Understanding Blood Pressure Readings

Nowadays, for you to be able to monitor your blood pressure, you just have to get a portable blood pressure monitor. It’s automatic – you just have to switch it on, put the cuff on your arm or wrist, press the start button, and wait until it gets a reading. When the reading is flashed on the LCD display, you can now record the blood pressure reading that it made.

But what does the reading mean? You know the number above is higher than the number below like an improper fraction, but what do they stand for and what significance do they have? The number above is called the systolic blood pressure. This is the blood pressure that indicates the level of the contraction of the heart when it pumps blood, or the maximum pressure during the contraction of the left ventricle of the heart. On the other hand, the number below is called the diastolic blood pressure, and it is the pressure when the heart tends to relax or dilate, like after a pumping cycle. It is minimum arterial pressure during relaxation and dilation of the ventricles of the heart when the ventricles fill with blood. Before pumping, the heart first collects blood, and it relaxes to get as much blood as it can. Basically, the blood pressure indicates the pressure before and after the heart has pumped blood.

When you take your blood pressure reading, you record the numbers one over the other, as well as the pulse rate. The significance of these numbers relies on their values. When do you have to be cautious and when can you say that you are healthy? The systole and diastole are separate numbers but they only stay within a particular range. For instance, a systolic reading can never be equal to a diastolic reading. You can identify whether or not you have high blood pressure using these numbers.

Systolic values lower than 120 paired with diastolic values lower than 80 are numbers which indicate normal blood pressure. Having this reading means your heart is healthy. What you need to do then is to maintain your lifestyle, eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and keep track of your blood pressure. If it rises to a systole of 120-139 and a diastole of 80-89, this means you are entering the doors of high blood, the pre-hypertension stage. In order to correct this, you should exercise more, eat healthier foods, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Cut back on the fats and junk foods, and practice methods for keeping your blood pressure low.

When your reading reaches a systole of 140-159 and a diastole of 90-99, you are in the first stage of hypertension. This can be quite an alarming occurrence if you have no history of high blood pressure and have maintained a normal blood pressure level until now. However, there’s no need to rush to a doctor. Sometimes the environment, the condition of the body, and our current activity can affect our blood pressure. It is always advisable to take your blood pressure level during break times when the body is relaxed and you have not gone from a long time of working.

The reading that can present danger to your health has a systole of 160 or higher and a diastole of 100 or higher. When you have this level of blood pressure, you might be in serious danger. In such event, you have to seek the advice of a medical professional in order to know what methods you should perform and what medications you should take in order to normalize your blood pressure again. But you have to take note that once you have experienced high blood pressure, you can never escape from it, and you have to maintain your healthy lifestyle for the rest of your life. So if you still want to be able to eat your favorite junk foods without fear, always keep track of your blood pressure and live a healthy lifestyle, but you can still have careless fun every once in a while.