CPR First Aid

Does Low Blood Pressure Cause Heart Attacks

Does Low Blood Pressure Cause Heart Attacks?

Many people have learned about the association between blood pressure and certain heart-related illnesses. This is why it is important to keep blood pressure at healthy levels, to not only avoid any heart conditions but many other symptoms as well.

For many, the common understanding is that high blood pressure can result in cardiac arrest. Can we say the same if the blood pressure is low?

Let’s find out whether low blood pressure causes heart attacks.

Why Blood Pressure is Important?

Prior to exploring the possible links between lower blood pressures and heart conditions, let’s first take a closer look at what blood pressure is and what it does for us.

Blood pressure is the force of blood flow through veins and arteries. The heart pumps the blood and creates this pressure. The higher the pressure, the greater the strain on your arteries and heart.

Over time, high blood pressure can damage your arteries, heart, and other organs in your body.

At the same time, lower pressure can similarly introduce a host of problems to a person.

What Does It Do For Us?

Our body needs blood to function. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to our cells, and removes waste products. The pressure created by the pumping of our heart is what moves the blood through our arteries to the rest of our body.

The Difference Between Heart Attacks and Strokes

Many people misconstrue cardiac arrests and strokes to be the same thing. While both are associated with problems in the blood flow within the body, they are not the same thing. 

Let’s learn more about both.

Heart Attack

Cardiac arrest occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a section of heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked.

It all starts with the arteries which are smooth linings that allow for blood and its nutrients to circulate throughout various parts of the body.

For higher pressures of blood or hypertension, the strong force damages these linings. The damage done here causes block ups from the debris called plaque. If blockages continue, blood fails to pass nutrients to parts of the body.

When this blockage stops blood, and oxygen along with it, from pumping into the heart, cardiac arrest occurs.

Strokes

A stroke happens when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. Similar to cardiac arrest, the restriction of blood flow is caused by blockages. At the same time, it can also be due to ruptured blood vessels in the brain area.

When that happens, part of the brain doesn’t get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so brain cells begin to die.

A Link Between Low Blood Pressure And Cardiac Arrest

As stated previously, high blood pressure is most commonly associated with cardiac arrest. This is particularly dangerous because when people have high pressure, it isn’t automatically fatal.

Instead, it works slowly, chipping away at a person’s health and introducing many dangerous conditions and symptoms. This has led doctors to want to battle hypertension fiercely.

However, scientists are now seeing evidence of lower pressures also contributing to cardiac arrest. A recent study showed that the overmedication of higher pressures – in an attempt to normalise and decrease blood pressure – also contributes to cardiac arrest.

Thus, the answer is yes. Lower blood pressures, in this case, caused by medications, can cause cardiac arrest.

Common Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest

While it is a relevant factor, blood pressure alone is not an accurate predictor of heart conditions.

It is best to be on the lookout for common symptoms of cardiac arrest, along with any drastic changes to one’s blood pressure.

Here are some of the more common symptoms.

Shortness of Breath

When a person experiences shortness of breath, it is often also associated with chest pain or discomfort. This is because the heart isn’t getting enough oxygenated blood, and so it begins to struggle.

As a result, the body’s reaction is to send out signals that something isn’t quite right – in this case, through the form of chest pain or discomfort.

Nausea/Vomiting

Another common symptom is nausea and vomiting. These usually come about as a result of stress on the heart. When the heart isn’t functioning properly, it can lead to a feeling of unease and sickness in the stomach.

Dizziness

This symptom usually comes on suddenly and without warning. It is often a sign that not enough blood is reaching the brain.

When this happens, it can cause a person to feel faint or dizzy. In more extreme cases, it can cause a loss of consciousness.

Fatigue

One of the more common symptoms, fatigue is often chalked up to busy lifestyles and demanding work schedules. However, if a person is constantly tired and lacking in energy – even after getting a full night’s sleep – it could be a sign that something isn’t quite right.

In particular, fatigue is often associated with anaemia. This is because anaemia occurs when there isn’t enough oxygen in the blood. As a result, the body – and the brain – doesn’t get the oxygen it needs to function properly, leading to feelings of exhaustion.

Heart Palpitations

Heart palpitations are often signs of an irregular heartbeat. When the heart isn’t beating properly, it can cause a person to feel as though their heart is skipping a beat, or pounding in their chest.

In some cases, it can also be accompanied by shortness of breath and chest pain.

Risk Factors That Contribute to Heart Conditions

At the same time, a person’s lifestyle choices also contribute greatly to heart problems. Many of them have to do with the choices we make each and every day, while others are predetermined by genetics.

Here is a list of some of the most common risk factors.

Smoking Cigarettes

This is perhaps one of the most well-known risk factors. Cigarette smoke contains harmful chemicals that damage the heart and blood vessels.

This damage then leads to an increased risk of cardiac arrest, strokes, and other cardiovascular problems.

High Cholesterol

Like high blood pressure, high cholesterol also contributes to the buildup of plaque in the arteries. This is because cholesterol is a fatty substance that sticks to the walls of the arteries.

Over time, this buildup can narrow or block the arteries, making it difficult for blood to flow through. This then increases the risk of cardiac arrest and strokes.

Diabetes

People with diabetes are also at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular problems. This is because diabetes damages the blood vessels, which in turn makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood.

As a result, people with diabetes are more likely to develop heart disease, strokes, and other cardiovascular problems.

Unhealthy Diets

An unhealthy diet is one that is high in saturated fats and cholesterol. Eating foods like this can contribute to the buildup of plaque in the arteries.

It can also lead to weight gain, which puts additional strain on the heart.

Lack of Exercise

People who don’t get enough exercise are also at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular problems. This is because exercise helps to keep the heart healthy and strong.

When the heart isn’t getting enough exercise, it can become weak and damaged, which then increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Family History

Finally, family history is another major risk factor. If someone has a family member who has had a heart attack or stroke, they are more likely to develop one as well.

This is because genetics plays a role in cardiovascular health. So if someone’s family has a history of heart disease, they are more likely to develop it themselves.

Balancing Blood Pressure

Whether afflicted with higher or low blood pressure, the truth is that they are both dangerous.

If these studies have taught us anything, it is that our smallest life choices can greatly affect people’s health. In addition, the precise balancing of blood pressure act between high and low shows how easy it is to fall into a pit of interconnected negative symptoms.

The best thing is always to keep blood pressure in normal ranges to avoid things like heart conditions altogether.

We all know this is easier said than done. That is why it is always best to stay prepared when things like cardiac arrest strike.

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