Blood pressure is the force that moves blood through our circulatory system.
It is an important force because oxygen and nutrients would not be pushed around our circulatory system to nourish tissues and organs without blood pressure.
Blood pressure is also vital because it delivers white blood cells and antibodies for immunity, and hormones such as insulin.
Just as important as providing oxygen and nutrients, the fresh blood that gets delivered is able to pick up the toxic waste products of metabolism, including the carbon dioxide we exhale with every breath, and the toxins we clear through our liver and kidneys.
Understanding blood pressure:
Your heart pumps blood, oxygen, and supplements through the supply routes in your body. Blood weight is the constrain of blood against your course dividers. There are two readings that measure blood pressure. Systolic pressure is the higher number. It measures the constrain of the blood being pushed around your body when your heart contracts. Diastolic weight is the lower number; it measures when the heart unwinds between beats.
High blood pressure vs Normal blood pressure:
Blood pressure readings are made up of two numbers. A beat number called “systolic” and a foot number called “diastolic”.The latest recommendations for treating high blood pressure in adults say: ‘blood pressure is controlled when it’s below 130/80.
High blood stress is when your blood pressure is always higher than it should be. This is also known as hypertension and is usually diagnosed when your levels are always above 140/90mm of mercury. High blood pressure makes your arteries less stretchy and damages the walls of your arteries. This makes it easier for fatty deposits to build up and limit the circulation of blood and oxygen. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Symptoms of high blood pressure:
Unfortunately, high blood pressure typically doesn’t cause symptoms and it is also called “the silent killer”. For a number of people, the first time they find out they have high blood pressure is when they have a stroke or a heart attack.
Some people may experience the symptoms. That may include:
- Blurry vision
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling the heartbeat strangely in the neck or head
The best way to pick up high blood pressure earlier is to get regular checkups with your physician at least every one to two years to get a physical which includes blood pressure. Otherwise, the initial presentation could be quite catastrophic.
Causes of high blood pressure:
Anyone can have high blood pressure; it can be caused by
- Excessive salt(eating too much salt)
- Alcohol (drinking too much alcohol)
- Obesity (being overweight)
- Inactive lifestyle(not being active enough)
- Genetic disease (rare). If your family has a strong history of having blood pressure then you have a good chance to have high blood pressure.
Blood pressure measurements:
Blood pressure is measured by a blood pressure cuff. That is called a sphygmomanometer. It consists of an air pump, a pressure gauge, and a rubber cuff. The sphygmomanometer measures the blood pressure in units called (mm Hg) millimeters of mercury. His the chemical symbol for mercury.
Before you take a measurement follow a few tips to ensure you get accurate readings.
Do not measure within 30 minutes of:
- Drinking alcohol
Sit quietly for 5 minutes with your feet flat on the floor. Now you are ready to take a measurement.
Connect the cuff to the mercury bulb and unlock the mercury. Put the stethoscope in the right direction. Tie the cuff around the upper arm and tighten it enough to pass one finger underneath the cuff. Raise the pressure until the radial artery pulse stops. The point at which radial artery pulse stops is systolic blood pressure. Radial artery felt (using three fingers) over the lower end of the radius (bone) at the wrist joint on the later side (thumb finger side).
Raise the mercury level using the bulb to a level 20mm to 30mm of Hg more than the systolic pressure recorded in the palpation technique. Then slowly release the pressure by releasing the valve at the rate of 2mm of Hg/sec to hear the first knockoff sound which is the Systolic pressure point. The point at which the sound muffles/stops is diastolic BP. Here it is about 80mm of Hg. Untie the cuff and lock the mercury by tilting the apparatus to the right side of the scale and by switching the handle upwards/vertical position.
A blood pressure reading means and range:
- 119/79 or lower is normal blood pressure.
- 140/90 or higher is high blood pressure.
Between 120 and 139 for the top number, or between 80 and 89 for the bottom number is called prehypertension.
Prehypertension means you may end up with high blood pressure unless you take steps to prevent it.
Take control of your blood pressure:
If you have high blood pressure, having a treatment plan for controlling your blood pressure’simportant. The plan can help prevent or delay other health problems. Help you live longer and keep you active longer. Doctor Gary H. Gibbons Of The heart expert, director of the national heart, lung and blood institute explains to take control of your high blood pressure take these steps as part of your treatment plan:
- Follow a healthy diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Be more physically active
- Don’t smoke
- Take blood pressure’s medications as prescribed
- Talk to your health care provider about your treatment plan.
Everyday ways to lower your blood pressure:
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke but your daily choices can bring your numbers down.
Watch your waistline:
In general, men should aim for 40 inches or less. Make that 35 or less for women.
Log 30 minutes of movement on most days:
Strength training can also help reduce blood pressure.
No more than 1 drink a day for women or 2 for men (no more than 1 a day for men over 65).
Make time to relax and enjoy:
And remember not to hurry through your “relaxing activities” at a stressful pace.
Cook dinner at home:
Restaurants’ meals can be dramatically higher in sodium (not to mention calories) than home-cooked.
Buy more spinach:
And bananas, strawberries, and peas for potassium to lower blood pressure.
And reduce the stressful thoughts that can raise your blood pressure.
Keep tabs on your blood pressure:
Check-ups and home monitoring show whether your healthy habits are working.
Why blood pressure is measured in mm Hg:
The abbreviation mm Hg means millimeters of mercury. Mercury was used in the first accurate pressure gauges and is still used in medicine today as the standard unit of measurement for pressure.
Using blood pressure apps:
There are apps and wrist devices that claim to measure the blood pressure, but these results are frequently inaccurate and are not a reliable way to monitor a person’s health.
Apps that log blood pressure results may be helpful for people who need to take regular blood pressure tests, however.
Recording a set of readings into these apps may help doctors identify trends in blood pressure and recommend treatments.
A blood pressure reading above 180/120 mm Hg indicates a serious health problem. The AHA refers to these high measurements as a “hypertensive crisis.” Blood pressure in this range requires urgent treatment even if there are no accompanying symptoms.
You should seek emergency treatment if you have blood pressure in this range, which may accompany symptoms such as:
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- visual changes
- symptoms of stroke, such as paralysis or a loss of muscle control in the face or an extremity
- blood in your urine
However, sometimes a high reading can occur temporarily and then your numbers will return to normal. If your blood pressure measures at this level, your doctor will likely take a second reading after a few minutes have passed. A second high reading indicates that you’ll need treatment either as soon as possible or immediately depending on whether or not you have any of the symptoms described above.