Blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries.
Arteries are carrying blood from your heart to other parts of your body. Because your blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day.
What do blood pressure numbers mean?
The only way to learn if you have high blood pressure (HBP, or hypertension) is to have your BP tested.
Understanding your results is the key to controlling high BP.
If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say, “120 over 80,” or write, “120/80 mmHg.”
Healthy and unhealthy blood pressure ranges:
A normal BP level is less than 120/80 mmHg. (1)
Blood pressure categories:
The five BP ranges as identified by the American Heart Association are:
BP numbers of less than 120/80 millimeter Hg are considered within the normal selection.
If your results fall into the class, stay with heart-healthy customs such as following a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.
Elevated BP is when readings consistently range from 120-129 systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic.
People with elevated blood pressure are most likely to develop high BP unless steps are required to control the status.
Hypertension Stage 1
Hypertension Stage 1 is when BP consistently ranges from 130-139 systolic or 80-89 mm Hg diastolic.
At this phase of high BP, physicians are likely to prescribe lifestyle changes and may consider adding blood pressure medication according to your risk of coronary artery diseases (ASCVD), such as heart attack or stroke.
Hypertension Stage 2
Hypertension Stage 2 is when BP consistently ranges at 140/90 millimeter Hg or greater.
At this phase of high BP, doctors are likely to prescribe a combination of blood pressure medications and lifestyle changes.
This stage of high BP demands medical care. If your BP readings abruptly exceed 180/120 millimeter Hg, wait five minutes then again test your BP.
If your readings are still unusually high, contact your physician immediately. You could be experiencing a hypertensive crisis.
If your BP is higher than 180/120 mm Hg and you’re experiencing signs of possible organ damage like chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness/weakness, change in vision, or difficulty speaking, don’t wait to find out whether your pressure comes down by itself. Call 911.
Your blood pressure numbers and what they mean
Your BP is recorded as two numbers:
- Systolic blood pressure (the first number) — indicates just how much pressure your blood is exerting from the artery walls when the heartbeats.
- Diastolic blood pressure (the second number) — indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting from the artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.
Which number is more significant or important?
Ordinarily, more attention is devoted to systolic BP (the first number) as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50.
In most people, systolic BP climbs steadily with age due to the increasing stiffness of large arteries, long-term buildup of plaque, and an elevated prevalence of the coronary and vascular disease.
However, an elevated systolic or an increased diastolic BP reading may be used to make a diagnosis of high blood pressure.
According to recent studies, the risk of death from ischemic heart disease and stroke doubles with every 20 mm Hg systolic or 10 mm Hg diastolic increase among people from age 40 to 89.
Why blood pressure (BP) is measured in mm Hg:
The abbreviation mm Hg signifies millimeters of mercury. Mercury was used as the first accurate pressure indicator and is still used in medicine today as the standard unit of measurement for pressure.
Taking your pulse v/s checking your BP:
While the two are signs of health, blood pressure and heart rate (pulse) are two separate measurements. Learn more about the gap between BP and heart rate.
How do I know if I have high BP (hypertension)?
There is just 1 way to know when you have high BP: Possessing a physician or other health professional measure it. Measuring your BP is fast and painless.
Speak with your health care team about regularly measuring your BP at home, also called self-measured blood pressure (SMBP) monitoring.
High blood pressure is also called the “silent killer” because it usually has no warning signs or signs, and many do not know they have it.
How to prevent or manage high BP?
Many people with high BP can reduce their blood pressure into a healthy range or keep their numbers within a healthy range by making changes in their lifestyle. Talk to your healthcare team about it.
- Getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
- No smoking
- Eat a healthy diet, such as limiting sodium (salt) and alcohol
- Keeping a healthy weight
- Managing stress
As well as creating positive lifestyle modifications, some individuals with hypertension need to take medication to handle their BP.
Speak with your health care team straight away in the event that you believe you have elevated BP or whether you’ve been told you have high BP but don’t have it under control.
By taking action to lower your BP, you can help protect yourself from cardiovascular disease and stroke, and also sometimes called cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Ask your friends and loved ones for support.
If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, consider joining a support group or seeking counseling. Believe in your ability to take control of the pain…
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