How To Properly Interpret Blood Pressure Levels
Because blood pressure is different for every person, there are no specific limits except for excessively high blood pressure values for when it is advisable to see a doctor. However, if the levels rise excessively or the person has symptoms such as shortness of breath, sensations of pressure in the chest, dizziness, or nausea, they should seek medical attention immediately.
You May Like: Does Claritin D Raise Blood Pressure
Causes And Risk Factors Of High Blood Pressure
For most people, theres no single cause of high blood pressure. But we know some things can make you more at risk. These are called risk factors, and one of these is having diabetes.
High levels of sugar in your blood can lead to something called atherosclerosis. This is when theres a build-up of fatty material inside your blood vessels, narrowing them. The narrower the blood vessels, the more the pressure builds up.
The more stress your blood vessels are under, the harder it is to push blood around the important areas of your body. This means your feet, eyes and heart are seriously at risk.
There are other risk factors you cant do much about:
- your age
- a family history of high blood pressure
- if your ethnic background is African-Caribbean or Black African
And there are risk factors you do have control over:
- too much salt in your diet
- being overweight
- how you cope with stress
- drinking too much caffeine, such as coffee
If you make changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure. Were not saying its easy, but its vital you understand how you can do this. Theres lots of support to help you and achieve your goals.
Which Number Is Most Important
Both. Having a high number in either systolic or diastolic pressure can lead to a diagnosis of hypertension . However, systolic pressure tends to get more attention because high systolic blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50, and it can indicate major cardiac events.
Also note: Heart rate and blood pressure are not the same, and they can indicate different issues. The American Heart Association reports that blood pressure measures the force that blood moves through blood vessels, and heart rate measures the amount of times your heart beats per minute. Having a healthy heart rate does not necessarily mean your blood pressure is in a healthy range. Both measurements are important, but one does not replace the other.
You May Like: What Causes Change In Blood Pressure
Where Can I Learn How To Take My Blood Pressure Myself
In Germany and other countries, people with high blood pressure can attend patient education courses that teach a number of things, including how to measure your blood pressure. As part of specialized disease management programs for people who have narrow coronary arteries , statutory health insurers offer additional healthcare services. These include patient education about high blood pressure. Some doctors practices don’t offer these courses, though.
What Is The Ideal Blood Pressure
Blood pressure readings are calculated using one number over another: systolic blood pressure over diastolic. The blood pressure monitor shows measurements in millimetres of mercury, appearing as mmHg. Everyones blood pressure will be slightly different and you would need to discuss with a medical professional as to whats safe for you.
The normal blood pressure range for adults comes in between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg. This means that anything below 90/60mmHg mark constitutes low blood pressure , while anything above 140/90mmHg indicates high blood pressure as this is the threshold where a medical professional would actively monitor your blood pressure.
Knowing these numbers can help make you more aware of your health, and may help you to stay on top of your blood pressure
Don’t Miss: High Blood Pressure Shaking
Blood Pressure And Age
Although 120/80 is a good rule of thumb for adults age 20-40, its much too high for infants and adolescents and is often considered low for elderly adults.
40 is, in many ways, a very young age, but high blood pressure becomes more dangerous after this point. Starting as low as 115/75 mmHg, the risk of heart attack and stroke doubles for every 20-point jump in systolic blood pressure or every 10-point rise in diastolic blood pressure for adults aged 40-70.
Because blood pressure changes according to the time of day, your emotions and your activity level, its important to monitor it throughout the day, especially if youve been diagnosed with hypertension.
If you start to notice that your blood pressure is getting on the high side, consult a naturopath and nutritionist to change your lifestyle immediately. Instead of opting for quick-fix drugs, use home remedies that wont have undesired side-effects.
Monitor Your Blood Pressure
If anything, this study reinforces the need for men to be more diligent about maintaining a healthy level, says Dr. Huang. He suggests older men follow these basic guidelines:
Check your pressure every month and alert your doctor to changes. “If the upper number is repeatedly higher than 140, or the lower number higher than 90, let your doctor know,” he says.
Continue to take your medications as prescribed. “If you suffer from any side effects, talk with your doctor about changing the dosage or drug.”
Reduce your salt intake. “You do not have to go sodium-free, but be more aware of how much sodium is in the foods you eat,” he says. In general, try to keep your sodium intake below 2,000 milligrams a day. Foods that include the words “smoked,” “processed,” “instant,” or “cured” in the name or on the label are often quite high in sodium.
Continue to exercise or adopt some kind of workout routine. “Activity and weight loss can help lower and maintain a healthy blood pressure,” says Dr. Huang.
Don’t Miss: What Animal Has The Highest Blood Pressure
Healthy And Unhealthy Blood Pressure Ranges
Learn whats considered normal, as recommended by the American Heart Association.
|SYSTOLIC mm Hg||and/or||DIASTOLIC mm Hg|
|HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE STAGE 1||130 139|
|HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE STAGE 2||140 OR HIGHER|
|HYPERTENSIVE CRISIS||HIGHER THAN 180||and/or||HIGHER THAN 120|
Note: A diagnosis of high blood pressure must be confirmed with a medical professional. A doctor should also evaluate any unusually low blood pressure readings.
The five blood pressure ranges as recognized by the American Heart Association are:
Giraffe Animal With The Highest Blood Pressure
We have talked a lot about blood pressure and its extreme limits in humans, but what about other animals, especially mammals?
Well, giraffes have earned the title of having the highest blood pressure when it comes to terrestrial mammals. Under normal conditions, systolic blood pressure in giraffes is reportedly 300 mm Hg, along with systolic pressure of about 200 mm Hg. A giraffes blood pressure is higher than in humans because its bulky heart has to pump blood all the way up its 7 feet long neck and to its head.
Giraffes make rapid head movements to eat fodder and intimidate their predators. If their blood pressure drops, they can get dizzy and even lose consciousness.
Finally, all I can say is that optimum blood pressure is essential to life. If a person dies of shock, a fatal drop in blood pressure is the main culprit. This is because the drop in blood pressure means insufficient blood flow to vital organs such as the brain and kidneys. Likewise, when it exceeds dangerous levels, blood pressure can lead to the failure of these vital organs and the death of a person. Although we now know that some humans can survive BP as high as 300, you must see a doctor immediately if your BP crosses the 180 mark to avoid any further complications.
Test your knowledge about blood pressure
Can you answer three questions based on the article you just read?
You May Like: Does Vinegar Lower High Blood Pressure
How Is High Blood Pressure Treated
Treatment for hypertension depends on how high your blood pressure is, as well as your lifestyle and risk factors.
For elevated blood pressure, the goal is to keep your blood pressure from developing into clinical hypertension. No medications are necessary at this stage. Your doctor may recommend:
- losing weight if you have overweight or obesity
For stage 1 hypertension, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes as mentioned above, as well as:
- reducing your sodium intake
- finding healthy ways to manage your stress
- medication, if your blood pressure doesnt improve after 1 month of lifestyle changes
For stage 2 hypertension, the typical treatment, in addition to a healthier lifestyle, is medication. Your doctor may prescribe one or more of the following medications to help lower your blood pressure:
- ACE inhibitors to block substances that tighten blood vessels
- alpha blockers to help relax the arteries
- beta-blockers to decrease your heart rate and block substances that tighten blood vessels
- calcium channel blockers to relax blood vessels and decrease the work of your heart
- diuretics to decrease the amount of fluid in your body, including your blood vessels
A hypertensive crisis requires immediate treatment. Medications may be given orally or intravenously .
The most for a hypertensive crisis include:
- vasodilators, such as hydralazine, nitroglycerin, and nitroprusside
- beta-blockers, such as labetalol and esmolol
How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
To figure out your blood pressure rate, your health care provider takes blood pressure readings at different times. You need more than 1 reading because blood pressure changes depending on what you are doing and varies during the day. For example, your blood pressure can increase when you are nervous or in a hurry.
If your blood pressure is high while with your health care provider but normal otherwise, you may just be nervous. This effect is common. Even people already being treated for high blood pressure go through this.
What matters is what happens to your blood pressure outside your health care providers office. If you have high blood pressure, you should use a home blood pressure monitor. Ask your health care provider how to use the monitor correctly.
Also Check: Can Apple Watch Tell Your Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure: Should You Worry
You should be concerned if your blood pressure is going up, but remember that it’s possible to lower it with proper treatment and lifestyle changes.
Its a common condition, and it doesnt have any symptoms: About one out of three U.S. adults has high blood pressure, or hypertension. And nearly one out of three American adults has prehypertension blood pressure numbers that are higher than normal, but not yet in the high blood pressure range which raises the risk of developing high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease, so it’s a serious condition that we all must be more conscious of as we age. African-Americans in particular should pay careful attention to blood pressure: In one year, the overall death rate from high blood pressure was 40 percent for African-American females and 52 percent for African-American males more than for any other group.
When Does Blood Pressure Become High Blood Pressure?
According to guidelines followed by doctors, blood pressure is normal if it’s 120/80 or below. The range of 120/80 to 139/89, which was once classified as normal to high, is now considered to be prehypertensive.
How Can You Lower Your High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is a treatable condition. Most doctors recommend starting with these lifestyle changes to lower blood pressure:
- Reduce your stress levels
How Do You Handle Resistant High Blood Pressure?
What About Blood Pressure Thats Too Low
Low blood pressure is known as hypotension. In adults, a blood pressure reading of 90/60 mm Hg or below is often considered hypotension.
Hypotension can be dangerous because blood pressure thats too low doesnt supply your body and heart with enough oxygenated blood.
Some potential causes of hypotension can include:
- heart problems
You May Like: Mayo Clinic Blood Pressure
Complications Of High Blood Pressure
Untreated or poorly managed high blood pressure can cause serious and even life threatening issues. It can damage your blood vessels as well as your organs. The longer your hypertension goes untreated, the more it can damage your body and affect your health.
Potential complications of high blood pressure include:
Stroke And Brain Problems
High blood pressure can cause the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain to burst or be blocked, causing a stroke. Brain cells die during a stroke because they do not get enough oxygen. Stroke can cause serious disabilities in speech, movement, and other basic activities. A stroke can also kill you.
Having high blood pressure, especially in midlife, is linked to having poorer cognitive function and dementia later in life. Learn more about the link between high blood pressure and dementia from the National Institutes of Healths Mind Your Risks®external icon campaign.
Recommended Reading: Lower Bloodpressure
Regular Blood Pressure Checks For Over Over 40’s
The only way to find out whether you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Ask your GP when you are next due for yours to be checked.
Blood pressure checks are usually available on request at most GP surgeries and health clinics. Some surgeries have home monitoring devices available, which you may be able to use at the time of blood pressure medication start up or change. Many also have a policy of arranging regular checks for you.
Adults who are over 40 and have not been diagnosed with high blood pressure should have their blood pressure checked at least once every five years. However, your blood pressure should ideally be checked more frequently, particularly if you have any contributory risk factors.
Keep Track Of Your Blood Pressure
Remember, high blood pressure has no symptoms. So the only way to know if it’s high — or getting higher — is to check it regularly.
If you and your doctor decide you need medicine, it’s not a defeat. Lots of people get high blood pressure eventually. And it’s not an excuse to give up on healthy habits either. You’ll get the most benefit from your blood pressure drugs if you combine regular exercise, a good diet, and a healthy weight.
Recommended Reading: High Blood Pressure Mayo
Why Do I Need A Blood Pressure Chart
Older persons, those with a hereditary predisposition, heart problems, or systemic diseases are all especially prone to high blood pressure. A blood pressure chart helps a person to monitor their individual values, to identify abnormalities early on, and to treat unhealthy blood pressure values at an early stage.
Read Also: Do Onions Lower Blood Pressure
At What Point Should You Go To The Er For High Blood Pressure
Most of the common reasons for visits to the emergency room may be complications caused by hypertension . Usually, elevated blood pressure levels can cause great damage to our bodies. It can also lead to conditions that may become life-threatening.
The understanding of when to seek immediate health care can help you avoid delays in getting medical attention. This can also decrease your risk of developing severe complications caused by extremely high blood pressure.
Going by the research of the American Heart Association, whenever blood pressure levels increase severely and reach measurements of 180/110 or greater, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Subsequently, there are other warning signs associated with high blood pressure. These signs indicate you are having a hypertensive crisis and require emergency care. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Severe headaches which are followed by blurred vision and confusion
- Shortness of breath
- Severe anxiety
Missing to take blood pressure medication, or heart attack, stroke, kidney failure or an artery rupture may be the cause of a severe spike in your blood pressure.
Don’t Miss: Does Spicy Food Increase Blood Pressure
When To Check Blood Pressure
- If your blood pressure is normal , get it checked every year, or more often as your doctor suggests.
- If your blood pressure is elevated — a systolic blood pressure between 120 and 129 or diastolic blood pressure of less than 80 — your doctor will probably want to check it every 3-6 months. They will probably recommend lifestyle changes like more exercise and a better diet.
- If you have stage 1 hypertension — 130-139 over 89-90 — the doctor might suggest lifestyle changes and see you again in 3-6 months. Or they could tell you to make the changes and give you medication, then recheck your condition in a month. It depends on what other health conditions or risk factors you have.
- If you have stage 2 hypertension — 140/90 or higher — youâll likely get medication. You’ll also need to make lifestyle changes and see the doctor again in a month.
How Can I Treat High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is very treatable. Treatment includes medications and changes you can make in your everyday life. Changes you can make to lower your blood pressure include:
Eating less salt
In some cases, making these changes may be enough to lower your blood pressure. If your blood pressure remains high, you may need to start taking medication to bring it down.
How Do I Know If I Have High Blood Pressure
Theres only one way to know if you have high blood pressure: Have a doctor or other health professional measure it. Measuring your blood pressure is quick and painless.
Talk with your health care team about regularly measuring your blood pressure at home, also called self-measured blood pressure monitoring.
High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it usually has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not know they have it.