Blood pressure is an important indicator of our health. It tells us about the force with which our blood is circulating in our body. Sustained high blood pressure, or hypertension, can lead to serious health complications such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. Therefore, it is crucial that we understand what the different readings of blood pressure mean, and how we can take measures to maintain healthy blood pressure levels. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to understanding what is a high blood pressure reading.
What are the different types of blood pressure readings?
Blood pressure is measured using two numbers, systolic and diastolic pressure. The systolic pressure represents the force at which your heart is pumping blood. The diastolic pressure represents the force of the blood flow when your heart is at rest. A healthy blood pressure reading is usually around 120/80 mmHg, with the systolic number coming in at around 120 and the diastolic number coming in at around 80.
If your blood pressure reading is between 120/80 and 139/89, your blood pressure is considered to be pre-hypertension. Blood pressure readings that exceed these numbers indicate that you have high blood pressure, with range beyond 140/90.
What causes high blood pressure?
There are many factors that can cause high blood pressure. These include but are not limited to an inactive lifestyle, being overweight or obese, consuming too much alcohol or tobacco and not eating a balanced diet. Other factors like genetics, race, age and family history also play significant roles in the development of high blood pressure.
What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?
In the early stages of high blood pressure, there are usually no noticeable symptoms or signs. However, as blood pressure increases, some people may experience headaches, nausea, fatigue, chest pains or a general feeling of discomfort. These symptoms can be a significant warning sign, and it is important that you consult a doctor if you experience any of them.
How can high blood pressure be prevented or managed?
Healthy lifestyle choices are a great way to prevent hypertension, such as maintaining a balanced diet and engaging in regular exercise. A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds and legumes can help bring down high blood pressure. Eating foods high in sodium and cholesterol should be avoided.
Besides, it is essential to avoid habits that can trigger or exacerbate hypertension. For example, smoking tobacco and taking drugs can raise your blood pressure. Also, drinking too much alcohol can make the condition worse.
Taking regular medication can also bring down high blood pressure. Medications like angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, diuretics, calcium channel blockers or beta-blockers can help manage hypertension.
High blood pressure is a common but containable issue that can arise from different root causes. Knowing your blood pressure is a vital part of taking good care of your health. And, high blood pressure can be curbed through simple lifestyle changes and medical treatment when required. This article aimed to help you understand the essential readings of blood pressure and what you can do to manage hypertension. If you are unsure of your blood pressure readings, it is crucial to consult with your doctor before making any lifestyle or diet changes.