. The top number represents the systolic measurement, and the bottom number measures the diastolic measurement. A normal blood pressure reading for an adult should be around 120/70.


Increased blood pressure levels are referred to as hypertension and can increase our risk for heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Lifestyle choices and health conditions such as obesity or diabetes can increase a person’s chances of developing high blood pressure.

There are seldom warning signs and so it is important to have your blood pressure checked frequently.

High blood pressure reduces the elasticity of the arteries causing damage that decreases oxygen and blood flow to the heart. It is also linked to a higher risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in later life.

High blood pressure can be reduced by incorporating healthy lifestyle habits such as: 

  • Regular Exercise
  • Reducing salt intake
  • Losing weight
  • Stress management
  • Stopping smoking
  • Eating a well-balanced diet


Low blood pressure is known as hypotension and is something that many people experience. It is not as dangerous to a person’s health as high blood pressure, but it can come with some debilitating and unpleasant effects.

General symptoms of low blood pressure include: 

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Clammy skin
  • Fainting
  • Low mood

Hypotension is usually diagnosed if your blood pressure is lower than 90/60.

Low blood pressure can be categorized as follows:

Orthostatic Hypotension

This is the most common type and is also known as postural hypotension which means that your blood pressure falls as you move and change positions. Moving from standing to sitting can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded.

Postprandial hypotension

This type of hypotension happens when people experience a drop in their blood pressure after they have eaten.

Neurally medicated hypotension

The nervous system, hormones, and organs are all involved in the delicate balance that regulates our blood pressure. Abnormal reflex interactions between the heart and brain can cause neurally mediated hypotension. This can be triggered by sitting for too long in one position or a traumatic experience that causes shock. This can happen during medical procedures like having blood drawn or having a dental procedure.

There is not much available in the form of medical treatment for low blood pressure but nourishing the adrenal glands can be helpful. There are also some natural remedies that help to increase the blood pressure to more normal levels.

Listen to my interview with Almarie du Preez from Radio Cape Pulpit on 19 January 2023 to learn more. Listen to my next interview on Thursday at 7.45am