Understanding Blood Pressure

We hear about it almost every day: blood pressure.

So, what is this thing about pressuring my blood?  And what should I know about it?

When your heart beats, it squeezes and pushes blood through your arteries to the rest of your body.  Measuring the pressure created by this force is called  taking your blood pressure.  It can tell you many things about your overall health, particularly when it comes to your cardiovascular system.

When a blood pressure (BP) cuff is put on you the device comes up with two numbers:

  • Systolic
  • Diastolic

The first number, systolic BP, is a measure of the pressure the heart causes when it pushes blood out. This number can range from below 120 to over 180:

  • Normal: below 120.
  • Elevated: 120-129.
  • Stage 1 hypertension: 130-139.
  • Stage 2 hypertension: 140 or more.
  • Hypertensive crisis: 180 or more. Call 911 or come to Frontline)

Diastolic BP, the second number, is the pressure put on the arteries when the heart rests between beats.  These numbers range from under 80 to over 120:

  • Normal: lower than 80
  • Stage 1 hypertension: 80-89.
  • Stage 2 hypertension: 90 or more.
  • Hypertensive crisis: 120 or more. Call 911 or come to Frontline)

In each case, the higher the number, the more danger you might be in to be suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure).

You can lower or keep your blood pressure normal by:

  • Cutting back on sodium.
  • Getting more exercise.
  • Losing weight.
  • Eating healthy.
  • Limiting alcohol.

Prevention is the best medicine in the fight against illness and disease.  It is our top priority to ensure the safe and immediate treatment of your illnesses and injuries, with the goal of getting you back on track faster to good health.

Frontline ER is an acute care emergency room providing healthcare services to the communities we live and work within. Give us a call or contact us through our website should you have more questions about our services.

*Photos courtesy of Unsplash



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