You And Your Blood Pressure-What You Should Know


WHAT IS BLOOD PRESSURE?

Each time I visit the hospital to see a medical practitioner, I am always first asked to sit and a nurse puts a band around my muscle and starts to pump something,only God knows what.
I never got to know what the nurse was doing and why i had to do that before seeing a Doctor.Until much later…
Blood pressure refers to the force exerted by your blood against the walls of your arteries. When your heart beats, it pumps blood round your body to give it the energy and oxygen it needs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure. 

BLOOD PRESSURE READING INTERPRETATION

Blood pressure check
Blood pressure is measured in ‘millimetres of mercury’ (mmHg) and its reading is often represented by two numbers or levels.They are shown as one number on top of another. For example, if your reading is 120/80mmHg, your blood pressure is ‘120 over 80’.

SYSTOLIC VS DIASTOLIC BLOOD PRESSURE

The upper value in a blood pressure reading is known as ‘systolic blood pressure – it refers to the pressure inside your arteries when your heart is pumping’ and the lower value is called the ‘diastolic blood pressure-it refers to the pressure inside your arteries when your heart is resting between beats’.

Blood pressure normally rises as you age. Normal blood pressure readings for children are lower than for adults, while blood pressure measurements for adults and older teenagers are similar.

NORMAL BLOOD PRESSURE

A normal systolic blood pressure is 120 or below. A systolic blood pressure of 120-139 means you have borderline or pre-hypertension Even people with this level are at risk of developing heart disease. A normal diastolic blood pressure number is 80 or less. A diastolic blood pressure between 80 and 89 is normal but higher than ideal.

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE-HYPERTENSION
Hypertension (HTN or HT), also known as high blood pressure or arterial hypertension, is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated. 
blood pressure
Hypertension is present if the blood pressure is persistently at or above 140/90 millimeters mercury (mmHg) for most adults; different criteria apply to children.

High blood pressure, is a widely misunderstood medical condition. Some people think that those with hypertension are tense, nervous or hyperactive, but hypertension has nothing to do with personality traits. The truth is, you can be a calm, relaxed person and still have HBP.

Having high blood pressure (hypertension) is not usually something that you feel or notice. It does not tend to produce obvious signs or symptoms initially. The only way to know, is to have it measured. But, sustained hypertension over time is a major risk factor for hypertensive heart disease, coronary artery disease, stroke, aortic aneurysm, peripheral artery disease, and chronic kidney disease.

NOTE: If your blood pressure is above 140/90mmHg please consult your physician as you may need to be on medications. If your blood pressure is above 180/110 mmHg this is known as hypertensive crisis, you would need urgent medical care immediately.

CAUSES OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

Hypertension is classified as either primary(essential) hypertension or secondary hypertension. About 90–95% of cases are categorized as primary hypertension, defined as high blood pressure with no obvious underlying cause. 

The remaining 5–10% of cases are categorized as secondary hypertension, defined as hypertension due to an identifiable cause, such as chronic kidney disease, narrowing of the aorta or kidney arteries, or an endocrine disorder such as excess aldosterone, cortisol, or catecholamines.

high blood pressure foods to avoid

Dietary and lifestyle changes can improve blood pressure control and decrease the risk of health complications, although treatment with medication is still often necessary in people for whom lifestyle changes are not enough or not effective. 

The treatment of moderately high blood pressure (defined as >160/100 mmHg) with medications is associated with an improved life expectancy. The benefits of treatment of blood pressure that is between 140/90 mmHg and 160/100 mmHg are less clear, with some reviews finding no benefits and other reviews finding benefits.

SYMPTOMS OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

There’s a common misconception that people with high blood pressure, will experience symptoms such as nervousness, sweating, difficulty in sleeping or facial flushing. The truth though is that HBP is largely a symptomless condition. If you ignore your blood pressure because you think symptoms will alert you to the problem, you are taking a dangerous chance with your life. Everybody needs to know their blood pressure numbers, and everyone needs to prevent high blood pressure from developing.

In addition to normal monitoring, certain groups of people should watch their blood pressure more carefully;

•People over 35
•Those with a family history of high blood pressure
•Pregnant women
•Anyone with a history of high blood pressure
•Anyone with a history of heart or kidney problems

LOW BLOOD PRESSURE- HYPOTENSION

Low blood pressure, also known as hypotension, is when blood pressure in your arteries is abnornally low. People with a blood pressure reading under 90/60 mmHg are usually regarded as having low blood pressure.

Naturally, low blood pressure is unlikely to cause any symptoms and is normally nothing to worry about. However, if your blood pressure drops too low, it can restrict the amount of blood flowing to your brain and other vital organs, which can cause, unsteadiness, dizziness, light-headedness or fainting. Symptoms of hypotension could include dizziness,fainting, and sometimes shock.

CAUSES OF LOW BLOOD PRESSURE

Low blood pressure (hypotension) has many possible causes, from lifestyle choices, to medication or an underlying health condition. In some cases, it may just be the result of being healthy and active or a tendency you’ve inherited from your parents.

Throughout the day, it’s normal for your blood pressure to vary depending on what you’re doing.Stress at work, the temperature outside and your diet could all affect your blood pressure reading.This is why it’s important your blood pressure is checked under similar conditions each time to ensure results are consistent.

LIFE STYLE MODIFICATION TO MANAGE BLOOD PRESSURE

The American Heart Association has recommended 7 simple steps to a healthier you. You can get a free life’s check assessment at mylifecheck.heart.org

7 STEPS TO A HEALTHIER YOU

-Low fat diets
-Low salt diet
-Regular physical activity
-Maintain a healthy weight
-Manage stress
-Limit alcohol consumption
-Aviod tobacco smoke

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