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What Does Diastolic Blood Pressure Measure

Digital Blood Pressure Monitors

How to Take a Blood Pressure Measurement (Systolic and Diastolic Sounds) Nursing Clinical Skill

Digital blood pressure monitors are often used on the wrist, but they can also be placed on the finger or upper arm and are activated simply by pressing a button. They read the blood pressure automatically based on variations in the volume of blood in the arteries. When taking blood pressure measurements on the wrist, it’s important to keep the hand level with the heart. Otherwise it can affect the readings.

Digital meters can sometimes be inaccurate and produce unreliable readings anyway especially in people with certain heart rhythm problems or arteries that have hardened due to arteriosclerosis.

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 Does The Systolic Blood Pressure Number Mean

When your heart beats, it squeezes and pushes blood through your arteries to the rest of your body. This force creates pressure on those blood vessels, and that’s your systolic blood pressure.

Hereâs how to understand your systolic blood pressure number:

  • Normal: Below 120
  • Stage 1 high blood pressure : 130-139
  • Stage 2 hypertension: 140 or more
  • Hypertensive crisis: 180 or more. Call 911.

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What Affects A Blood Pressure Reading

Many things can affect a blood pressure reading, including:

  • Nervousness about having your blood pressure taken. This is called white coat syndrome. As many as 1 in 3 people who have a high blood pressure reading at the doctors office may have normal blood pressure readings outside of it.1
  • What you ate, drank, or did before your reading. If you smoked, drank alcohol or caffeine, or exercised within 30 minutes of having your blood pressure measured, your reading might be higher.2
  • How you are sitting. Crossing your legs and letting your arm droop at your side rather than rest on a table at chest height can make your blood pressure go up.2

Its important to get an accurate blood pressure reading so that you have a clearer picture of your risk for heart disease and stroke.

A reading that says your blood pressure is lower than it actually is may give you a false sense of security about your health. A reading that says your blood pressure is higher than it actually is may lead to treatment you dont need.

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What Treatments Are Available For Patients With High Blood Pressure

Low Blood Pressure For Adults. Low blood pressure (hypotension ...

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Without treatment, you can have a transient ischemic attack or stroke, heart attack, enlarged heart, heart failure, peripheral vascular disease , aneurysms, kidney disease, and broken blood vessels in your eyes. Treatment includes making changes recommended by your healthcare provider.

Diet and lifestyle changes:

  • Reach and stay at your ideal body weight
  • Get regular exercise
  • Eat a well-balanced, heart-healthy diet that is low in salt, fat and cholesterol, and contains lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Your diet is an important part of blood pressure control. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension eating plan and limiting sodium help control blood pressure. Ask your doctor to refer you to a dietitian for a more personalized eating plan.
  • Having no more than two alcoholic drinks per day and no more than one drink per day for women and lighter-weight men. One drink is considered to be 12 ounces of beer or wine cooler, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
  • Control stress and anger.
  • Avoid all tobacco and nicotine products.
  • Other lifestyle changes, such as controlling lipid levels and managing other health conditions, such as diabetes.

Medications and follow-up care:

Your doctor may ask you to record your blood pressure at home. Follow your doctors instructions for recording your blood pressure.

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Which Blood Pressure Number Is More Important

Your healthcare provider can use the top or bottom number to diagnose you with high blood pressure. However, they usually focus more on the top number as a risk factor for heart disease if youre older than 50.

As you get older, the top blood pressure number rises because your arteries get stiff and collect plaque over time.

Causes Of Overall Low Blood Pressure

There are several common causes of overall hypotension, which would include a low diastolic number.

Medications

  • Overtreatment of high blood pressure. For some people, especially people over age 60, lowering systolic blood pressure below 120 may cause diastolic pressure to fall below 60.
  • Other medications. Many medications besides those for blood pressure can cause hypotension. They include:
  • drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction

Medical conditions

  • Heart problems. Heart valve problems, heart failure, and a very slow heart rate can lead to hypotension.
  • Dehydration. If you dont take in enough fluids, your blood pressure can fall dangerously low. This may happen if youre taking a diuretic and lose more fluids than you take in.

Treatment for low diastolic blood pressure largely depends on the type of hypotension. Your doctor will assess this closely to determine the appropriate treatment plan.

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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.

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What Is High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is blood pressure that is higher than normal. Your blood pressure changes throughout the day based on your activities. Having blood pressure measures consistently above normal may result in a diagnosis of high blood pressure .

The higher your blood pressure levels, the more risk you have for other health problems, such as heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

Your health care team can diagnose high blood pressure and make treatment decisions by reviewing your systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels and comparing them to levels found in certain guidelines.

The guidelines used to diagnose high blood pressure may differ from health care professional to health care professional:

  • Some health care professionals diagnose patients with high blood pressure if their blood pressure is consistently 140/90 mm Hg or higher.2 This limit is based on a guideline released in 2003, as seen in the table below.
  • Other health care professionals diagnose patients with high blood pressure if their blood pressure is consistently 130/80 mm Hg or higher.1 This limit is based on a guideline released in 2017, as seen in the table below.
systolic: 130 mm Hg or higherdiastolic: 80 mm Hg or higher

If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, talk with your health care team about your blood pressure levels and how these levels affect your treatment plan.

Low Systolic Blood Pressure

There is such a thing as too-low systolic pressure, however. When the reading is significantly below normal, it’s called hypotension. This can cause lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting. If low blood pressure is not treated, it may cause organs like the kidneys to start shutting down.

Systolic hypotension can happen if the amount of blood in your body becomes too low. For example, low blood pressure can happen when you are severely dehydrated or when you have major bleeding. In these cases, there just isn’t enough blood to push through the body.

Low blood pressure can also happen if the heart muscle is too weak to push blood normallyfor example if the heart muscle is damaged or if the arteries suddenly widen too much .

Sometimes, low blood pressure happens when you change positions suddenly. You may feel dizzy when you stand up because gravity is pulling blood down toward your feet. This is a common condition called orthostatic hypotension.

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What Does Diastolic Hypertension Mean

Having high diastolic blood pressure is a sign that your blood vessels have become less elastic, hardened, and scarred. Blood pressure is not a static reading as it tends to fluctuate throughout the day with the normal rate of diastolic blood pressure ranging between 60 to 80 mmHg.

Having flexible blood vessels allows your body to appropriately manage oscillations in blood pressure. However, when your blood vessels are rigid, the chances of vessel rupture or obstruction is more likely to occur.

Medicines For High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure
Why are different people given different medicines?

People respond differently to blood pressure medicines. A number of things can affect how you respond to each medicine, including your ethnic background, age and how much salt you eat. It can take some trial and error to find the medicine or combination of medicines that works best for you.

Younger, non-black people tend to respond slightly better to ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers. Older people and those of African or Caribbean origin tend to respond better to calcium-channel blockers and thiazide diuretics.

These will usually be the first medicines youre offered, aiming to keep the number of medicines needed to a minimum. Read more about finding the right medicines for you.

Should I be taking aspirin as well?

If you have high blood pressure, your doctor might recommend that you take aspirin if you are at a higher risk of heart attacks or strokes, for example, if you have had an ischaemic stroke caused by a blood clot or heart attack in the past. This is because aspirin thins your blood and prevents blood clots from forming.

Do not start taking aspirin regularly unless your doctor advsises you to because aspirinâs ability to prevent clots can raise the risk of bleeding from the stomach and intestines, it might also be linked to a higher risk of strokes caused by burst blood vessels.

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Which Number Matters More

The answer is both. Years ago, doctors focused more on the bottom number, but it is now understood that the top number is just as important.

Both numbers can define high blood pressure and the need for treatment, Baker said.

A normal reading is less than 120 over 80. Readings above that are now considered elevated or high. The new guidelines, which were announced last November and are based on years of data, now mean that many more Americans are categorized as having high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is not a disease by itself, but its a risk factor for things like heart attack, kidney failure, stroke and more, Baker said. The new guidelines dont necessarily mean that many more people have to be on medication. They just mean a very large number of people need to be aware they have elevated or high blood pressure and need to do something about it.

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How Do I Get An Accurate Blood Pressure Reading

Once youve chosen a validated blood pressure monitor that fits your needs, youll still need to take an accurate reading with it. The best way to learn is to bring it with you to your next doctors visit, so your doctor can show you how to use it correctly. In general, these are good things to keep in mind when measuring your blood pressure at home:

  • Sit in a chair with a firm back, keeping your back straight and your legs flat on the ground and uncrossed.

  • Rest for 5 minutes or more before measuring your blood pressure.

  • Keep your arm at heart level and on a flat surface such as a table.

  • Place the blood pressure cuff around your arm so that its touching your skin. Do not put the cuff over clothing.

  • Take two measurements at least 1 minute apart in the morning before taking medications, and take two measurements at least 1 minute apart in the evening before supper. Be sure to do this at the same times each day. Your doctor may also ask you to take additional measurements depending on your specific health concerns.

  • If youve been exercising and need a measurement of your normal blood pressure, rest for at least 30 minutes before taking your reading.

  • Do not smoke or drink caffeinated beverages like coffee, soda, or tea if youre planning to take a blood pressure reading in the next 30 minutes.

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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.

What Is A Healthy Blood Pressure

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When the heart is squeezing blood into the arteries, the pressure is high. When the heart is relaxed, the pressure is lower.

Your blood pressure is a measurement taken of the highest reading and the lowest reading . It is given as 2 figures highest over lowest or systolic over diastolic. Blood pressure is measured in mmHg, which refers to millimetres of mercury.

Your blood pressure varies from day to day, even moment to moment. Most doctors would say that a healthy blood pressure is higher than 90/60 mmHg but lower than about 140/90.

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What Is It Used For

A blood pressure measurement is most often used to diagnose high blood pressure.

Blood pressure that’s too low, known as hypotension, is much less common. But you may get tested for low blood pressure if you have certain symptoms. Unlike high blood pressure, low blood pressure usually causes symptoms. These include:

  • Weakness

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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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 dont offer these courses, though.

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Huawei Watch 2 For Blood Pressure

Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor

Huawei is the second on the list for the 7 smartwatches that can measure blood pressure. The Huawei Watch 2 provides a sleek design that is ideal for both style and functionality, making it one of the best smartwatches for women. Its case material is made of metal, plastic, and stainless steel.

In terms of health monitoring and other features, the Huawei Watch 2 has an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, barometer, blood pressure monitor, gyroscope, and heart rate monitor. This accessory has a fingerprint sensor and GPS. One of the best things about this device is water-resistance, making it ideal for water adventures.

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