Monday, November 4, 2013

Blood Pressure Information

The heart beats to pump blood to every part of the body. The force of the carriage of blood through the arteries, vessels and capillaries is what is known as blood pressure. This pressure is at its highest when the heart beats and acts like a pump, and this is known as the systolic pressure. When the heart is resting, blood pressure falls, and this is known as the diastolic pressure. Both high and low blood pressure can be caused by and contribute to various health disorders.


    Blood pressure information is given in the form of one number being over another number, such as 115/85. These two numbers represent the systolic and diastolic pressures. Using the example given, this would mean that the pressure of blood as the heart beats is 115, while the pressure when the heart is still is 85. It is the combination of these numbers that is important rather than one being more so than the other.

Normal Pressure

    Normal, or average blood pressure is considered to be 120 over 80, but the leeway for "normal" can go as high as 130 over 85 and as low as 110 over 75.


    Hypertension is the name given to high blood pressure. The definition of hypertension is having a systolic pressure above 140 and a diastolic pressure above 90. At the same time, hypertension is also used to identify someone who is on antihypertensive drugs to treat high blood pressure even when the actual pressure is within the normal range.


    It is possible to have anemia resulting from a lack of adequate hemoglobin and still suffer from hypertension. A great many people have both anemia and high blood pressure, especially women who are still menstruating.


    Hypotension is low blood pressure. Low blood pressure in and of itself is not necessarily dangerous; many people live perfectly normal lives with everyday pressure as low as 90 over 60. When symptoms like dizziness and chronic fatigue are associated with low blood pressure, however, it can become a portent of more serious health problems.


    Hypertension is far more prevalent than low blood pressure, and is one of the most common ailments in America. One in four Americans currently has high blood pressure, and most of the population will experience high blood pressure as they age. The reason for this is that blood pressure naturally rises as one gets older. Some groups are at a higher risk, however: African-Americans experience high blood pressure on average at a far greater proportion than the rest of the population.


    DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and is intended to maintain normal blood pressure. It is a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, while avoiding saturated fats, cholesterol and salt. Studies have confirmed that people with high blood pressure who are put on the DASH diet can expect their blood pressure reading to be reduced by as much as 11 points.


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