What Should You Know About Your Blood Pressure Readings?

Blood pressure readings are an integral part of one’s health, and when this is ignored, it almost always results in fatalities. This is what makes it very important for individuals to have an understanding of what blood pressure entails as well as some of the terms that are used for the same. This article highlights what you should know alongside a brief description of the same. This gives you a basic understanding of your blood pressure, but should not in any way be used as a substitute for regular medical checkup.

If you take a keen look at the blood pressure readings as they are presented, you will notice that they constitute two sets of numbers. One set is placed above the other. What are these numbers and what do they represent?

Systolic readings

This is the set of number that is located above, and which must be higher in value compared to the other set of numbers. This reading is obtained from the pressure of the blood in the arteries when the muscles of the heart contract.

Diastolic readings

This is the second set of numbers, which must be lower than the other set. The reason why it is lower is attributed to the fact that it takes readings of the pressure within the arteries in between heartbeats, and at a time when the muscles of the heart are relaxed. It is also during this time that the heart gets refilled with blood to facilitate for proper circulation.
Now that you know what the blood pressure readings are all about, what is the recommended range for healthy blood pressure? Below is a summary of the different ranges of blood pressure readings, with all the readings indicated in mmHg.

Normal blood pressure

In normal blood pressure, the systolic blood pressure must not exceed 120, while the diastolic pressure must not exceed 80.

Prehypertension

Just as the name suggests, this is the stage just before hypertension, so individuals who find themselves in this position must take steps to ensure that they do not progress to hypertension. The blood pressure readings in this category range between 120 and 139 (systolic blood pressure). For diastolic pressure, the range is anywhere between 80 and 89.

Stage 1hypertension

This represents the first stage of hypertension, and is characterized by systolic readings of between 140 and 159. Diastolic readings on the other hand range between 90 and 99.

Stage 2 hypertension

This stage is a progression from stage 1 high blood pressure, and calls for drastic changes if the patient is to lead quality life. The blood pressure readings obtained in such a case will range anywhere from 160 to 180. The diastolic readings are also significantly elevated when compared to the normal diastolic readings, and the readings range between 100 and 110. At this point, it is critical that the patient receives medication.

Hypertensive crisis

This is the last category, and is easily referred to as the hypertensive crisis stage because emergency care is required if the victim is to survive. Blood pressure readings in this critical state will be higher than 180 in the systolic readings and higher than 110 in the diastolic readings.

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