20. But many people have blood pressure that is too high.
Some people have low blood pressure, also known as hypotension. While hypotension can be genetic, it can also be a sign that the person’s blood volume is too low, that the person is dehydrated, or that something has caused the person’s arteries to become dilated. Blood pressure can also go into a hypotensive range due to fasting and not eating enough salt. Unless there is a significant issue such as too little blood volume, hypotension is usually considered a “good” problem. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is not.
Many people experience high blood pressure, often as a result of poor lifestyle choices. One blood pressure reading is not enough to diagnose hypertension. After all, several factors – such as a temporarily elevated level of stress – can cause the reading to be higher than a person’s average blood pressure. As such, a doctor will usually measure blood pressure over a while to diagnose hypertension. The doctor may ask you if you feel incredibly stressed to determine if additional stress may elevate your blood pressure. He or she may have you sit down and do nothing for five minutes so that your heart rate and blood pressure are considered to be “resting,” and then take one measurement.