Blood pressure is a combination of diastolic and systolic pressure. Diastolic pressure stands for blood pressure when the heart is at rest, while the Systolic pressure represents blood force, or pressure, while the heart is in working state.
Systolic pressure is the top measurement in a blood pressure reading. In a reading of 130/80, 130 represents systolic pressure and 80 represents diastolic pressure. In prehypertension condition, systolic numbers range from 120–139 and diastolic numbers range from 80-89.
Blood pressure ranges include:
- Normal: Less than 120/80
- Prehypertension: 120–139/80-89
- Stage 1 high blood pressure: 140–159/90-99
- Stage 2 high blood pressure: 160 and above/100 and above
Numbers for stage 1 high blood pressure vary from 140–159 for systolic values and 90–99 in diastolic values. With stage 2 high blood pressure, systolic readings are equal to or more than 160 or and diastolic readings measure equal to or more than 100. Both values have their significant importance, but after age 50, you must take care of systolic number. Up to 90% cases of high blood pressure are due to systolic. Only 10 percent of high blood pressure cases are due to diastolic.
High blood pressure happens due to the stress on the arteries and distortion of atrial wall resulting extra stress on the heart. If not cured on-time, Long term higher blood pressure increases the chances of heart attack, diabetes and stroke. Most people don’t even realize they have high blood pressure until some serious problems arise.
Results of high blood pressure include:
- Arterial damage
- Blocked or ruptured blood vessels
- Heart failure
- Loss of cognitive function: concentration, memory and ability to learn
- Metabolic syndrome: a cluster of metabolic disorders such as high cholesterol and insulin, atherosclerosis and increased waist size
- Reduced kidney function
- Vision loss
Normally, there are no significant symptoms when blood pressure rises, but warning signs for very high blood pressure can include ear noise or buzzing, chest pains, confusion, headaches, irregular heartbeat, nosebleeds, tiredness or vision changes.
Causes of high blood pressure include:
- A high-salt diet
- Birth control pills
- Emotional stress
- Heavy-metal poisoning
You can easily monitor your own blood pressure at home using an automatic blood pressure monitor. The American Heart Association recommends using a cuff-style bicep automatic blood pressure monitor. Make sure you buy a monitor of leading and recommended brand. Make sure before purchase that the cuff fits properly around your upper arm.
Follow these simple steps to monitor your blood pressure:
- Don’t eat, smoke, drink caffeinated beverages or exercise before 30 minutes of measuring your blood pressure.
- Sit still with your feet flat on the floor and your back straight. Follow your monitor’s instructions to use it.
- Make a habit to check your blood pressure at the same time each day.
Make sure to track your measurements, either writing them down in a diary or using an online tracker.