What Is Blood Pressure – And What’s Normal?

Blood pressure is a measure of how strong the pressure is when the blood flows through your arteries. It shouldn’t be too strong, or too low, either – there’s a happy medium. You probably know the perfect reading for healthy people – 120 (systolic blood pressure) over 80 (diastolic blood pressure). Technically, it’s written as 120/80 mmHg.

bloodpressure check upThat number is supposed to be even lower in most cases where the patient has suffered previous health conditions such as a stroke or heart problem. Even kidney issues can result in your need for even lower blood pressure readings.

What happens when your blood pressure is off is that those numbers begin to change – sometimes by a little, other times by a lot.  Once you get to the 140/90 range, your doctor will diagnose you as having high blood pressure and urge you to make changes.

There’s a range in between 120/80 and 140/90 that’s known as pre-hypertension. That just means you’re teetering dangerously close to having full-blown high blood pressure.

What Causes Changes In Blood Pressure Readings?

Your blood pressure can fluctuate to some degree, even when you just walk into the doctor’s office if you’re nervous. But it Worried seniors measuring blood pressurewon’t change too much unless you’ve been suffering some varying health conditions.

As you get older, your blood pressure might naturally begin to increase. Your blood vessels aren’t as flexible when you’re older – they tend to become more rigid.

  • Overweight individuals have more instances of hypertension.
  • Your hormones changing can affect your blood pressure levels.
  • Genetics play a role in whether or not you have hypertension.
  • Stress and anxiety can cause spikes in your blood pressure.
  • Diabetics experience more instances of high blood pressure.
  • Salt is a contributing factor to high blood pressure readings.
  • The shape of your blood vessels will help or hurt your blood pressure.
  • If your kidneys are in bad shape, it can cause high blood pressure.

Smokers see a diagnosis of hypertension more often than non-smokers.

Liquor1Overloading on alcohol can mean high blood pressure readings.

  • A Potassium deficiency or Vitamin D deficiency contributes to hypertension.
  • African Americans have to worry more about hypertension.

Here’s something scary – in most cases (90-95%), there’s no formal cause found for your high blood pressure! They call this phenomenon essential (primary) hypertension. All they know is that your heart has to work much harder to pump blood through your body.

Secondary hypertension is when high blood pressure levels are caused by another medical condition, like kidney disease.

We’re Here for You!

Yes, there’s a lot to learn about living with arthritis. Getting in control might take some time. It’s going to mean making some changes in your life, but you can start with small changes, and you don’t have to make them all at once. Try to stay positive and work with your doctor to find the right combination of treatments. And you don’t have to do it alone.  
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