What Are The Blood Pressure Fundamentals?

blood pressure

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Knowing about your body can be very advantageous to your health as you age. Finding out about your blood pressure can help prevent strokes, heart disease and kidney disease. In this article, you will find everything you should know about your blood pressure.

Anyone can have high blood pressure. It doesn’t matter your age, race, ethnicity or gender. Many people suffer from high blood pressure and have a higher risk of strokes and heart diseases than those with regular blood pressure.

The heart is a tough operating mechanism which moves blood around the body through a very advanced system called arteries and capillaries; the blood is then carried back to the heart by means of veins.

Blood pressure is the thrust of this blood in the body pushing up against the inside walls of the arteries as the heart is pumping.

As the heart compresses, it will drive this blood into the arteries which make an increase in pressure. This increase in pressure is noted as systolic pressure.

When the heart decompresses and fills with blood, the pressure in the arteries then declines which is noted as the diastolic pressure. When the blood pressure is evaluated in the arm, it is both of these pressures which are evaluated.

what is blood pressure

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is a measurement of the pressure exerted by the circulating blood on the walls of the arteries, veins, and chambers of the heart.

The pressure of blood is measured in the context of systolic and diastolic activities. When the ventricles in the heart contract, it is termed as a systolic activity, while the relaxing ventricles mark a diastolic activity.

The pressure of blood is highest during the systole activity and lowest during the diastole activity. The unit of measuring blood pressure is millimeters. A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 mmHg.

A normal healthy person maintains the blood pressure reading of 120/80 mmHg. A deviation from this normal reading can result in a blood pressure disorder.

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There are basically two abnormal conditions of blood pressure. They are known as high blood pressure or hypertension and low blood pressure or hypotension.

Blood pressure can also vary significantly depending on what you are doing during the day. The lowest blood pressures usually happen when you are sleeping or if resting all the muscles.

Standing for periods of time, or if you’re performing any form of exercise, any anxiety, and problems, or nerviness can also create increases in blood pressure.

That means in one day the blood pressure could change by up to a 30 to 40 mmHg systolic reading with like changes in the diastolic pressure. This is why it’s so crucial to have the blood pressure taken under the same conditions each time.

There are no hard and fast figures which represent a normal blood pressure. And very often doctors and other experts cannot even decide between them what an ideal blood pressure range is for an adult.

However, it is usually agreed that somewhere between 110/70 and 125/80 is considered to be an average blood pressure for a grown person, though someone with naturally low blood pressure may be closer to a range of 100/60

A blood pressure of 140/90 is considered to be high, though as a person gets older, this falls into the more normal range for people.

Blood doesn’t circulate in an even stream around the body but travels in a constant series of spurts. Therefore the pressure peaks in the blood vessels just after a heartbeat and then ebbs until the next one. This is a continuous process.

The two blood pressure figures represent the pressures when the forces are at their peak and at their lowest ebb. The stronger the arteries are, the more they resist the force of the blood and the lower the blood pressure.

As a person gets older, and the elasticity of their arteries weakens, the figures tend to rise. However, the lower figure should still be under 90 until that person at least reaches their sixties.

Many studies looking at blood pressure in both black and white people have found there is a higher prevalence of hypertension (High blood pressure) in black people than there is in white.

This has led to further research in determining whether this is racially determined or just based on socioeconomic and dietary factors.

Some people suffering high blood pressure may find they just can’t pinpoint a cause for their problem. They may be fit, have a very healthy lifestyle yet their blood pressure remains consistently high for no apparent reason.

This is called Primary or essential high blood pressure. However if the raised blood pressure is due to an underlying medical problem, it is known as Secondary High Blood Pressure.

Nearly one in four people in the Western world have high blood pressure. Many people don’t appreciate it is a dangerous condition that can lead to a heart attack kidney failure or stroke if it is left untreated.

Yet there are thousands of people unaware they have high blood pressure who are walking around with a lethal time bomb ticking away inside them.

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High Blood Pressure/ Hypertension

A person is known to suffer from high blood pressure when their measurement of blood pressure increases over that of a normal reading. A normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg.

When this blood pressure increases to, say 140/ 90 mmHg, the person is known to have high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is a serious disease because it has the heart working much harder. If the heart has to work harder for extended periods, it will become large.

If the heart is slightly enlarged, it can and should still work alright, but if it becomes greatly enlarged it won’t work alright. High blood pressure can also cause damage to the arteries which can lead to arterial disease.

The higher the blood pressure is the more risk you have of acquiring heart disease and stroke. This means somebody with a blood pressure of 130/80 mmHg is at greater risk than someone with a blood pressure of 120/70 mmHg.

And is the reason it is so important for all to lead a wholesome lifestyle to make sure their blood pressure is as low and as healthy as it can be.

If you put up with Hypertension, it can be treated.  Modest cases of Hypertension can usually be treated through lifestyle changes such as the diet, or increasing the workout levels. Some find the dropping weight is all that is needed to lower their high blood pressure.

Severe cases of Hypertension will need prescription medications such as diuretics and beta blockers. Diuretics aid the body in getting rid of any excess fluids and salt.

But, from individual experience, keep the course of the body’s potassium levels also. Beta blockers will lower the heart rate and the heart’s output of blood.  These then lower the risk of developing heart and brain problems.

high blood pressure

Why High Blood Pressure?

Your heart pumps the blood and supplies it to the various organs of your body via arteries.

The arteries, when leaving your heart, narrow into arterioles. The arterioles further narrow themselves into capillaries.

These capillaries supply oxygen and nutrients to the various body organs.

Due to certain nerve impulses, the arteries become dilated or contracted. If the arteries become contracted, the passage of blood is hampered and it increases the pressure of blood. The condition causes high blood pressure or hypertension.

This condition strains your heart and can even damage your blood vessels. If the vessels get damaged, the blood supply can further affect various body organs connected to the damaged vessels.

The human body generally bears and handles this sudden increase of pressure for a long period of time. This is one of the sole reasons for the fact that you can live your whole life, without any ill-effects or symptoms, from high blood pressure.

Two Forms of High Blood Pressure

There are two forms of high blood pressure, essential hypertension and secondary hypertension.

Around 95 % of hypertension cases are related to essential hypertension. The cause of essential hypertension is multifold.

There are several factors which result in essential hypertension. One of the major factors is high salt intake.

Other factors that can contribute to the cause of essential hypertension are tobacco smoking, alcohol abuse, obesity, diabetes mellitus, a sedentary lifestyle and genetic causes.

Secondary hypertension amounts to at least 5 % of the cases of hypertension. The factors contributing to secondary hypertension are pregnancy, a slow pulse, drugs, kidney diseases, certain types of cancers, malformed aorta and aortic valve disease.

High blood pressure largely remains undetected in its first stage of occurrence. A person would probably never know about it.

But if the condition of high blood pressure prolongs, it can cause serious damages to the various body organs. High blood pressure can directly affect the person in the form of kidney failure, congestive heart failure or heart attack.

Low Blood Pressure/ Hypotension

In the medical terms, low blood pressure is called hypotension. A person is said to have low blood pressure disorder if his blood pressure falls below the normal reading of 120/80 mmHg.

Why Low Blood Pressure?

There are many causes of low blood pressure. Among the common cause include acute illness. The condition can be characterized by the symptoms such as severe blood loss, infection, fluid loss or damage to the heart.

The age factor plays an important role in low blood pressure. Increasing age causes your arteries to stiffen and cause a drop in the pressure of blood.

Damage to adrenal glands can also lead to low blood pressure conditions. Damage to adrenal glands affects the production of aldosterone in your body.

This hormone controls the salt amounts in the body. If the aldosterone hormone gets affected, it leads to the loss of salt from your body, further resulting in low blood pressure.

This causes dizziness when you stand up. Low blood pressure can also be caused due to the usage of diuretics.

A person with low blood pressure shows symptoms of chest pain, headache, prolonged diarrhea or vomiting. The person also suffers from burning sensation while urination, stiff neck, high fever and irregular heartbeat. The person, at times, suffers from shortness of breath and a cough with phlegm.

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Normal is healthy!

Neither high blood pressure, nor low blood pressure is good for your body and health. You should get your blood pressure checked regularly for either of these two disorders.

The proper treatment and control of your blood pressure will definitely enable you to live a healthy and happy life!

What is the normal blood pressure level?

The normal blood pressure level is less than 120 over 80 or less. The first number is your systolic pressure and the second number is your diastolic pressure.

Your numbers are read 120 over 80 or around these numbers. If your pressure is 140 over 90 or higher you have high blood pressure.

What is systolic blood pressure? This is the force of blood in your arteries when your heart is beating.

What is diastolic blood pressure? This is the force of blood in your arteries when your heart is relaxing.

What are the risk factors of high blood pressure?

The most common risks of high blood pressure are stroke and heart disease. There are a few other risk factors that can be modified and some that cannot be.

The following are some risks:
  • Tobacco
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Diabetes
  • Abnormal Cholesterol
  • Being overweight

How can I lower my blood pressure?

Fortunately, there are many different ways of helping to lower your blood pressure. Exercise is a great way to lower it. Doing physical activity will make your heart stronger over time.

If you have a stronger heart it can pump blood easier lessening your risks of stroke and kidney diseases. It is never too late to start exercising!

If you are concerned about your blood pressure consult your physician. Ask any and all questions you might have and find the best way for you to lower it. If all regular ways fail, consider medication.

Talk with your doctor about your health and lifestyle so he can choose the best medicine for you. If you want to live a healthy life, taking control of your blood pressure is very important.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

Blood pressure is the thrust of this blood in the body pushing up against the inside walls of the arteries as the heart is pumping.

What is Blood Pressure?

  • Blood pressure is a measurement of the pressure exerted by the circulating blood on the walls of the arteries, veins, and chambers of the heart.
  • A normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg.

High Blood Pressure / Hypertension
When this blood pressure increases to, say 140/ 90 mmHg, the person is known to have high blood pressure.

2 Forms of High Blood Pressure

  • Essential Hypertension
    The factors that can contribute to the cause of essential hypertension are high salt intake, tobacco smoking, alcohol abuse, obesity, diabetes mellitus, a sedentary lifestyle and genetic causes.
  • Secondary Hypertension
    The factors contributing to secondary hypertension are pregnancy, a slow pulse, drugs, kidney diseases, certain types of cancers, malformed aorta and aortic valve disease.

Low Blood Pressure / Hypotension
A person is said to have low blood pressure disorder if his blood pressure falls below the normal reading of 120/80 mmHg.

Normal is Healthy
What is the normal blood pressure level?
The normal blood pressure level is less than 120 over 80 or less. The first number is your systolic pressure and the second number is your diastolic pressure.

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Are you familiar with the different kinds of blood pressure?

– Are you aware of your blood pressure level?

– Are you aware of the risk factors of high blood pressure?

– Do you have a normal blood pressure?

– What measures are you doing to maintain a normal blood pressure?


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