What is the Difference Between Hypertension and Hypotension?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 19 March 2019
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Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure, while hypotension is the word for low blood pressure. When it comes to medical issues like hypertension and hypotension, it is important to know that the two may be opposite, but they are both dangerous. Most people find out whether they have normal or abnormal blood pressure at regular doctor appointments, as both hypertension and hypotension are considered serious enough for most doctors to regularly check blood pressure. Unfortunately, some only find out after the issue has already caused either symptoms that are impossible to ignore, or serious medical conditions that are related to hyper and hypotension.

Many people suffer from hypertension, as their resting blood pressure is consistently higher than it should be. Unfortunately, most people do not find out about their hypertension for years because there are few definitive symptoms associated with it, especially in mild cases. Symptoms of accelerated hypertension include vision issues, fatigue, headaches, and vomiting, though only a minority of patients are diagnosed with this type, or experience any of these signs. Instead, hypertension can go undetected for years, often leading to stroke, heart failure, aneurism, or kidney failure. Even without these complications, having consistently high blood pressure can lead to shorter life expectancy.


On the other hand, hypotension carries lots of symptoms with it, which means that patients suffering from low blood pressure seem more likely to get treatment than those dealing with high blood pressure. Patients with hypotension usually complain of dizziness, headaches, chest pains, difficulty breathing, nausea, and a heart that beats rapidly. Though having symptoms may mean that patients with hypotension are likely to seek medical treatment, the unfortunate side is that most of the symptoms are caused by underlying issues rather than just low blood pressure. These include hemorrhage, anemia, congestive heart failure, sepsis, and other troublesome medical issues.

In most cases, both hypertension and hypotension can be treated when recognized, or even prevented in some cases. Hypertension can often be eliminated with weight loss, the addition of an exercise routine, and a low sodium diet. Medicine available for it includes ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, and diuretics, to name a few. Hypotension usually requires the doctor to address the underlying issue, but the use of steroids, certain medications, and control of the blood sugar can all help. While both hypertension and hypotension can become quite serious and should never be ignored, each issue is typically treatable when caught early.


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Post 2

My aunt has had congestive heart failure for at least 20 years, but she is still alive at 92. Low blood pressure goes along with heart failure. I've often wondered what has kept her alive for so long.

She does work hard at taking care of herself. She takes her blood pressure every morning and records it. She takes her medicine regularly - never misses a dose. She eats a healthy diet, and gets plenty of rest (she very weak so she can't help but rest). She does crossword puzzles and reads books every day. Regular trips to the doctor are part of her regimen. Other than these things, I can't figure out why she's lived so long!

Post 1

I think that it's pretty clear that if people went in for a yearly physical exam, they would at least get their blood pressure measured once a year. This would probably decrease the chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or aneurism.

If you have high blood pressure, it can usually be treated successfully. If you don't go to a doctor, you can get your blood pressure taken at many drug stores with a self-serve machine. Or if you go to any fire station, they will be glad to take it for you. This could save your life!

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