Best blood pressure kits are a necessity, as stethoscopes are, for medical professionals. Why? Because taking a patient’s blood pressure is the most frequently carried out and most basic of tasks. ‘Blood pressure’ refers to the force with which your blood is pushing against your arteries walls. When checking blood pressure, there are two numbers present; The top number measures systolic pressure (the force of blood flow while your heart is beating) and the bottom number measures diastolic pressure (the force of blood flow when your heart is resting in between beats). Many people also have blood pressure kits at home for more mundane use. Most people would assume that there is ‘something wrong with you if you have a blood pressure kit, but this is far from the truth. There are a large number of people who simply have one to keep their fitness and health at the best possible level.
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What Is Normal Blood Pressure? What Is High Blood Pressure?
Although ‘normal’ blood pressure varies depending on factors such as age, a general rule one can follow is that blood pressure should be at or less than 120/80 mmHg. On the other hand, ‘high blood pressure refers to anything over this standard of 120 over 80. However, the blood pressure guidelines were updated in November of 2007 doing away with the ‘prehypertension’ category of patients. Today, anyone with blood pressure at or over 130/80 is considered to have high blood pressure and thus ‘hypertension.’ Although an individual’s blood pressure will vary throughout the day based on what they’re doing, ‘hypertension’ is diagnosed in the case that it consistently stays at or above 130 over 80 mmHg.
What Are The Causes of High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can be caused by such a large number of factors that it is often difficult to pinpoint one as the definite cause. To make this clearer, the following is a list of possible causes of high blood pressure: inactivity, bad diet (lack of potassium, too much salt), obesity, genetics, ethnicity, age, medication, recreational drugs, high alcohol intake, stress, chronic diseases, thyroid problems, congenital blood vessels, sleep apnea, kidney disease, adrenal gland tumors, etc. We tried our best to list every possible cause of high blood pressure, but I’m sure we’ve skipped over some. This is simply to illustrate how complicated this issue is and how many factors must be taken into consideration when diagnosing or dealing with high blood pressure/hypertension.
What Are The Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?
More often than not, high blood pressure does not have any obvious symptoms, but there are a few things to look out for: abnormally severe headaches, chest pain, and difficulty breathing (during mundane activities and even light workouts). Ideally, you should be getting your blood pressure checked annually to make sure everything is in order – doing so will also help you keep a check on your blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and body mass. Moreover, as mentioned previously, it is extremely important for people who have close relatives diagnosed with hypertension to keep a close eye on their own blood pressure. However, due to this seemingly ‘mysterious’ nature of (high) blood pressure, you will most likely not feel an increase in your blood pressure, so it is very important to go in for regular check-ups!
How Can You Lower Your Blood Pressure?
Keeping a check on the factors mentioned above which cause blood pressure is your best bet to lower your blood pressure. You should, of course, go to your doctor for a professional medical opinion and prescription but as a basic guide:
1. Control your diet: avoid high-sodium foods, incorporate foods high in potassium, choose healthy snacks.
Many people misunderstand this point and end up making extremely drastic changes in their diet. It is important to note that you should be making sustainable changes to your diet; Sudden changes in diet are not healthy.
2. Switch up your lifestyle: smokeless cigarettes’, reduce your alcohol intake, reduce stress, exercise regularly.
Again, making sustainable changes and remaining persistent is the key to real change and results!
3. Medication: only take medication for high blood pressure that has been prescribed by your doctor!
Can High Blood Pressure Be Fatal?
A slight increase in your blood pressure is not a cause for panic. These smaller increases in blood pressure can be, usually, easily treated by improving your diet and changing your lifestyle.
However, high blood pressure going unnoticed or untreated can be quite dangerous. Why is this? Because if you have high blood pressure, your heart is being strained and is using more effort and power to pump blood to the rest of your body. This strain on your heart causes excessive pressure on your artery walls resulting in more severe damage than you may think. A few serious consequences of high blood pressure include artery walls hardening, strokes, kidney disease, heart failure, aneurysms, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can aspirin lower blood pressure?
High-risk patients can take low doses of aspirin to lower blood pressure.
2. Can lemon water lower blood pressure?
Citrus has been seen to have positive results in lowering blood pressure levels.
3. Can I lower my blood pressure in 3 days?
Studies have found you can lower your blood pressure in as little as 3 days to 3 weeks.
4. How long does exercise take to lower blood pressure?
You must exercise consistently for 1-3 months to lower blood pressure.
5. What is the best drink to help lower blood pressure?
Some drinks that can help you lower your blood pressure include tomato juice, beet juice, prune juice, skim milk, pomegranate juice, etc.
6. Does drinking water help maintain healthy levels of blood pressure?
Drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily can help you maintain healthy blood pressure levels.