What is Blood Pressure?
As the heart beats, blood is forced into arteries, providing the body’s organs and tissues with oxygen and nourishment. This process is known as blood pressure. Your organs must maintain a normal blood pressure reading to function properly and prevent injury. Age, medical issues, and other lifestyle factors can all affect blood pressure. Keeping an eye on these figures is crucial because high or low blood pressure that persists for an extended length of time can signal major health problems and raise the risk of premature death. High or low blood pressure is an indication of poor health.
This article will give you a brief overview of high and low blood pressure and its causes of them. Moreover, you will also learn how to get a blood pressure reading. You will also get the chart for normal blood pressure ranges for both men and women. Understanding what your blood pressure numbers mean and which ones indicate normal versus high readings is also important. You will also get the chart for blood pressure stages.
Meaning of Blood Pressure Numbers
Two numbers make up a blood pressure reading: the top number, or systolic blood pressure, and the bottom number, or diastolic blood pressure.
Systolic Blood Pressure
Systolic blood pressure gauges the force your blood applies to the arterial walls. “With each heartbeat, the pressure in our arteries fluctuates. Pressure rises when the heart beats because more blood is pumped into the circulatory system. Systolic blood pressure is used to quantify this rise.
Diastolic Blood Pressure
The pressure within the system when the heart is at rest is then measured by diastolic pressure. Diastolic blood pressure is the level at which the heart briefly relaxes between heartbeats, while systolic blood pressure is the maximum pressure during a heartbeat.
Normal Blood Pressure
A normal blood pressure result “indicates that the blood is not exerting too much pressure on the vessel walls and that the heart and blood vessels are not working too hard pushing blood. Regardless of an individual’s age, gender, race, or ethnicity, blood pressure might fluctuate, but it should still be within the general normal range, and numbers below 120/80 are typically regarded as normal.
Blood Pressure Stages Chart
There are five stages of blood pressure: normal and four distinct phases of hypertension from very manageable to urgent.
|Normal||Less than 120||Less than 80|
|Elevated||120-129||Less than 80|
|Hypertension Stage I||130-139||80-89|
|Hypertension Stage I||140 or Higher||90 or Higher|
|Hypertensive Crisis||Higher than 180||Higher than 120|
Normal Blood Pressure
Normal blood pressure is defined as being between 90 and 120 systolic and 60 to 80 diastolic.
Elevated Blood Pressure
Elevated blood pressure and a higher risk of developing hypertension are indicated by readings between 120 and 129 systolic and less than 80 diastolic. The workload on the heart and arteries increases as blood pressure rises. This causes the heart muscle to thicken (hypertrophy), which might cause cardiac failure. Additionally, it causes the arterial wall to microtear, which promotes the buildup of cholesterol, known as atherosclerosis. This causes the channel to narrow, increasing blood pressure even further.
Hypertension Stage I
A systolic value between 130 and 139 and a diastolic reading between 80 and 89 indicate Stage I hypertension. The first line of treatment for this stage of hypertension is a healthier lifestyle, which includes eating more vegetables and whole grains, using less salt, increasing physical activity, and reducing stress. Medication may be required if blood pressure falls into this range repeatedly over time in people with other cardiovascular risk factors.
I should think about taking medicine in this stage of hypertension after three to six months of nonpharmacologic therapy. If it isn’t addressed, there is also a danger of atherosclerosis, which is a thickening or hardening of the arteries brought on by a buildup of plaque in the inner lining of an artery. High cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, obesity, physical activity, and consumption of saturated fats are all potential risk factors for atherosclerosis.
Hypertension Stage II
Systolic and diastolic values of at least 140 and 90, respectively indicate hypertension Stage II. It is typically treated with a combination of drugs and advice on leading a healthy lifestyle. Since this stage of hypertension is more severe than the earlier one, it needs to be closely monitored.
When the systolic blood pressure reading surpasses 180, and the diastolic reading goes above 120, a hypertensive crisis stage, which is a medical emergency. Emergency treatment should be sought if there are symptoms of stroke, headache, visual changes, dizziness, chest pain, or shortness of breath because immediate organ damage can occur.
How to Measure Blood Pressure?
You can take your blood pressure at home using a wrist blood pressure monitor or an upper arm cuff blood pressure monitor. Experts often suggest upper arm cuffs since they are the most accurate. A manual and a digital monitor can be found on the upper arm cuffs. Both are effective, but a digital one will be simpler to use correctly if you regularly take your blood pressure yourself.
- Using a digital upper arm cuff, take your blood pressure precisely by first sitting calmly and upright for a few minutes to give your body a chance to unwind.
- Be sure to straighten your ankles and legs and support your back with something comfortable.
- Put your arm close to the monitor, which should be on a table in front of you, at around heart level, and wrap the cuff around your naked upper arm just above your elbow.
- Only a fingertip should fit beneath the top edge of the sleeve once it has been securely fastened.
- As the cuff inflates and deflates, measuring your blood pressure and displaying the result on the screen, turn on the monitor, hit the start button, and continue to breathe normally.
Normal Blood Pressure Chart by Age
|Age||Systolic (mm Hg)||Diastolic (mm Hg)|
|Age||Systolic (mm Hg)||Diastolic (mm Hg)|
High Blood Pressure
Systolic readings of at least 130 mmHg and diastolic readings of at least 80 mmHg are required to be considered to have high blood pressure, generally known as hypertension.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
Hypertension, or elevated blood pressure, frequently has no identified cause. It gradually appears and frequently results from poor lifestyle decisions.
- On occasion, some persons develop hypertension as a result of an underlying ailment such as kidney disease, tumors of the adrenal glands, or thyroid issues.
- Your risk may also be increased by other illnesses like pregnancy, diabetes, and obesity.
- Some drugs, including birth control pills, some decongestants, and even some over-the-counter pain remedies can cause high blood pressure in some people.
- Illegal substances like cocaine and amphetamines can also increase blood pressure. Having High blood pressure is becoming extremely common these days.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
It is known as a silent killer because it usually has no symptoms. People don’t even realize that they have high blood pressure problems unless it is monitored. Symptoms will not develop unless the condition is extreme or any organ is damaged. In severe conditions of high blood pressure, you might notice the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Visual Changes
- Blood in urine
- Mood Changes
Treatment of High Blood Pressure
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by taking care of the following thing will help you lower your high blood pressure:
- Limiting salt intake
- Moderate daily aerobic exercises
- Limiting or quitting alcohol intake
- Taking a diet that reduces High blood pressure
- Managing stress by doing meditation
- Reducing body fat percentage
- Managing associated medical issues, such as diabetes, appropriately
Stroke, heart attack, heart failure, eyesight loss, renal failure, vascular dementia, and sexual dysfunction are all risks of uncontrolled high blood pressure. It is one of the main risk factors for atrial fibrillation, the most prevalent heart rhythm condition in the world that, can cause heart failure, stroke, and a lower quality of life.
Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure is typically defined as having a systolic or diastolic value that is less than 90 or 60 mm Hg, respectively. Blood pressure that is too low might also be concerning, even though high blood pressure can be detrimental to your general health. It depends on the signs of low blood pressure you may be experiencing, how they affect you, and how long they last.
Causes of Low Blood Pressure
There are many possible causes of low blood pressure but the most common ones are as follows:
- Low heart rates or heart failure are examples of heart issues.
- Endocrine issues, such as hypoglycemia, adrenal insufficiency, or parathyroid illness
- Sepsis due to a serious infection
- Pharmaceutical side effects for erectile dysfunction, depression, Parkinson’s disease, prostatic hypertrophy, and high blood pressure
- Massive loss of weight
- Blood loss or anemia
Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure
Low Blood pressure symptoms are:
- Unsteadiness or faintness
- Not paying attention
- Distorted vision
- Clammy, frigid skin
- Shallow, rapid breathing
- Fast heartbeat
- Treatment of Low Blood Pressure
The cause of low blood pressure affects the course of treatment. If a drug is causing low blood pressure, it could need to be changed or stopped. In some cases, pharmaceutical treatment as well as specific lifestyle changes can be beneficial.
Although low blood pressure may not be spoken about as frequently as high blood pressure as it should be, as it can harm your organs if it persists for an extended period. Specific blood pressure must be maintained to keep the blood flowing to the organs, which get oxygen and nutrients from the blood. These organs cannot receive an appropriate blood flow if the blood pressure is too low. Low blood pressure increases the risk of fainting, heart attacks, and organ damage if it is not treated.
In conclusion, blood pressure is a critical indicator of the pressure that blood exerts on artery walls as it circulates through the body. Low blood pressure can result in lightheadedness, fainting, and even shock, while high blood pressure can cause significant health issues like heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. High blood pressure can also cause heart failure and damage other organs. It is crucial to maintain good blood pressure levels through lifestyle changes like exercise, a balanced diet, stress management, and medication when necessary. Regular blood pressure checks and consultations with a healthcare professional can identify and treat any blood pressure-related problems, which will improve your general health and wellness.