How does blood pressure work, and how is it related to getting light headed?

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How does blood pressure work, and how is it related to getting light headed?

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Blood pressure is literally the pressure inside your blood vessels. It’s produced by your heart pumping blood: when your heart squeezes down, it produces a pulse of pressure, and when it relaxes the pressure drops (though not to zero). That pressure is what forces your blood through your blood vessels, causing it to circulate throughout your body.

Usually, blood pressure is quoted as two numbers, like 120/80. The top number is the pressure at the peak of a heartbeat; the bottom number is the lowest pressure in between heartbeats.

High blood pressure puts strain on the walls of the arteries (and can be caused by hardening in those arteries so they don’t give as much under pressure, so it’s a vicious cycle). Low blood pressure makes it hard for blood to reach the top of your body, since it’s working against gravity. That’s what makes you light-headed – a drop in the amount of blood reaching your brain.