Try To Maintain Normal Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the term used to describe the force of the blood circulated by the heart on the arteries, veins and other blood vessels. There are two distinct types of blood pressure: systolic and diastolic. Systolic blood pressure is exerted when the heart muscles contract. Diastolic blood pressure is measured between heart beats. The blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) using a device called a sphygmomanometer.

Up until a few years ago normal blood pressure was considered to be a systolic measurement of around 120 and a diastolic reading of approximately 80. However, after extensive scientific research the American Heart Foundation asserted that normal blood pressure is a measurement of less than 120/80. Now a normal blood pressure range is considered to be anywhere between 90/60 and 120/80, it is not a static number. Indeed various factors can impact an individual’s blood pressure measurement.

Age Is A Factor

Age tends to have an impact on the blood pressure measurement of any individual. For example, a very young child should have a lower measurement than an adult. Generally the older a person is the higher their blood pressure measurement is likely to be. However, the obesity problem here in the United States means that now several youngsters have a blood pressure measurement that is higher than it should be given their age. Furthermore age is no excuse for allowing your blood pressure to creep up. Normal blood pressure for an older person may be higher, but individuals from this age group are at higher risk of the cardiovascular problems associated with hypertension.

Different Times Of Day

There is no set measurement that is considered to be normal blood pressure because it can vary by forty points or more depending on what a person is doing at the time. If a person is feeling stressed or engaging in a physical activity their measurement will be higher, but they still have normal blood pressure. If a person is sleeping or very relaxed their blood pressure should be considerably lower and if it isn’t then there may be a problem.

When To Seek Treatment

If your blood pressure is consistently between 120/80 and 139/89 you have what is termed prehypertension. This means that you should take certain precautions to avoid developing hypertension. Make sure you eat a healthy diet that does not contain too much sugar, saturated fat or salt. Limit your alcohol and caffeine consumption and don’t use nicotine products. Start exercising regularly and make sure you are getting the right vitamins and minerals to lower the blood pressure.

If your have more than one consecutive test that shows a blood pressure reading of 140/90 or higher then this means that you’ve got hypertension. If you have hypertension you are at greater risk than people with normal blood pressure of serious potentially fatal health complications such as stroke, heart attack, heart failure or renal failure You need to amend your lifestyle and your health care provider may prescribe certain medications to correct the problem.

Although normal blood pressure at the lower end of the scale is desirable, having measurements that are too low is not good. If your systolic measurement is less than 90 and your diastolic measurement is lower than 60 you have hypotension. Severe hypotension can lead to organ damage or failure and requires immediate medical treatment.