Blood pressure is measured with a sphygmomanometer (blood pressure monitor) and shows two values:
- Top Pressure – Systolic pressure
- Under Pressure – Diastolic pressure
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What’s Normal blood pressure?
The normal pressure in the aorta and other arteries of an adult person is an upper pressure of 120 and underpressure of 80. Also shown as 120/80.
For adults, a normal blood pressure varies between 120/70 and 140/90. Values constantly above 140/90 are seen as high blood pressure .
A good way to read this value is as follows:
- Normal blood pressure is below 120/80
- A slightly elevated normal blood pressure is between 120/80 and 140/90
- High blood pressure (hypertension) is 140/90 or higher
- A high blood pressure is 180/110 or higher
Blood pressure adjusts to the body all day long. For example, the pressure will rise during exercise and fall during rest. High blood pressure does not always show symptoms and you can feel optimal despite the high pressure.
Regular PB Check
The only way to check if the blood pressure is too high is to have it measured by a doctor or to measure yourself with a blood pressure monitor. If the pressure is too high for a long time, this can lead to problems such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure and kidney problems.
There are a number of issues that can cause high blood pressure, such as obesity, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, hereditary defects and too little exercise. Hypertension is generally most common in people over 50.
Measuring Blood Pressure
You do not always have to visit a doctor to measure the blood pressure. You can also measure blood pressure at home with a blood pressure monitor. It may be that the doctor has already asked to check this regularly.
Tips for measuring your blood pressure
There are several factors that can cause the blood pressure to rise temporarily. Below are a few examples:
- Cold environment
- Some medications
Before you take a measurement it is important to avoid all these things as much as possible. Try to measure at the same time every day. A doctor will want to see several measurements to see if the blood pressure is fluctuating.
- For measuring, Find a quiet place.
- Make sure you are comfortable and calm and have an empty bladder.
- Sit in a chair for 5 to 10 minutes in order to get the most accurate picture possible.
Healthy Blood Pressure
With a few minor adjustments in the lifestyle habits, the pressure can be maintained
- Prevent stress
- Ensure sufficient movement
- Healthy diet
- Healthy weight
- Quit smoking
- Reduce salt intake
Low Blood Pressure ( Hypotension )
Low blood pressure is difficult to diagnose by a doctor. While high blood pressure is associated with acute symptoms, hypotension (hypo = low, tension = pressure) is often normal for a patient if there are no symptoms. Sometimes low is good, if the goal is to keep blood pressure under control, but sometimes low is also bad, because there is not enough pressure to provide the organs with a good blood flow.
There are many causes for low blood pressure, ranging from fluctuations during pregnancy or dangerous underlying disorders, such as heart problems or a disturbance in hormone levels. In some cases, dehydration, intensive exercise or medication against high blood pressure is a cause of low blood pressure. Some studies show that 1% weight loss due to fluid loss is enough to cause dizziness, confusion, or other symptoms of low blood pressure.
An important cause of low blood pressure is orthostatic hypotension. This occurs during changes of body position, usually from sitting to standing position. Classical signs that there is too low a pressure are dizziness, fainting and blurred vision.
Other important causes of low blood pressure
- Heart problems that cause a slow heartbeat or a weak heart
- Normal changes during the first and second trimester of pregnancy
- Side effects of medication, such as against high blood pressure and beta blockers.
- Thyroid problems
Classic symptoms of low blood pressure are:
- Pass out
- Concentration problems, confusion, fears
- Suddenly feeling cold or clammy
- Change in breathing (fast, superficial breathing)
High Blood Pressure ( Hypertension )
Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. It is known as a ‘silent killer’, because symptoms remain unnoticed until long-term illnesses and complications arise.
- Many people walk around with high blood pressure without knowing it.
- Problems that can occur if high blood pressure is not treated are heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure, vascular disease, aneurysm of the aorta. The latter is a dilation of the aorta, which makes the wall weaker.
Blood pressure is measured with a blood pressure monitor and shows two digits. The top pressure and underpressure. For example, 120/80 (120 over 80). The measurement is performed on the upper arm.
In 90% of people with hypertension there is no clear cause for high blood pressure. Even though the specific cause is unknown, there are risk factors that can contribute to high blood pressure.
- Obesity : As the weight increases, blood pressure also increases. There is obesity when someone has a BMI of more than 30. People with obesity are 2 to 6 times more likely to develop high blood pressure.
- Salt sensitivity : Some people are sensitive to salt and blood pressure rises faster when salt is ingested.
- Alcohol : People who drink more than 1 or 2 glasses of alcohol per day have a higher risk of hypertension.
- Too little physical exercise
- Medications : Some medicines such as amphetamine, diet and allergy pills can increase blood pressure.
- Age : The higher the age, the greater the chance that someone develops high blood pressure. This is usually due to hardening of the barrels.
- Race : Dark people generally have a higher risk of high blood pressure due to a vitamin D deficiency. This also often occurs at a younger age.
- Hereditary burden
- Gender : Generally, men more often have high blood pressure than women.
High blood pressure generally does not cause symptoms. Most people only realize that it is too high when it is measured.
Sometimes people with a markedly increased blood pressure develop one or more of the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Nausea and / or vomiting
- Chest pain and shortness of breath
Most people do not seek medical attention until the moment that symptoms start to occur due to organ damage. Most problems that occur are:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Stroke (TIA)
- Damage to the eyes