What is normal blood pressure?


The Basics of Blood Pressure

Blood pressure basically refers to the force exerted by blood on the walls of blood vessels known as arteries. As per the standard conventions the normal blood pressure reading is stated to be between 120 over 80 (120/80) and 140 over 90. If a person’s blood pressure is below or beyond this bandwidth – they are under risk, thus, it would be best for them to make bring about a healthy change in their lifestyle to evade any sort of risk. The people in this range but closer to the upper limit need to take the necessary steps to lower it, as well.

Pressure being a regular physical quantity should have a single value, adhering to the laws of physics. However, the indicated blood pressure has two different values. This is because a complete cardiac cycle has two parts, one when the heart contracts and lets the blood out to the blood vessels and the other one is when the heart relaxes and allows its chambers to be filled with used blood. The former is known as the systole and the latter is known as the diastole.

The blood pressure reading is represented by two digits :

Top digit indicates the systolic pressure which is the pressure exerted when the heart beats. This represents the maximum pressure that is being exerted on the blood vessels.

Lower digit indicates the diastolic pressure which is the pressure exerted when the heart relaxes or is at rest. The diastolic pressure is representative of the minimum pressure exerted on the blood vessels.

When a person’s blood pressure is being checked, attention is paid to systolic blood pressure (the first number) for that is where the major risk is bound to lie.

What is abnormal?

There are usually two types of deviations: hypotension and hypertension. While hypotension is characterized by low blood pressure (lower than 120 over 80), hypertension is characterized by high blood pressure (higher than 120 over 80).

Hypotension can be a result of hormonal changes, a medicinal side effect, widening of the blood vessels or a low blood volume. Depending on the reason behind the low blood pressure, the doctors are going to suggest a few measures as a remedy. The general few may include:

  • Consumption of a diet higher in salt
  • Regular exercise to get the blood flowing
  • Limit the intake of alcohol
  • Avoid lifting heavy weights
  • Eating smaller but frequent meals

Hypertension is of two forms, primary and secondary. Primary hypertension occurs depending on the genes of the patient and the environment they operate in but to say the least, it has no identifiable cause. Secondary hypertension, on the other hand, has an identifiable cause predominantly related to kidney disease.

The doctors may suggest the following as a treatment to hypertension:

  • Reduced sodium intake
  • Increase in the intake of vegetables and fruits
  • Maintain a normal body weight
  • Indulge in exercise every day
  • Avoid the consumption of alcohol as much as possible.
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