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How To Read Blood Pressure Results

The Total Protein Test Measures How Much Of The Proteins Albumin And Globulin Are In Your Body

How to Read Your Own Blood Pressure

Understanding your blood test results when it comes to protein

  • The normal range for total protein is between 6 and 8.3 .
  • High protein could mean inflammation or infections, such as viral hepatitis B or C, or HIV. It can also be an indicator of bone marrow disorders.
  • Low protein could indicate bleeding, liver disorder, kidney disorder, malnutrition, or inflammatory conditions.

Bet you didnt even think you could have higher or lower levels of protein. Now, you know what it means when you dont get enough or have too much.

Healthy And Unhealthy Blood Pressure Ranges

Learn whats considered normal, as recommended by the American Heart Association.

Blood Pressure Chart


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:

What Is The Importance Of Blood Pressure Readings

The heart pumps blood through the arteries to every area of the body. The force of the blood pumping through the arteries is called blood pressure. Typically, healthcare providers use a digital blood pressure monitor or a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure. The unit used to measure blood pressure is millimeters of mercury . Readings consist of two sums: systolic and diastolic. Healthcare providers monitor blood pressure levels to ensure pressure levels are not too high.

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When And Where To Get Your Blood Pressure Tested

You should have a blood pressure test if you’re worried about your blood pressure at any time.

If you’re over 40, you can have this test done as part of an NHS Health Check, which is offered to adults in England aged 40 to 74 every 5 years.

If you have been diagnosed with high or low blood pressure, or you have a high risk of developing either, you may need more frequent checks of your blood pressure.

You can get your blood pressure tested at a number of places, including:

  • your local GP surgery
  • some workplaces

When Should You Get Help For An Abnormal Blood Pressure Reading

Making Sense of Blood Pressure Readings

One high or low blood pressure reading by itself may not mean you need to call for help. If you take your blood pressure and it is out of the normal range, wait a few minutes and take it again. If it’s still high or low, use the following guidance.

911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out .

or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your blood pressure is much higher than normal .
  • You think high blood pressure is causing symptoms such as:
  • Severe headache.

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When To See A Doctor

Concerning changes in blood pressure does not always produce symptoms, so any time you experience changes to your health, check in with your healthcare provider.

Headaches or feeling a pulsing sensation in your head or throughout your body may be indicative of high blood pressure.

On the other hand, feeling lightheaded or dizzy or passing out may be signs of low blood pressure.

If you monitor your blood pressure at home or get it checked at a pharmacy, check in with your doctor if your levels are elevated more than once in a short period of time.

And if you have a family history of high blood pressure, having your doctor regularly assess your blood pressure can be a proactive way to support good health.

How To Take Your Blood Pressure At Home

What you do beforehand can affect your blood pressure readings. Your blood pressure may be high due to:

  • Stress.
  • Caffeine.
  • Certain medications like decongestants and anti-inflammatories.

You can manually check your blood pressure at home or use an automated blood pressure machine that calculates your reading for you.

An automated blood pressure machine may be ideal for most since it only requires one person to use it, provides accurate readings and is easy to use. You can find affordable blood pressure machines online and at most grocery stores or local pharmacies.

To take your blood pressure manually, youll need a blood pressure cuff with a squeezable balloon and a stethoscope.

Whatever method you use, before you take your blood pressure find a quiet place and sit still for about 5 minutes.

Make sure you havent exercised or had caffeine or any kind of stimulant for about half an hour prior to checking your blood pressure, says Dr. Distel.

Sit at a table with both of your feet on the ground, legs uncrossed. Sit in a chair with back support so that you can lean back and relax. Place your arms up on the table so theyre at chest height.

Check that you have the right size cuff, too. You dont want one too big or too small. Then, roll up the sleeve on your left arm or remove any tight-sleeved clothing, if needed.

How to take your blood pressure with a machine

  • Turn the machine on. Press the power button and wait until the monitor is ready.
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    What Are The Different Types Of High Blood Pressure

    There are two main types of high blood pressure: primary and secondary high blood pressure.:

    • Primary, or essential, high blood pressure is the most common type of high blood pressure. For most people who get this kind of blood pressure, it develops over time as you get older.
    • Secondary high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or use of certain medicines. It usually gets better after you treat that condition or stop taking the medicines that are causing it.

    Recommended Blood Pressure Monitors

    Taking a Blood Pressure Reading Do’s and Don’ts


    Williams B, Giuseppe M, Spiering W, et al. . 2018 ESC/ESH Guidelines for the management of arterial hypertension. Journal of Hypertension, 36. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000001940

    Bupa . High blood pressure. Retrieved from

    Blood Pressure Association . Blood pressure chart. Retrieved from

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    Red Cell Distribution Width

    With this test, we get an idea of the shape and size of red blood cells. In this case, width refers to a measurement of distribution, not the size of the cells. Liver disease, anemia, nutritional deficiencies, and a number of health conditions could cause high or low RDW results.

    Normal range: 11% to 15%

    Getting The Most From Your Blood Test Results

    There are quite a few more tests available, but the ones included here are among the most common.

    To get accurate readings, be sure to follow your doctors instructions in preparing for tests. You may, for example, be asked not to eat and to drink only water for anywhere from a few hours to 12 hours beforehand.

    Please follow these instructions, or your results may be skewed, requiring additional tests or even unnecessary medications.

    If you dont understand something in your results, remember its okay to ask questions. Doctors are busy people, but you are entitled to the information. If your doctor cant provide it, ask the nurse or physicians assistant for help.

    Knowing where you stand with these important parameters is essential for being proactive and owning your own health.We hope you find this guide handy and helpful the next time your doctor orders a blood panel.

    Take good care.

    Disclaimer: Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

    Feb 23, 2021Originally Published: August 20, 2012

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    Heart Attack And Heart Disease

    High blood pressure can damage your arteries by making them less elastic, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart and leads to heart disease. In addition, decreased blood flow to the heart can cause:

    • Chest pain, also called angina.
    • Heart attack, which happens when the blood supply to your heart is blocked and heart muscle begins to die without enough oxygen. The longer the blood flow is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart.
    • Heart failure, a condition that means your heart cant pump enough blood and oxygen to your other organs.

    How Can Internists In Raleigh Help With High Blood Pressure

    How to Read Your Blood Pressure Results

    At Raleigh Medical Group we specialize in treating chronic diseases like high blood pressure, and internists are in a unique position to help you. Internists are doctors who specialize in internal medicine. This specialty looks at the overall functioning of your body and how a problem in one area can affect your overall health. Our internists are also experts at treating patients who have multiple chronic diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, allergies and high cholesterol.

    Are you interested in more information on high blood pressure? Check out our previous blog post on Five Complications of High Blood Pressure.

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    What Is Normal Blood Pressure

    A normal blood pressure reading indicates that the heart and blood vessels are not working too hard pushing blood and that the blood is not exerting too much pressure on the walls of the vessels, says Aseem Desai, M.D., a cardiologist at Providence Mission Hospital in Southern California. Recent data from the American Heart Association suggests the optimal normal reading for adults over 20 is lower than 120/80 mmHgVirani S, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics 2021 update . American Heart Association Journal. 2021 143:e254-e743. .

    Dr. Desai notes blood pressure can vary depending on a persons age, gender, race and ethnicity, but it should still fall within the general normal range. While numbers lower than 120/80 are generally considered normal, Dr. Desai adds, The target blood pressure for treatment varies depending on age and associated co-morbidities .

    What Do The Numbers On Your Blood Pressure Mean

    Raleigh Medical Group, P.A.Blood Pressure, General Posts, Heart Disease, Heart Monitor, Men’s Health, Women’s Healthheart disease, high blood pressure, men’s health, women’s health

    While one in three Americans has high blood pressure, only 54% are effectively treating their condition. Complications from high blood pressure contribute to 1,000 deaths a day, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The disease is often called the silent killer because it doesnt show any obvious symptoms. However, failure to receive treatment will place you at higher risk for strokes, heart damage and kidney damage.

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    What Is Low Blood Pressure

    While hypertension can be problematic for your overall health, blood pressure thats too low can also be cause for concern. With that said, the American Heart Association doesnt recognize a specific day-to-day blood pressure reading as too low. Instead, its a matter of what symptoms you may be experiencing due to low blood pressure, how these symptoms affect you and how long they persist.

    The Calcium Test Measures The Amount Of Calcium In Your Body That Is Not Stored In Your Bones

    Taking a Blood Pressure Reading with the Welch Allyn Connex® Vital Signs Monitor
    • The normal range for calcium levels is 8.8-10.4 .
    • High calcium might be caused by long term bed rest after a broken bone, hyperparathyroidism, cancer, Pagets disease, and tuberculosis.
    • Low calcium might occur from a low level of the blood protein albumin, hypoparathyroidism, high levels of phosphate in the blood, rickets, and malnutrition from celiac disease, pancreatitis, and alcoholism.

    Calcium isnt just about having strong bones, although that IS an important part!

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    How Does Your Circulatory System Work

    Your circulatory system is an amazing, complicated and efficient way your body delivers oxygen and nutrients to every part of your body. Following is a simplified version of how it works.

    Your heart consists of four chambers: the left and right atrium and the left and right ventricle . When the heart relaxes, blood flows from the atria to the ventricles. Then the ventricles pump, sending oxygen-rich blood to the arteries.

    The arteries send blood throughout your bodys network of capillaries, where it releases nutrients. The blood then gathers carbon dioxide and returns to the heart through the veins where the process starts over again.

    At The Doctors Office

    When blood pressure is taken at the doctors office, its typically done as part of the intake portion of an appointment.

    Youll be asked to sit still with your legs uncrossed.

    A nurse or medical assistant may ask you to remove a long sleeve so that your arm is bare.

    They will place a cuff snugly around your upper arm.

    Then theyll manually or electronically inflate the cuff.

    This will cause blood to momentarily stop flowing through the artery.

    You should feel a gentle squeeze but no pain.

    Then the cuff will slowly deflate, allowing blood flow to return to normal.

    The entire time, either the nurse or a machine will monitor your blood pressure.

    Systolic blood pressure is recorded at the first time that blood pulsing is heard when the cuff is inflated.

    Diastolic blood pressure is recorded as cuff deflates, once all sound of pulsing blood disappears.

    If a blood pressure reading appears to be too low or too high, your healthcare provider may wait a few minutes before taking it again.

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    What Is The Difference Between Systolic And Diastolic Readings

    In blood pressure readings, the systolic value is first, and the diastolic reading is second. The systolic reading is always higher than the diastolic value. Systolic refers to the blood released from the heart with every heartbeat. When the heart rests and fills with oxygen and blood, this is the diastolic reading.

    What Do The Numbers Mean

    How to Read and Understand Your Blood Pressure Results

    When a healthcare professional takes your blood pressure, its expressed as a measurement with two numbers, one number on top and one on the bottom , like a fraction. For example, 120/80 mm Hg.

    Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury. Thats what the mm/Hg stands for. Heres what the numbers mean:

    • Your systolic pressure is the pressure of the blood in your arteries when your heart contracts or beats.
    • Your diastolic pressure is the pressure of the blood in your arteries between beats, when your heart relaxes.

    Both numbers are important in determining the state of your heart health.

    Numbers greater than the ideal range may be a sign that your heart is working too hard to pump blood to the rest of your body.

    For a normal reading, your blood pressure needs to show:

    • a systolic pressure thats above 90 mm Hg and less than 120 mm Hg, and
    • a diastolic pressure thats between 60 mm Hg and less than 80 mm Hg

    The American Heart Association considers blood pressure to be within the normal range when both your systolic and diastolic numbers are in these ranges.

    If youre in the normal range, no medical intervention is needed. However, its important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and moderate weight to help prevent high blood pressure from developing.

    You may need to be even more mindful of your lifestyle if high blood pressure runs in your family.

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    Why Your Doctor Tests Your Blood

    Blood tests, sometimes called blood panels, are one of a physicians most basic tools. Not that long ago, doctors diagnosed patients through observation and the patients answers to questions.

    Today, we have a wide range of testing options to choose from, with blood tests being among the most basic.

    During a physical examination, your doctor will often draw blood for chemistry and complete blood count tests as well as a lipid profile, which measures cholesterol and related elements.

    Blood tests use the metric measurement system and abbreviations such as the following:

    one-trillionth of a gram

    What Is A Normal Blood Pressure Reading

    Do you know what your blood pressure reading should be?

    Blood pressure is the force at which your heart pumps blood around the body and is recorded with 2 numbers. The higher of the numbers is an indication of when the heart is pumping the lower number is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels. Its widely publicised that high and low blood pressure can induce health problems, but what about healthy blood pressure?

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    Heart Rate Vs Blood Pressure

    Blood pressure measures the force that moves blood through your blood vessels while your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. They are both important health indicators, but they are measured independently and dont necessarily increase or decrease synchronously.

    A temporary increase in heart rate, such as during exercise, is not considered problematic. In fact, your heart is expected to rise during a bout of activity and return to its resting rate afterward. And the more intense you work, the more you should expect your heart rate to rise during exercise. Your heart rate can safely double during activity so long as it returns to its resting rate relatively soon after you finish your workout.

    Significant increases in blood pressure, on the other hand, are not normal and should be monitored and shared with your health care provider.

    How To Take Blood Pressure At Home

    How Blood Pressure Readings Work

    It is important to follow certain steps to get accurate readings when you measure blood pressure at home. Otherwise, the blood pressure reading you get may be higher or lower than the true value:

    • Sit comfortably for at several minutes before taking your blood pressure.
    • Place the cuff around your arm touching the skin, not over clothes.
    • Have the arm with the cuff resting at chest level on a table.
    • Uncross your legs and have your feet flat on the floor.
    • Be still and do not talk while the machine is measuring your blood pressure.

    If you are using Lark and an associated device, your measurement should sync automatically. Otherwise, write down or enter your measurement immediately so you do not forget.

    It is best to measure blood pressure after using the restroom and at least 30 minutes after exercising, eating, taking caffeine, drinking alcohol, or using tobacco.

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