How To Measure Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury, mmHg. It consists of two numbers, such as 130/80, which we say as 130 over 80. The first is your systolic blood pressure, the maximum pressure your blood attains as your heart beats and pushes it around your body. The second is your diastolic pressure, the minimum level it reaches between beats.
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Diastolic Blood Pressure In The 50s
Is 50 a normal diastolic number? A diastolic number of 50 is not normal diastolic blood pressure. It is considered low blood pressure. Any diastolic blood pressure number under 60 mmHg is considered low blood pressure.
Low diastolic blood pressure can occur with a low systolic or with a normal systolic pressure. When diastolic is low but systolic isnt, its called isolated diastolic blood pressure. This can be dangerous for your heart 7.
Unlike the rest of the body, your heart receives blood during diastolic, when its not beating. This can lead to symptoms of a weakening heart.
The American Heart Association or the American College of Cardiology hasnt determined a set number range for low blood pressure. Most experts consider low diastolic pressure under 60 mmHg 8.
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Why Should I Monitor My Blood Pressure At Home
Even if your doctor takes your blood pressure in the clinic, monitoring your blood pressure at home can be useful whether or not you have hypertension.
It can tell you if your blood pressure is changing over time, which is important because your risk for hypertension increases as you age.
It can come in handy while youre exercising, and tell you if youre exercising at a healthy and safe intensity level.
If your doctor suspects that you have hypertension, it can give them a better sense of what your blood pressure is like on a normal basis.
If you have hypertension, it can help your doctor see if your treatment plan is working. Current guidelines recommend that patients with hypertension aim for a blood pressure lower than 130/80 mmHg, with the help of lifestyle changes and medications.
If you take blood pressure medications, it can be especially helpful if you experience symptoms like headaches or dizziness. Low blood pressure readings during those times can alert your doctor to adjust the dose of your medication or give you a different drug to try. No matter what, do not change how youre taking your medications without talking to your doctor. Call your doctor immediately if you find that your blood pressure is too high or too low, or if you experience symptoms like headaches, dizziness, or fainting.
Preventing High Blood Pressure
To keep your blood pressure in the normal range, your daily habits are key. These things help:
Donât smoke. Among the many health problems that smoking causes, it raises your blood pressure.
Make physical activity a habit. Most experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five or more times a week. Or you could do a harder activity for a shorter period of time per session.
Eat right. Read food labels to see how much sodium is in a serving. Check with your doctor to find out what your daily limit should be. Include a lot of vegetables and fruits, along with whatever else you choose to put on your plate.
Stick to a healthy weight. Extra pounds raise your blood pressure. If youâre not sure what a healthy weight would be for you, ask your doctor.
Get enough sleep. For most adults, thatâs 7-8 hours of sleep per night, on a regular basis.
If you drink alcohol, limit it to no more than one drink a day if youâre a woman and up to two drinks a day if youâre a man.
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In various guidelines, isolated diastolic hypertension is defined as diastolic blood pressure > 80 or > 90mmHg in individuals with normal systolic blood pressure. While isolated diastolic hypertension was associated with adverse cardiovascular events in observational studies, this relationship is not clear in epidemiological studies. Increased arterial stiffness, increased central hemodynamics, vasoconstriction, increased adrenergic activity, increased renin angiotensin aldesteron activity play a role in the pathophysiology. Isolated diastolic hypertension is associated with male gender, young age, increased body mass index, increased glucose level, increased alcohol consumption and high triglyceride levels. Although treatment is not recommended in young people in isolated diastolic hypertension, treatment should be individualized according to the underlying cardiovascular disease in the elderly.
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Endocrine And Kidney Causes
The endocrine system is composed of a collection of glands that secrete hormones directly into the circulatory system. These hormones are able to target distant organs, helping to regulate physiology and behavior. The thyroid gland is one of these endocrine structures and it can produce abnormal levels of hormones that lead to elevations of diastolic blood pressure. Problems with the kidney, such as renal failure, are also a common reason for blood pressure increases.
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Diastolic Blood Pressure: How Low Is Too Low
Blood pressure consists of two numbers. Systolic pressure, the force exerted on blood vessels when the heart beats, is the upper number. Diastolic pressure, the force exerted when the heart is at rest, is on the bottom in more ways than one. Systolic pressure attracts the lions share of attention from physicians and patients, says UAB cardiologist Jason Guichard, M.D., Ph.D.
Physicians are busy people, and like it or not they often focus on a single number, Guichard said. Systolic blood pressure is the focus, and diastolic pressure is almost completely ignored. That is a mistake, he argues. The majority of your arteries feed your organs during systole. But your coronary arteries are different they are surrounding the aortic valve, so they get blood only when the aortic valve closes and that happens in diastole.
Diastolic pressure has been getting more attention lately, however, thanks in part to an influential paper in Hypertension, written in 2011 by Guichard and Ali Ahmed, M.D., then a professor of medicine in UABs Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Care and now the associate chief of staff for Health and Aging at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Most people are trying to lower their blood pressure. What would you define as too low, and why is that a problem?
More Than Blood Pressure
The new guidelines have other changes, too. First, they don’t offer different recommendations for people younger or older than age 65. “This is because the SPRINT study looked at all patients regardless of age and didn’t break down groups above or below a certain age,” says Dr. Conlin.
The guidelines also redefined the various categories of hypertension. It eliminated the category of prehypertension, which had been defined as systolic blood pressure of 120 to 139 mm Hg or diastolic pressure of 80 to 89 mm Hg. Instead, people with those readings are now categorized as having either elevated pressure or Stage 1 hypertension .
A reading of 140/90 mm Hg or higher is considered Stage 2 hypertension, and anything higher than 180/120 mm Hg is hypertensive crisis.
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What Is Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood. When a health care professional measures your blood pressure, they use a blood pressure cuff around your arm that gradually tightens. The results are given in two numbers. The first number, called systolic blood pressure, is the pressure caused by your heart contracting and pushing out blood. The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, is the pressure when your heart relaxes and fills with blood.
A blood pressure reading is given as the systolic blood pressure number over the diastolic blood pressure number. Blood pressure levels are classified based on those two numbers.
- Low blood pressure, or hypotension, is systolic blood pressure lower than 90 or diastolic blood pressure lower than 60. If you have low blood pressure, you may feel lightheaded, weak, dizzy, or even faint. It can be caused by not getting enough fluids, blood loss, some medical conditions, or medications, including those prescribed for high blood pressure.
- Normal blood pressure for most adults is defined as a systolic pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80.
- Elevated blood pressure is defined as a systolic pressure between 120 and 129 with a diastolic pressure of less than 80.
- High blood pressure is defined as 130 or higher for the first number, or 80 or higher for the second number.
What Happens If Diastolic Is Low
If your diastolic blood pressure is too low, your heart muscles won’t get enough oxygenated blood. This can lead to weakening of you heart, a condition called diastolic heart failure. You may be at higher risk for this type of heart failure if you have coronary heart disease, which is narrowing of your heart arteries.
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Heart Rate And Exercise
In discussions about high blood pressure, you will often see heart rate mentioned in relation to exercise. Your target heart rate is based on age and can help you monitor the intensity of your exercise.
- If you measure your heart rate before, during and after physical activity, youll notice it will increase over the course of the exercise.
- The greater the intensity of the exercise, the more your heart rate will increase.
- When you stop exercising, your heart rate does not immediately return to your normal heart rate.
- The more fit you are, the sooner your heart rate will return to normal.
Women Who Consume A Lot Of Caffeine Should Reduce Their Consumption When Pregnant
In general, doctors recommend women reduce caffeine consumption when pregnant. Caffeine is a stimulant which can increase your heart rate, something that should be avoided during pregnancy. Caffeine also crosses the placenta and while an adult woman can handle the caffeine, a developing baby may not be able to. Studies have shown caffeine can cause birth defects, premature delivery, and miscarriage. Moderate levels of caffeine may be ok. Consult your doctor.
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What Drugs Can Be Used To Treat High Blood Pressure
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Ask The Doctor: Treatment For High Systolic Pressure
Anthony L. Komaroff, M.D.
Q.Iâm 71 and my systolic pressure is usually in the 150s to 160s, which is high, but my diastolic is usually in the 80s, which is normal. Do I need treatment?
A. A blood pressure measurement includes two numbers: systolic pressure and diastolic pressure . Your systolic pressure is high: 140 or over is high. And your lower number is not normal: normal diastolic pressure is below 80. However, even if your diastolic pressure were truly normal, say 70, you would still benefit from treatment. You would have a condition called isolated systolic hypertension . Many studies have shown that treatment of people with ISH lowers their risk of heart disease and stroke.
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What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure is measured using two numbers:
The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.
If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say, 120 over 80, or write, 120/80 mmHg.
Understanding And Measuring Systolic And Diastolic Blood Pressure
Its estimated that over 40% of the U.S. population has hypertension, and most of those people dont know it. Why? One reason is that its tricky to confirm if you have hypertension, especially if youre only getting your blood pressure read at occasional doctors visits. Thats why recent guidelines recommend that patients also learn how to measure their blood pressure at home.
Here, well talk about what your blood pressure numbers mean and how you can choose a proper, at-home monitor to keep track of them on your own.
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What Is Normal Blood Pressure
Blood pressure ranges for adults are:
- High: Systolic of 130 or above and/or diastolic of 80 or above
- Elevated: Systolic between 120 and 129 and diastolic of 79 or below
- Normal: Systolic of 119 or below and diastolic of 79 or below
- Low: Systolic of less than 100 and/or diastolic of less than 60
- Some people may have normal or asymptomatic blood pressures lower than 100/60
- In people who have chronically high blood pressure , symptoms of low blood pressure may occur at readings above 100/60
The normal blood pressure for adolescents 13 years or older is less than 120/80 mmHg.
In younger children, the normal range for blood pressure is determined by the child’s sex, age, and height. The normal range is expressed as a percentile, similar to charts used to track children’s growth.
Here Is Information About One Of The Most Dangerous And Sneakiest Health Conditions: Blood Pressure
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is a measure of how hard your blood pushes against your arteries as it moves through your body. High blood pressure occurs when your blood pressure, the force of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high. High blood pressure is harmful because it makes the heart work harder and less efficiently.
Why blood pressure matters
High blood pressure can cause significant damage to your eyes, kidneys, brain and blood vessels. Left untreated, it can lead to kidney failure or vision loss. High blood pressure also can affect your ability to think, remember and learn. There’s even a type of dementia vascular dementia caused by high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is one of the most dangerous health conditions because of how sneaky it can be. You can have high blood pressure for years without experiencing any symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to your heart can still occur. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your health care provider to control it.
How is blood pressure measured?
Blood pressure is traditionally measured using an inflatable cuff around your arm. The cuff is inflated, and the cuff gently tightens on your arm. The air in the cuff is slowly released and a small gauge measures your blood pressure.
Your blood pressure is recorded as two numbers:
What is considered normal?
What you can do
Know your numbers
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