In recent days, everyone knows how important blood pressure monitoring is. About 1/3 adult population is suffering from it and researchers are seeing rapid growth in this number every year. As a result, high blood pressure is becoming a common health problem, and people of every age getting aware to monitor their blood pressure more often. Monitoring your own blood pressure is not a very complicated process but it is essential to have basic knowledge of the numbers on the monitor. So, let’s understand the basics of BP monitors’ numbers.
At home, to get an accurate blood pressure reading the first and foremost requirement is to have the basic knowledge of how to measure blood pressure. Without having an accurate assessment, the numbers of systolic and diastolic are worthless. And anyone can remember and perform those basic requirements effortlessly. To take the blood pressure properly we need to be cautious of some points. For instance, do not intake any beverages or caffeinated drinks or alcohol, and no smoking, or any physical exercise 30 minutes earlier the measurement. In short, the body needs to be relaxed for the measurement. Also, remember to wear the device correctly on the upper arm and you are ready for an accurate measurement.
Blood Pressure Readings Explained
Our heart works like a pumping machine. To circulate the blood throughout our body it inflates and deflates in a rhythm. And when the blood circulates in our body it creates a force on the arteries wall. A blood pressure machine mainly measures the pressure created by blood. However, the pressure is not always the same as the heart pumps up and pumps down in a short span of time that’s why the blood pressure machine measures and expressed two numbers as a fraction. In medical terms, these numbers are called systolic and diastolic numbers. It is written like 132/96 mmHg. Here the systolic number is 132 mmHg which represents the maximum pressure of the blood while pumping up and 96 mmHg is the diastolic number which represents the minimum pressure of the blood during the deflation of two heartbeats. The unit used for measuring blood pressure is “mmHg” and its stands for millimeters of mercury. Because traditionally, all blood pressure machines are equipped with mercury, and blood pressure was measured by seeing the mercury behavior in the sphygmomanometers. Also, doctors consider mercury sphygmomanometers as an ideal machine for decades. In addition, some blood pressure monitors such as HINGMED Q06B also shows heart rate reading, irregular heartbeat, and other features too.
What’s the normal reading?
If the blood can circulate freely throughout the body and the heart is healthy, the blood pressure reading will be less than 120/80 mmHg. No matter what is your age, this reading will be shown if you don’t have any heart issues. So, the normal reading of blood pressure is considered 120/80 mmHg. But sometimes it is possible to get a higher reading than 120/80 mmHg from a normal person and there is no reason to be afraid because the reading will come to normal in some time. These high readings can be happened due to some improper tasks before or during the measurement. The most common inappropriate task is not wearing the device properly or because of a bad body posture and the other tasks mentioned earlier.
Which number matters most?
Decades ago, doctors assume that the bottom number or diastolic number is more important but over time they find out that both systolic and diastolic numbers are important to define high blood pressure or hypertension. Also, in recent years researchers also introduce us to another term “hypotension” and whether it is hypertension or hypotension treatment both the systolic and diastolic numbers are equally essential.
Measure multiple times
As cited earlier, The normal reading is considered 120/80 and, sometimes it is normal to get an elevated reading from a normal and healthy person. Getting high readings once doesn’t prove that the person is suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension. Doctors and health practitioners always recommend taking the measurement multiple times on the same hand and keeping the record to analyze it to see if you really have hypertension or if the elevated result is caused for another reason. It is good to measure blood pressure more often if you think you are at risk of hypertension.
What causes high blood pressure?
High blood pressure or hypertension is called a silent killer. It develops in our bodies slowly and also affects us in the long run. And there is no accurate answer to what is causing the high blood pressure. But there are some reasons that researchers and doctors recommend. These reasons mainly include unhealthy lifestyles such as not doing any physical activity, eating too much oily and junk food, consuming too much Sodium or salt, and gaining extra weight. Though high blood pressure is very common in the elderly, it can affect people from any age group and causes different types of health issues like heart attack, kidney failure, and brain stroke too.
How you can prevent It
Though Hypertension or high BP can’t be cured, it can be prevented with some healthy lifestyle choices. These healthy habits not only prevent someone from high blood pressure but also from other deadly diseases. Healthy habits such as doing physical exercises, avoiding oily and junky food and salt, quitting smoking and drinking, getting a night of sound sleep at night, and reducing all stress. The more we practice these habits the more we stay away and can prevent high blood pressure effectively. Often people think that high blood pressure can be controlled only by medication but it is true that without a good lifestyle medication impact very little on our health
High BP is not actually a disease by itself but it can be a risk factor for many major diseases and health problems and those health issues can lead someone to death. That’s why it is very important to have knowledge about blood pressure monitor readings and keep a healthy lifestyle to prevent and control hypertension.