It seems like the first thing that any nurse or doctor does when you visit them is measure your blood pressure.
This simple measurement can be an important indicator to numerous serious health problems. Maintaining a proper blood pressure is an important aspect of your health.
The first step to a healthy blood pressure is knowing more about it. How is blood pressure actually measured? What can happen if you don’t manage your blood pressure properly? Is there ways to easily lower your blood pressure if you find out it’s too high? These questions are important to have answers to. The first step to a healthier life is learning about blood pressure.
Blood Pressure Readings
By now, most people know how to read blood pressure. There’s two different numbers given together. Systolic pressure is the first reading, with diastolic pressure being the second one. Systolic pressure refers to the blood pressure when a heart is contracting and pushing blood. The diastolic pressure instead measures when the heart is resting in between heartbeats.
An example reading is 125/85 mm Hg. The ideal blood pressure is typically 120/80, but will vary slightly for different people. Many doctors will tell people that the worst place they can get their blood pressure measured is in a doctors office. Not many people are feeling completely relaxed in those situations. When people get above 140/90, that’s generally referred to as hypertension and considered high blood pressure. Doctors will advise how to avoid reaching that point and what to do to correct blood pressure that high.
Blood Pressure Complications
Chronic high blood pressure can be a severely dangerous thing. It can be a sign of many very serious or life threatening conditions. It can also help cause said conditions. Some of the many complications of high blood pressure include:
- Heart Attack/Stroke - This is one of the most common issues and the thickened arteries from high blood pressure end up causing heart issues.
- Dementia - Arteries damaged through high blood pressure can mean less blood heading to the brain. In turn, this can cause a form of dementia.
- Aneurysms - Blood vessels can become weaker due to high blood pressure. These can rupture and cause fatal consequences.
- Vision Loss - Blood vessels in the eyes can become damaged and cause vision loss.
- Kidney Damage - People with high blood pressure can damage their kidneys to a fair degree.
Lowering Blood Pressure
There are medications which can be used to help bring blood pressure down to lower levels. Despite this fact, it’s often lifestyle that makes the biggest difference for a person who is trying to lower their blood pressure. There are many common activities that raise a person’s blood pressure and cutting those out of your life can help get blood pressure lower once again.
The first step in lifestyle changes will likely revolve around diet. Eating too much salt, or many foods that are bad for heart health can contribute to high blood pressure. The second thing is ensuring that there’s the right amount of exercise or physical activity. Obese people should try to bring their weight down to a healthy level. Thankfully, the previous lifestyle changes can certainly assist with that goal. Another important fix is to limit the intake of alcohol to low levels, or cut it out completely. Quitting smoking will also help.
Sometimes stress can be a major factor causing high blood pressure. This means that lowering it can require reducing the stress a person feels. Easier said than done, certainly, but relaxation and breathing techniques can help. Medication or muscle relaxation can help reduce stress as well.