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What Are The Two Numbers In Blood Pressure

What Is A Healthy Pressure Range

Blood Pressure: How High is Too High and How Do I Lower it Safely?

Blood pressure measures the force your heart uses to pump blood around the body.

Blood pressure is recorded in millimetres of mercury its measured using two recorded numbers, the systolic and diastolic pressure.

The first number is the systolic pressure is the force that your heart pumps blood around the body.

The second number in your reading is the diastolic pressure.

This number shows the resistance to blood flow in the blood vessels.

Healthy blood pressure should sit between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.

If your readings sit above 120/80mmHg you could be at risk of high blood pressure.

Elevated blood pressure readings range from 120 to 129 systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic.

Brits with elevated blood pressure are at risk of developing high blood pressure without preventative steps, such as changing unhealthy lifestyle habits.

But blood pressure increases as you get older according to the medical website Thrombocyte so what is a healthy level for your age?

What The Blood Pressure Numbers Depend On

The blood pressure numbers at the time of the measurement are influenced by various factors 3. What does blood pressure numbers depend on?

Blood pressure numbers depend on the following:

  • The amount of blood the heart is pumping through the circulatory system.
  • The resistance of the arteries to blood flow.
  • Arterial stiffness.
  • Health, emotional state and activity.
  • Baroreceptors.

In the short term, blood pressure is regulated by baroreceptors which constantly monitor the body. Baroreceptors are special receptors that detect changes in blood pressure. They are found within the walls of the blood vessels.

What Causes High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure usually develops over time. It can happen because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as not getting enough regular physical activity. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes and having obesity, can also increase the risk for developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure can also happen during pregnancy.

You can manage your blood pressure to lower your risk for serious health problems that may affect your heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes.

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Does High Blood Pressure Have Any Symptoms

High blood pressure typically doesnt have any warning signs. Thats why its often called the silent killer. Because there may not be any symptoms, many people are unaware that they have high blood pressure.

However, early detection of hypertension is key as it can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, and more.

If your blood pressure is dangerously high, you may have the following symptoms:

But, its important to know about your high blood pressure and the health risks it poses before it gets to this stage.

The only way to know for sure if you have hypertension is to get your blood pressure measured. You can then work with your doctor to find the treatment options that work best for keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range.

Checking Blood Pressure At Home

New Blood Pressure Guidelines

Keeping track of blood pressure at home is important for many people, especially if you have high blood pressure. This helps you and your doctor find out if your treatment is working.

Your doctor may also suggest that you check your pressure at home if they think you may have “white coat hypertension.” It’s a real condition. The stress of being in a doctor’s office raises your blood pressure, but when you’re home, it’s normal.

Ask your doctor to recommend an easy-to-use home blood pressure monitor. Make sure the cuff fits properly. If your arm is too big for the cuff, the reading may be higher than your blood pressure really is. Ask your doctor for a larger cuff or make sure you buy a home monitor with a cuff that fits you.

You also can use a wrist blood pressure monitor, but they often aren’t as accurate. Follow the directions that come with the device to make sure you are using it correctly.

No matter which type of blood pressure monitor you have, it’s a good idea to take it to your doctor’s office. You can compare its reading to the numbers your doctor gets. Avoid caffeine, cigarettes, and exercise for at least 30 minutes before the test.

When you take your blood pressure at home, sit up straight in a chair and put both feet on the floor. Ask your doctor or nurse to show you the right way to position your arm so you get accurate readings.

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What You Can Do

Treatment varies depending on your numbers, family history and other factors, such as whether youve had a heart attack or stroke, or whether you suffer from diabetes or kidney disease.

But everyone with elevated readings can benefit from lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, reducing alcohol and quitting smoking.

Like all lifestyle treatments, it takes a real commitment, Baker said.

This hard work does pay off, as results are usually seen in two or three months.

Ive seen people focus on their lifestyle and within three months, they see a five to 10 point drop, Baker said. You can see pretty quick results.

This article first appeared in the Steamboat Pilot & Today on Feb. 5, 2018.

Salt Intake And High Blood Pressure

Reducing the amount of salt you eat can also help to manage or even avoid high blood pressure. To help reduce your salt intake:

  • Ensure your diet consists of wholefoods including vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, lean meat and poultry, fish and seafood, legumes, unsalted nuts and seeds.
  • Avoid packaged and processed foods that are high in salt. You cant see the salt in these foods, so you dont know how much salt you are having. Get into the habit of checking food labels.
  • Choose low-salt food where possible. If you cant find low-salt products, those with moderate amounts of salt are ok too. Another simple alternative is to look for labels with low salt, salt reduced or no added salt.
  • Avoid adding salt to cooking or at the table flavour meals with herbs and spices instead.

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Heart Rate And Exercise

In discussions about high blood pressure, you will often see heart rate mentioned in relation to exercise. Your target heart rate is based on age and can help you monitor the intensity of your exercise.

  • If you measure your heart rate before, during and after physical activity, youll notice it will increase over the course of the exercise.
  • The greater the intensity of the exercise, the more your heart rate will increase.
  • When you stop exercising, your heart rate does not immediately return to your normal heart rate.
  • The more fit you are, the sooner your heart rate will return to normal.

What Questions Should I Ask My Provider

Which Blood Pressure Reading is More Important, Systolic or Diastolic?
  • Are there supplements or non-prescription medicines that I shouldnt take?
  • Can I keep taking these medicines if I get pregnant?
  • What kinds of exercise should I do?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

If you dont treat high blood pressure, it can put you at risk for developing serious illnesses later in life such as heart attack, kidney failure and stroke. But if you follow your providers instructions, you can control your blood pressure. Be sure to take any medicines your provider ordered as instructed. Keep taking them even if your blood pressure numbers begin to fall into the normal range. Living a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy foods, watching your weight and getting regular exercise is also a great way to help control your blood pressure.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/21/2021.

References

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Low Blood Pressure Range

The prevalence of low blood pressure is unknown, but we know its a common condition that affects people worldwide. Normal blood pressure is defined as a systolic less than 120 and a diastolic less than 80, and low blood pressure is considered to be 90/60 or lower.

According to the American Heart Association, Within certain limits, the lower your blood pressure reading is, the better. There is also no specific number at which day-to-day blood pressure is considered too low, as long as none of the symptoms of trouble are present.

In other words, one person may have a low blood pressure of 85/55 and feel just fine, while another may have the same blood pressure and have symptoms. When one or more of these symptoms are involved, the persons low blood pressure can be dangerous. Low blood pressure can affect the body in many ways.

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Know Your Numbers: Blood Pressure

Knowing and understanding key heart numbers blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate, along with your family history allow you and your health care team to determine your risk for developing heart and cardiovascular disease. Knowing your risk is critical to preventing heart disease and for taking steps to improve your overall heart health.

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Types Of Low Blood Pressure

Identifying the cause of low blood pressure is important since sudden drops in blood pressure increase your risk of injury from falling, and severe hypotension can even be life-threatening.

  • Orthostatic, or postural, hypotension is more commonly seen in pregnant women and the elderly. It is a drop in blood pressure that occurs when you stand from a sitting position or after lying down.
  • Postprandial hypotension is a drop in blood pressure seen 1 to 2 hours after eating when blood is routed to the digestive track. If the body is unable to compensate, blood pressure drops causing dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Neurally mediated hypotension is an abrupt drop in blood pressure is caused by miscommunication between the brain and the heart. It can occur after a long period of standing, strenuous exercise, an emotional event, or exposure to extreme heat.
  • Severe hypotension due to shock is the most serious form of hypotension and is linked to extreme blood loss, severe dehydration, and other conditions that cause the blood pressure to drop so low that the brain and other organs may not get enough blood.

Two Numbers To Know During Heart Month: Blood Pressure

What Do Blood Pressure Readings Mean?

Feb 7, 2019 | Healthy Living, Raising Awareness

The Super Bowl and Valentines Day are big parts of February, but another important focus for this shortest month of the year outside of the cold weather is heart health.

Many things go into our cardiac health, but among the most important and easiest to keep an eye on is blood pressure.

A measure of your blood pressure is always part of an annual preventive exam. If you are due for a checkup, make an appointment this month. The more each of us know about our health, the better off we can be. Finding out your blood pressure is a great start.

We might know about high blood pressure, but we may not realize if ours has gotten too high. High blood pressure can lead to heart attack and stroke and its often called the silent killer. Regular, annual appointments with a health care provider help fight it.

Blood pressure is usually given as two numbers: systolic and diastolic. The top number measures the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats the diastolic measurement is pressure when your heart is at rest. Your BP can vary, so if you test high, your provider may want to check it multiple times or have you check it at home before settling on a treatment plan.

When your blood pressure is consistently high enough to put you at risk, you can work with your provider to get it under control. That might include the lifestyle changes mentioned above, plus a prescribed medication that can help.

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How Can I Be More Active

  • Check first with your healthcare provider before increasing your physical activity. Ask your provider what type and amount of exercise is right for you.
  • Choose aerobic activities such as walking, biking or swimming.
  • Start slowly and increase activity gradually. Aim for a regular routine of activity five times a week for 30 to 45 minutes each session.

What Can Cause A Short

It’s normal for blood pressure to go up and down throughout the day. Things like exercise, stress, and sleeping can affect your blood pressure. Some medicines can cause a spike in blood pressure, including certain asthma medicines and cold remedies.

A low blood pressure reading can be caused by many things, including some medicines, a severe allergic reaction, or an infection. Another cause is dehydration, which is when your body loses too much fluid.

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More Than Blood Pressure

The new guidelines have other changes, too. First, they dont offer different recommendations for people younger or older than age 65. This is because the SPRINT study looked at all patients regardless of age and didnt break down groups above or below a certain age, says Dr. Conlin.

The guidelines also redefined the various categories of hypertension. It eliminated the category of prehypertension, which had been defined as systolic blood pressure of 120 to 139 mm Hg or diastolic pressure of 80 to 89 mm Hg. Instead, people with those readings are now categorized as having either elevated pressure or Stage 1 hypertension .

A reading of 140/90 mm Hg or higher is considered Stage 2 hypertension, and anything higher than 180/120 mm Hg is hypertensive crisis.

Why Do I Need A Blood Pressure Test

Blood Pressure Measurement: How to Check Blood Pressure Manually

A blood pressure measurement is often included as part of a regular checkup. Adults 18 years and older should have their blood pressure measured at least once every two to five years. You should get tested every year if you have certain risk factors. You may be at higher risk if you:

  • Are 40 years old or older
  • Are overweight or have obesity
  • Are Black/African American. Black/African Americans have a higher rate of high blood pressure than other racial and ethnic groups

You may need this test if you have symptoms of low blood pressure.

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High Systolic Blood Pressure

The heart muscle pushes out blood with higher pressure when a person is exercising, under stress, or at any time when the heart rate is increased. The systolic pressure goes up with it.

In these cases, the increased pressure is normal. However, when the pressure is high while a person is resting, that is not normal and is considered high blood pressure.

Since your blood pressure can go up when you’re active, it’s important to take your blood pressure during periods of quiet rest to accurately diagnose high blood pressure .

High systolic blood pressure is usually caused by the narrowing of the arteries, which makes the heart have to work harder to push blood through them.

What Can Cause Blood Pressure To Go Up Or Down

It’s normal for blood pressure to go up and down throughout the day. Things like exercise, stress, and sleeping can affect your blood pressure. Some medicines can cause your blood pressure to go up. These medicines include certain asthma medicines and cold remedies.

A low blood pressure reading can be caused by many things, including some medicines, a severe allergic reaction, or an infection. Another cause is dehydration, which is when your body loses too much fluid.

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Preventing High Blood Pressure

To keep your blood pressure in the normal range, your daily habits are key. These things help:

Donât smoke. Among the many health problems that smoking causes, it raises your blood pressure.

Make physical activity a habit. Most experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five or more times a week. Or you could do a harder activity for a shorter period of time per session.

Eat right. Read food labels to see how much sodium is in a serving. Check with your doctor to find out what your daily limit should be. Include a lot of vegetables and fruits, along with whatever else you choose to put on your plate.

Stick to a healthy weight. Extra pounds raise your blood pressure. If youâre not sure what a healthy weight would be for you, ask your doctor.

Get enough sleep. For most adults, thatâs 7-8 hours of sleep per night, on a regular basis.

If you drink alcohol, limit it to no more than one drink a day if youâre a woman and up to two drinks a day if youâre a man.

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When To Check Blood Pressure

Learning to Take an Accurate Blood Pressure Reading
  • 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.

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