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The heart is a vital organ in the human body which pumps blood throughout the entire body to enable bodily functions. One way to see how your heart is performing is through blood pressure, explained in more detail for you below.
What is Blood Pressure?
This article is not meant to be medical advice. We are not doctors. Please consult your doctor for anything medically related.– Lori Ballen
Blood pressure is defined as the pressure of your blood on the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps it around your body. It is a vital part of how your heart functions and how blood circulation takes place.
Naturally, your blood pressure goes up and down all the time as it adjusts to your heart’s needs depending on what you are doing. Your heart functions as a muscular pump, which contracts rhythmically and squirts blood into your arteries.
Blood is then channeled to your entire body, through a circulatory system of smaller vessels, thus ensuring oxygen is delivered to all the living tissues in your body.
When the heart is beating, the blood is pumped around your body giving it the oxygen and the blood it needs.
The movement of the blood also involves pushing the blood against the sides of your blood vessels. The force and strength using to push
Blood Pressure Readings
When the blood pressure reads a number that is less than 120/80 mm Hg that is considered as the normal range. When the result in your blood pressure reading is this category, work hard to exercise on regular basis and ensure your meals contain balanced diet.
When there is a consistent reading in your blood pressure that ranges from 120-129 systolic and below 80 mm Hg diastolic, you have an elevated blood pressure. A range of between 140/90 mm Hg or higher, you will be considered as having Hypertension Stage 2.
If your blood pressure reads 180/120 mm Hg or higher in more than one reading, there are higher chances you are experiencing hypertensive crisis, and you have high blood pressure, call your doctor immediately or 911.
Normal Blood Pressure Range
The normal blood pressure range is 120/80 mm Hg and this is the category where your blood pressure is considered to be normal.
Ranges might lower for teenagers and children and you might consider talking to your child’s doctor in case you doubt your kid’s blood pressure is high.
Diastolic Blood Pressure
The number at the bottom is known as the diastolic reading and is the pressure in your arteries between the beats of your heart muscle when your heart rests.
At this time your heart the blood pumps, circulate and fills with blood and also gets oxygen.
When the diastolic reading is less than 80, you have normal diastolic blood pressure. When the reading is 90 or higher, you have high blood pressure.
However, you can also have elevated blood pressure even when the diastolic pressure reads below 80 in one special case when your systolic reads between 120 and 129.
Systolic Blood Pressure
The reading at the top represents systolic reading. The systolic blood pressure is created by force which pushes and squeezes the blood to the rest of the body through your arteries.
A reading of any figure below 120 is normal systolic pressure. A Systolic reading of between 120 and 129 is elevated while a reading of 130-139 is high blood pressure (hypertension) stage 1.
Any figure above 140 is considered to be stage 2 hypertension. When the systolic blood pressure reading is 180 or more, call 911 or your doctor.
Which is More Important? Diastolic or Systolic Blood Pressure?
Today, both Diastolic and Systolic blood pressure are considered important.
However for those people who are over 40 years or older, systolic is more critical. For younger people, it is wise to look at the diastolic blood pressure reading because if it is high, it says that there is a very high likelihood of having high blood pressure when they will be older.
The most common form of hypertension among older people is elevated systolic blood pressure. The risk of having a stroke, artery disease or even heart attack is increased by systolic blood pressure.
Normal Blood Pressure for Women
The normal blood pressure for women is 120/80 mm Hg.
If the woman is at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years, or if she has either diabetes, kidney disease or coronary artery disease, her target goal should be to have less than 130/80 mm Hg.
If you are 65 years old or older, the target should be 130/80 mm Hg and below.
For any woman with blood pressure that is not normal, using medication and having a healthy lifestyle will help bring it under control.
This will help reduce the risk of having complications that are life-threatening.
Normal Blood Pressure For Men
For men, the normal blood pressure is also 120/80 mm Hg.
The blood pressure for men increases with age and high blood pressure it begins to climb when the man reaches 45 even though younger men can also get it.
The family history of the high blood pressure or obesity increases the risk. Any blood pressure above 120/80 for men is risky and increases the risk of heart attack by two times.
It also increases the risk of getting a stroke, heart diseases
How To Take Your Blood Pressure
Always follow the instructions carefully on the booklet given whether you bought a digital or manual blood pressure monitor. Your pulse is located by pressing your index and middle fingers to the bend of
You will feel the brachial artery’s pulse but if it’s impossible to locate it, place the stethoscope’s head if it’s a manual monitor and for digital monitor place it on the arm cuff.
The stethoscope head should always be over the artery and in manual monitors, the cuff has an arrow that shows the head location. To make the cuff snug, wrap Velcro but do not make it too tight. The next step is to inflate and deflate the monitor cuff as you take the readings.
Top 5 Blood Pressure Kits
These blood pressure kits are some of the top rated on Amazon. I do have an affiliation with Amazon and benefit when you purchase using the links below:
Care Touch Fully Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Cuff Monitor – Platinum Series
Omron 10 Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron 7 Series Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron 5 Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron 10 Series Wireless Bluetooth Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor with Two User Mode
Blood Pressure and A Low Carb Diet
A diet with low-carbohydrate levels has proved to lower blood pressure levels in many studies. A low carb diet is also considered as a better option for people with both the high blood pressure and weight issues over weight loss medication.
Low-carb diet significantly lowers the blood pressure. Some of the low-carb foods include fish, fruits, vegetables, egg, high-fat dairy
What Is High Blood Pressure?
When the blood pressure reads 140/90 mm Hg or higher consistently, you have a high blood pressure or hypertension. You also have a high blood pressure if one of the numbers is high for over one week.
The high blood pressure results in more pressure which puts more strain on your blood vessels and heart. It is the strain that puts a person at risk of having a stroke or a heart attack.
High blood pressure can also cause kidney or heart disease as well as other forms of dementia. Always watch your diet and use medication (if recommended by your doctor) to lower your blood pressure when it’s high.
What is Considered High Blood Pressure?
The readings for blood pressure are two numbers, systolic number at the top and diastolic at the bottom. The two numbers show how healthy is your blood pressure.
A systolic reading of 130 mm Hg or a diastolic reading of 80 and above is considered as high and the person is said to have a high blood pressure.
Healthy reading defers in children, adults, and pregnant women.
For an adult, any reading of over 130/90 mm Hg is high blood pressure and for pregnant women, any reading of over 140/90 is considered to have a high blood pressure. For children, the specific healthy ranges are based on age, height, and gender.
High Blood Pressure Symptoms
It is difficult to know whether you have high blood pressure or hypertension. The sure way of knowing whether you have high blood pressure is by having regular checkups on your own or with your doctor.
When the blood pressure is high, you might experience the following symptoms which include fatigue, severe headaches, chest pain, breathing with difficulty, blood in the urine, pounding in your ears, cheeks
When you experience these symptoms, see your doctor immediately as you might also have a stroke, kidney failure, heart disease or an eye problem.
How to Lower Blood Pressure
Reducing even a small amount of weight can significantly reduce blood pressure. Also, reduce the waistline as it increases the risk of developing high blood pressure when too much weight is around the waistline.
Eating a healthy diet and avoiding sugar and unhealthy fats
Other ways to reduce blood pressure include regular exercises, low alcohol intake and avoiding smoking.
How To Lower Blood Pressure Quickly
Some of the foods that lower blood pressure quickly include eating raw almonds. Raw almonds are in the seeds, nuts, and legumes group and should be eaten four to five times in one week.
Cayenne pepper also quickly lowers the blood pressure and it’s a powerful vasodilator which works great in expanding the blood vessels and improving the flow of the blood.
Drinking coconut water quickly helps in lowering the blood pressure because it contains the salts and minerals supply which helps in encountering the imbalance of electrolytes which is one of the causes of high blood pressure.
Blood Pressure and Alcohol
Alcohol raises your blood pressure, regardless of if you are healthy. It is essential to drink in moderation since it raises your blood pressure by 1 mm Hg for every 10 grams of alcohol consumed.
A standard drink contains 14 grams of alcohol. Moderate drinking consists of one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men. Too much alcohol can raise the blood pressure to the levels that are considered as unhealthy.
Cutting back to few drinks if a person was a heavy drinker can significantly lower the blood pressure especially the systolic pressure.
Blood Pressure After Exercise
The heart is a bodily organ just like any other part of the body. With regular and consistent exercise routines, the heat becomes stronger and pumps blood with less effort.
This puts less pressure on the arteries; thus lowering your blood pressure.
A 2013 report by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) advises moderate, to vigorous-intensity, physical activity for 40-minute sessions, three to four times per week is ideal to maintain a strong and healthy heart.
Sometimes, finding a complete 40 minutes in your daily routine may be challenging. You may opt to divide the time into three or four 10- to 15-minute segments throughout the day.
Simple activities such as using the stairs, doing household chores, walking instead of driving, gardening, playing a sport, or going for a bike ride can make a world’s difference in relation to your blood pressure.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
Some of the factors that cause high blood pressure include whether the patient has a family history of hypertension, has an African American Origin, is a male, is older than 60, faces high levels of stress regularly, is overweight or obese, uses tobacco products, uses oral contraceptives, eats a diet high in saturated fat, eats diet high in salt, drinks a lot of alcohol, does not exercise and has diabetes.
The rest of the patients with high blood pressure have secondary hypertension; meaning the high blood pressure is the result of another condition or illness. Often, secondary hypertension is caused by kidney disorders.
High Blood Pressure Medication
Treatment and lifestyle changes assist in controlling high blood pressure, hence reducing the risk of life-threatening complications.
Your doctor may suggest that you make some better lifestyle choices, such as changing your diet, doing exercise, reducing alcohol intake, or quitting smoking.
If such changes do not help in controlling your blood pressure within 3 to 6 months, there are certain medicines available which your doctor may prescribe.
For instance, diuretics help rid your body of water and sodium while ACE inhibitors block the enzyme which raises your blood pressure.
Other types of medicines such as beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and other vasodilators, work in different ways, but their overall effect is to help relax, widen your blood vessels, and reduce the pressure inside the vessel.
Low-Carb Foods That Lower Blood Pressure
Others include Oils such as olive oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, lean meats such as chicken breast and sirloin, unsweetened dairy products such as plain Greek yogurt and plain whole milk. It is also important to know the carb counts which will enable you to have high nutritional value in your meal.
Other Foods That Lower Blood Pressure
Cocoa products contain polyphenols which are flavanols which form
Chocolate also has its own flavanols. Beet juice also lowers the blood pressure because it contains nitrates which also ease the flow of the blood. Other foods include pistachio nuts, pomegranate juice, hibiscus tea and whole grain lower the blood pressure.
Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
Your treatment will depend on the underlying root of your hypotension. Treatment may include medications for diabetes, infection, or heart disease.
Drink a lot of water to avoid hypotension due to dehydration, especially if you are vomiting or have diarrhea. Staying hydrated also aids in treating and preventing the symptoms of neurally mediated hypotension.
If you suffer from hypotension when standing for long durations, take a break to sit down. Reduce your stress levels to avoid emotional trauma. Shock-induced hypotension is quite a serious form of this condition.
Severe hypotension must be treated immediately. Emergency personnel are supposed to give you fluids and blood products to increase your blood pressure and stabilize your vital signs.
Blood Pressure Goes Up When Moving Around
Movements cause blood pressure to go up. The movements include walking, lifting or moving supplies, taking stairs and even when exercising.
It all depends on your cardiovascular system is and also on how high is your blood pressure levels.
It also depends on the size of your body, if you are in good shape with proper weight level; the blood pressure tends to rise at lower levels with increased physical movements.
People with good shape work more or harder to have the same level of increased blood pressure than those who are out-of-shape.
Low Blood Pressure Symptoms
Some of the symptoms and signs of low blood pressure include lightheadedness or dizzines, dehydration, fainting, nausea, and uncommon thirst, blurred vision, poor concentration, cold, pale skin, clammy, rapid, fatigue, depression and shallow breathing; among others.
Some more underlying causes of low blood pressure include lengthy bed rest, pregnancy, nutritional deficiencies, a decrease in blood volume, certain medications such as diuretics, endocrine problems, heart problems, allergic reaction, severe infection, and neurally mediated hypotension.
What Causes Low Blood Pressure?
For some people, low BP causes no problems. It is even desirable for some. However, for a number of people, abnormally low blood pressure (hypotension) causes fainting and dizziness.
In severe cases, low blood pressure is life-threatening. The causes of low blood pressure range from dehydration to serious medical or surgical disorders.
It is crucial to conduct tests and find out what is causing your low blood pressure so that it can be treated immediately.
What is Considered Low Blood Pressure?
A blood pressure reading of 90 mm Hg for the systolic (top number) or 60 mm Hg for diastolic (bottom number) is considered as low blood pressure that is a reading of 90/60 mm Hg.
There are many causes of low blood pressure which include surgical disorders, dehydration or serious medical disorders.
The following symptoms appear in those who have high blood pressure including fainting, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, lack of concentration and blurred vision.
It is important to see the doctor when these symptoms appear as the blood pressure might be too low.
What is a Dangerously Low Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure reading below 90/60 mm Hg or 70/60 is considered as dangerously low blood pressure. It is considered dangerous because it can even be life-threatening.
Signs and symptoms of dangerously low blood pressure include confusion which is seen in older people, pale skin, clammy, rapid and weak pulse, cold, shallow and rapid breathing.
In some extreme cases, it can result
Consult a Professional
The only way to ascertain if your blood pressure is in the normal range is to have a blood pressure reading done by a trained healthcare provider.
The American Heart Association advises everyone should have a blood pressure reading at least once every two years.
If you have had a recent blood pressure reading and you have normal blood pressure, do not take it for granted. Remember hypertension is also known as the disease that kills silently.
Desist from spending many hours on your the computer and go outside, stay away from the television, get active, eat your fruits and vegetables, and kick out any bad habits from your current lifestyle.