Understanding The Highs And Lows Of Your Blood Pressure Reading
Blood pressure is a key indicator of how well the cardiovascular system is functioning and can signal many diseases and conditions.
It measures the pressure of blood flow to the vascular system. This is necessary for all the organs in the body to receive adequate nutrition and oxygen to function, said Navid Kazemi, MD, cardiologist and chair of MountainView Hospital Cardiac Services Department.
There is a healthy blood pressure range, and having too high or too low blood pressure can cause serious, long-term health consequences. Unfortunately, the importance of healthy blood pressure often is overlooked, and many people with poor blood pressure may not realize theyre at risk.
What Is Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood. When a health care professional measures your blood pressure, they use a blood pressure cuff around your arm that gradually tightens. The results are given in two numbers. The first number, called systolic blood pressure, is the pressure caused by your heart contracting and pushing out blood. The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, is the pressure when your heart relaxes and fills with blood.
A blood pressure reading is given as the systolic blood pressure number over the diastolic blood pressure number. Blood pressure levels are classified based on those two numbers.
- Low blood pressure, or hypotension, is systolic blood pressure lower than 90 or diastolic blood pressure lower than 60. If you have low blood pressure, you may feel lightheaded, weak, dizzy, or even faint. It can be caused by not getting enough fluids, blood loss, some medical conditions, or medications, including those prescribed for high blood pressure.
- Normal blood pressure for most adults is defined as a systolic pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80.
- Elevated blood pressure is defined as a systolic pressure between 120 and 129 with a diastolic pressure of less than 80.
- High blood pressure is defined as 130 or higher for the first number, or 80 or higher for the second number.
What’s The Difference Between Blood Pressure And Pulse
While your blood pressure is the force of your blood moving through your blood vessels, your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute.
- They are two separate measurements and indicators of health.
- For people with high blood pressure , theres no substitute for measuring blood pressure.
Read Also: Heart Attack Normal Blood Pressure
Hfl Blood Pressure Optimizer Clinically
Blood Pressure Optimizer is a doctor-formulated supplement that helps you maintain a better balance of energy and blood pressure levels in the body.
To deal with these issues, the products creator formulated the Blood Pressure Optimizer supplement, which is made up of five nutrients, a proprietary magnesium blend called MAGNA Max, and a Vegan Blend of six additional nutrients to promote heart health.Blood Pressure Optimizer is one of the best blood pressure supplements that contains all natural ingredients, allowing you to live a healthier life. The product can be used by adults of all ages to combat persistent infections and other inflammatory disorders.
Blood Pressure Optimizer is loaded with 13 nutrients, which can help to treat all hormone imbalances and high blood pressure levels in the body. Lets take a closer look at some of the main ingredients.
Vitamin B6 supplementation has been shown to lower blood pressure in adults in many clinical studies. Hence, its commonly prescribed for high blood pressure. Blood pressure is regulated and lowered, and it aids in blood sugar regulation and the prevention of Type 2 diabetes.
Magnesium is a crucial mineral that acts as a natural blood thinner, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. It also helps to enhance blood flow and reduce blood pressure.
Synergy Optimizer Blend
High Blood Pressure Symptoms
High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because it typically has no symptoms. In fact, most people dont even realize they have hypertension until their blood pressure is monitored.
Symptoms dont develop until the numbers get very high and organs get damaged, often irreversibly, says Dr. Desai.
If you have severe hypertension, you might notice the below symptoms, some of which were reported by patients in a study in the British Journal of General PracticeGoodhart A. Hypertension from the patients perspective. British Journal of General Practice. 2016 66:570. :
Read Also: Medicine To Lower Blood Pressure
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.
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.
Don’t Miss: Vitamin For Low Blood Pressure
What Factors Influence Blood Pressure
- Age: Blood pressure tend to increase with age.
- Gender: Women after puberty have low BP than men, whereas, after menopause, women tend high BP.
- Genetics/family history: A family history puts you at risk of high BP.
- Weight: Being overweight or obese increases your risk of high BP.
- Diurnal variation: BP is lower in the morning and gradually increases throughout the day.
- Stress: BP increases during stress, emotions, fear, and anger situations due to stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system.
- Exercise: Physical activity increases BP, but regular exercises can keep BP in the lower range of normal.
- Pregnancy:Progesterone relaxes the walls of blood vessels, causing decreased peripheral vascular resistance. Some women may develop pregnancy-induced hypertension.
- Diseases: Diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Cushings syndrome, and pheochromocytoma can cause high BP.
- Medications: Certain medications can affect BP such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, antianxiety medications, and prednisone.
- Alcohol or tobacco consumption: Drinking too much alcohol can increase your BP.
What Steps Should I Take While Checking My Blood Pressure At Home
Before taking your blood pressure
- Find a quiet place.
- Check to be sure you have the correct size cuff. If you are not sure, or if you have questions, talk to your healthcare provider.
- Roll up the sleeve on your left arm or remove any tight-sleeved clothing, if needed.
- Rest in a chair next to a table for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Sit up straight with your back against the chair, legs uncrossed and on the ground.
- Rest your forearm on the table with the palm of your hand facing up.
- You should not talk, read the newspaper, or watch television during this process.
Taking your blood pressure
If you buy a manual or digital blood pressure monitor , follow the instruction booklet carefully.
Record your blood pressure
If you have been asked to record your blood pressure and bring your readings to the office, please write down the date, time of day, systolic and diastolic numbers, heart rate, and which arm you took the reading on. If you are taking part in a program that has remote monitoring, your blood pressure readings are automatically shared with your medical provider. If you are unsure, please ask your provider.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/23/2018.
You May Like: Can I Take Claritin With High Blood Pressure
Taking Your Pulse Versus Checking Your Blood Pressure
While both are indications of health, blood pressure and heart rate are two separate measurements. Learn more about the difference between blood pressure and heart rate.
Systolic is less than 120 and my diastolic is less than 80
Systolic is 120 129 and my diastolic is less than 80
The good news is that you dont have high blood pressure. However, your numbers fall within the Elevated category, making you more likely to develop high blood pressure unless you take action to control it. Ready to make some small changes that have big impacts? Healthy lifestyle choices are a great place to start.
Systolic is 130 139 or my diastolic is 80 89
You are in the first stage of hypertension, but there are actions you can take to get your blood pressure under control. Your doctor will speak to you about small changes that can make a big difference and other BP Raisers. In addition, monitoring blood pressure outside of the doctors office is important for BP control.
Systolic is 140 or higher or my diastolic is 90 or higher
Systolic is higher than 180 and/or my diastolic is higher than 120
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
What Causes High Blood Pressure
The cause of high blood pressure, or hypertension, is often unknown. It develops over time and often happens as a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Occasionally, some people have hypertension caused by an underlying condition, such as kidney disease, adrenal gland tumors or thyroid disorders, says Dr. Wong. Other conditions like pregnancy, diabetes and obesity can also increase your risk.
Some people are susceptible to high blood pressure from certain medications, such as birth control pills, some decongestants and even some over-the-counter pain relievers, says Wong. Illicit drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines may also raise blood pressure.
High blood pressure is extremely common. A 2017 to 2018 survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics found 45.5% of U.S. adults have hypertensionOstchega Y, et al. Hypertension prevalence among adults aged 18 and over: United States, 2017-2018. National Center for Health Statistics. Accessed 7/16/2021. .
Also Check: Can Claritin D Cause High Blood Pressure
Best Drinking Habits For High Blood Pressure Say Dietitians
If you are either dealing with or at risk of high blood pressure, you’re putting your body in danger of further complications such as heart and kidney problems, stroke, and even vision problems. Although there’s a chance your hypertension can be genetic, there’s also a good chance that your diet plays a major factor.
Thankfully, just as your eating and drinking habits can lead to high blood pressure, changing them can lower it. We spoke withLyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, authors of The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure and members of our Medical Expert Board, to highlight the drinking habits to follow if you have high blood pressure. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, be sure to check out 8 Worst Eating Habits If You Have High Blood Pressure, Say Dietitians.
Using The Sprint Study For New Guidelines
The studys findings come from a randomized trial of 1,167 participants.
Researchers gathered information from the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial . They included data from individuals who had experienced strokes, heart attacks, changes in kidney function, cognitive impairment, quality of life reduction, or who had died.
About 27% of them had a history of heart disease. The majority had three or more chronic health conditions.
The mean age of the participants was 84, with about 3% older than 90. More than half of those included were regularly taking five or more medications.
The average baseline systolic blood pressure of the participants was approximately 142 mmHg. The researchers randomly divided the participants into two equal groups, with one group receiving assistance in getting their systolic readings below 140 mmHg.
The researchers sought to determine if a more aggressive control of high blood pressure would benefit peoples health, lower their risk of heart disease events, cognitive decline, or death, or increase health risks in any way.
The scientists were also interested in seeing if cognitive or physical impairments would affect the benefits of any lower systolic measurement.
To these ends, the second group received what researchers considered intensive treatment to bring their systolic reading down below 120 mmHg.
The development of dementia was about the same in both groups.
Recommended Reading: Spicy Food Blood Pressure
When To Get Blood Pressure Readings
A normal person who has never has high blood pressure does not require regular readings beyond their yearly check-ups, Kazemi said. Patients with a history of hypertension should be checked more frequently. Talk to your doctor about how often you should have your blood pressure checked, and follow that schedule closely.
What Is Normal Blood Pressure
For years we have been told that a normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 however, more and more doctors have now lowered these numbers to 115/75. Blood pressure is different for everyone as many factors can have an effect on the numbers.
Our blood pressure refers to the amount of force behind the blood as it hits the arterial walls. As the heart pumps the blood, an ideal pressure sees the blood push against the walls that are flexible enough to expand and retract easily. Over time, our age, diet, and physical activity play a role on the elasticity of our blood vessels. With a loss of flexibility due to hardening of the walls, the heart needs to work harder to push the blood.
These factors determine the blood pressure numbers. The systolic number is the top number, and it indicates the pressure as the heart beats or pushes the blood throughout the body. The diastolic number is the bottom number, and refers to the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. During this time, the heart receives oxygen as it fills with blood.
Don’t Miss: Low To Lower Blood Pressure
What Does The Diastolic Blood Pressure Number Mean
The diastolic reading, or the bottom number, is the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. This is the time when the heart fills with blood and gets oxygen.
This is what your diastolic blood pressure number means:
- Normal: Lower than 80
- Stage 2 hypertension: 90 or more
- Hypertensive crisis: 120 or more. Call 911.
Our chart below has more details.
Even if your diastolic number is normal , you can have elevated blood pressure if the systolic reading is 120-129.
What About Data Privacy And Security
For most home blood pressure monitors, including our two Bluetooth picks, the companion apps and software arent subject to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act rules. This means that the data they collect isnt legally protected, nor is its use regulated in the same way as other health data .
Greater Goods and Omron, the makers of our picks, require you to create an online account in order to use their monitors wireless data-transfer capabilities. Doing so means providing the respective companies with personal details like your name, date of birth, email address, and more. Keep in mind that if you choose to send your data from the appwhether Greater Goodss Balance Health or Omron Connectto another service, such as Apple Health, youre relying on yet another entity to keep your data secure.
Recommended Reading: Claritin D High Blood Pressure
How Blood Pressure Is Measured
Blood pressure testing stations can be found in pharmacies, workplaces, and medical clinics. You can also buy a blood pressure monitor online or at your local pharmacy.
To measure blood pressure, a cuff attached to a monitor is placed on your arm. The cuff is then inflated with an air pump until its pressure stops blood flow from your brachial arterythe major artery found in your upper arm.
As the cuff deflates, the device measures the pressure when blood starts flowing again . Once the cuff is completely deflated, the device gauges the lowest pressure between beats .
Typically, more attention is given to the systolic pressure reading, as systolic blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease in people over the age of 50. Still, both readings are used to make a diagnosis.