What Is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the measure of force used by the heart to pump blood around the body. It is a vital force because, without it, oxygen and nutrients would not be pushed around the circulatory system to nourish tissues and organs.
It is also important because it assists in the production of white blood cells and antibodies for immunity and the production of hormones like insulin.
Another importance of blood pressure is that it helps the fresh blood that has been pumped to sift the toxic waste products including the carbon dioxide we exhale.
Blood has a lot of properties including temperature. It also has a defense against tissue damage- that is the platelets that prevent blood loss during an injury.
HOW BLOOD PRESSURE IS MEASURED
Blood pressure is measured best when you feel relaxed. Usually, an inflatable pressure cuff is wrapped around your upper arms. the sphygmomanometer is the device used in checking blood pressure.
The blood pressure is recorded as two numbers like 120/80. The bigger number shows the arteries’ pressure as the heart pumps out blood. This is known as systolic blood pressure.
The lesser number shows the pressure of the heart as it relaxes before the next beat. This is called diastolic blood pressure. They are both measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and that is the standard unit of measurement.
VARIATIONS IN BLOOD PRESSURE
1 . Normal blood pressure.
People who have normal blood pressure normally have their pressure reading below 120/80mmHg. Those within this category should continue with a healthy lifestyle and eat a balanced diet.
2 . Elevated blood pressure
This is when your systolic reading ranges between 120 to 129 consistently and less than 80 diastolic. Those that have elevated blood pressure are likely to develop high blood pressure unless some steps are taken to put it under control.
3 . Hypertension stage 1
This is when your blood pressure consistently reads 130-139 systolic or 80-89 mm Hg diastolic. Here, your doctor is probably going to prescribe lifestyle changes and may also consider adding blood pressure medication based on your risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
4 . Hypertension stage 2
This occurs when your blood pressure consistently reads 140/90 mm Hg or higher. At this stage of high blood pressure, doctors will prescribe a combination of blood pressure medications and lifestyle changes.
5 . Hypertensive crisis
This normally requires medical attention. If your blood pressure exceeds 180/120 consistently you need to consult your doctor immediately because you could be experiencing a crisis.
Blood pressure is important to the body. It can be low or high. High blood pressure can cause a number of health issues and should be checked by a doctor.
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