Understanding Blood Pressure Readings Know your Numbers
Do you know what your blood pressure is and what it means?
If you answer “no,” and might be wondering why you need to know that…..Right, then please read on and do get your BP checked.
Blood pressure refers to how much force your blood is putting on the walls of the arteries in your body. When there is a large amount of force on the walls of your arteries it is called high blood pressure, or hypertension.
High blood pressure or hypertension is a disease and is often called the “silent killer” because symptoms are often not felt or noticed by the person who has the disease.
It is very important for you to know what your blood pressure is so that you can take action to keep yourself healthy.
For now, concentrate on what your blood pressure is, and in what category your reading places you.
Starting at age 20, the American Heart Association recommends a blood pressure screening at your regular healthcare visit or once every 2 years. A normal systolic pressure is less than 120, and a normal diastolic pressure is less than 80. What this means is that a normal blood pressure would be anything less than 120/80. If even one of your numbers is higher than what is considered normal, you should think about making some lifestyle changes.
If your blood pressure is between 120/80 mmHg and 139/89 mmHg, then you have prehypertension. This means that you don’t have high blood pressure now but are likely to develop it in the future. You can take steps to prevent high blood pressure by adopting a healthy lifestyle. However check it at least every year or more often as your doctor suggests.
If your blood pressure reading is higher than normal, a single high reading does not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure. However, if readings stay at 140/90 mm Hg or above over time, your doctor will likely want you to begin a treatment program. Such a program almost always includes lifestyle changes and often prescription medication.
If, while monitoring your blood pressure, you get a systolic reading of 180 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic reading of 110 mm HG or higher, you should seek immediate emergency medical treatment for a hypertensive crisis or have someone drive you to the hospital right away.
Take care Get your blood pressure mointored regularly.