Showing posts with label Diastolic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Diastolic. Show all posts

Nov 8, 2013

Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the intrinsic pressure within your arteries and veins. Your body needs this pressure to adequately supply all your tissues and organs with nutrients. Like the plumbing in your house, adequate pressure is needed, but if that pressure gets too high it causes problems.

High blood pressure is a combination of environmental risk factors and genes. High blood pressure is defined as any systolic pressure (top number) above 140 or diastolic (bottom number) higher than 90.

High blood pressure is not a disease itself, but indicates a risk factor for several other conditions like heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. The most beneficial way to control blood pressure is naturally. This is because medications that control blood pressure come with serious side effects. These side effects can sometimes be more harmful than the high blood pressure itself.

Things like lack of exercise and bad eating habits can cause a buildup of plaque inside your arteries. Excessive plaque on the interior walls of your arteries makes them smaller, known as “Atherosclerosis”. When the pipes that transport fluid get smaller, the pressure that same volume of fluid exerts goes up. If the blood pressure gets too high, arteries have a greater chance of bursting. Arteries get larger or smaller depending on the needs of the body. Excessive plaque makes this increasingly more difficult for a body to achieve.

A person’s blood pressure can also be too high due to genetics. A landmark study published in Nature in 2011 found 29 genetic variants that affected blood pressure. The authors found any one variant in a gene did not increase risk of hypertension, but people with multiple variants were much more likely to have high blood pressure.

Sep 13, 2013

Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is really just that- the pressure at which blood moves around the body in your arteries. The easiest and least invasive way to test the pressure is to momentarily stop the flow of blood and then slowly allow it to begin again. The pressure at which it begins to flow is the highest pressure the blood exerts on your artery walls.

Medical professionals do this by using a blood pressure meter known as a Sphygmomanometer. They encircle a limb, usually an arm, with a balloon-like device known as a blood pressure cuff. While pumping the cuff up, they use a stethoscope to listen for a heart beat past where the cuff is cutting off blood flow. When they no longer hear the heart beating, they slowly release the pressure while watching the pressure gauge.

When they start to hear the heart beat again, this is the top number of blood pressure, known as systolic pressure. They continue to release the pressure until they once again, no longer hear the heart beating, this is the bottom number of blood pressure, known as diastolic pressure. Together these numbers tell them two things: the pressure that is inside arteries between heartbeats (the bottom number) and the pressure inside arteries when the heart squeezes (the top number).

Different disease processes like coronary artery disease can cause higher than normal blood pressure. Lower than normal blood pressures can be a sign of other disease processes, like shock caused by infection. The difference between top and bottom numbers, or a change in that difference, can also point to specific problems like too much fluid around the heart, not allowing it to work properly.

Combining this information with a person’s heart rate can also tell numerous other things that could be happening. If you have been in a car accident and have a lower than normal blood pressure and higher than normal heart rate, you could be bleeding internally. If you were in another car accident and have an extremely high blood pressure and a low heart rate, you could be bleeding in your brain. High blood pressure is not a disease or illness in and of itself. It is merely a symptom for other problems.

May 27, 2011

Blood Pressure Facts

High blood pressure affects about 50 million Americans and 1 billion people worldwide.

Blood pressure measures the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. It is highest near your heart and in the major arteries and lowest in small arteries and capillaries. Because it varies, blood pressure is taken in a standardized place, usually on the inside of your upper arm along the brachial artery.

The upper number, systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart pumps blood throughout the body. The lower number, diastolic blood pressure, is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is relaxing. Healthy blood pressure should be around 120/80 or lower. When the systolic pressure is greater than 120 and the diastolic pressure is greater than 80, patients are diagnosed as having high blood pressure. These levels have recently been lowered from 140/90. Different levels are used for children and adolescents.

High blood pressure is called hypertension and can lead to a number of serious conditions, including coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure. Elevated blood pressure levels can make you tired, give you headaches, cause vision problems, and give you an upset stomach, or there can be no symptoms.

Low blood pressure is called hypotension and can result in a decrease in the amount of blood being pumped to the brain resulting in lightheadedness, dizziness, weakness, and fainting. Extremely low blood pressure can also be a sign of a severe cardiac disease and should be taken just as seriously as high blood pressure.