Each time a blood pressure test is carried out, systolic along with diastolic blood pressure is usually recorded.
These two results are important and are used to diagnose hypertension and hypotension.
In order to make this diagnosis, you need to understand what systolic and diastolic readings are and how they must be reviewed together in order to be able come to the correct conclusion.
Systolic blood pressure is always represented as the first or top number on a blood pressure result. Systolic pressure is the force of the blood moving through the circulatory system as the heart beats. Diastolic pressure is the pressure of the blood between beats.
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury, this is abbreviated to mm Hg (Hg being the periodic table symbol for mercury).
A normal blood pressure should be in the region of 120/70 mm Hg. If you are suffering from high blood pressure, the systolic count (top number) may go up to 140 or higher. If the systolic count stays above 140 for a prolonged period of time, your blood pressure will be considered hypertension.
Hypertension is actually quite common in people over the age of 50. Often it develops without any symptoms and can be life threatening if left untreated.
Prolonged hypertension can lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and in some cases sufferers may even go blind.
If you are diagnosed with hypertension, there are several things you can do to try and remedy the situation.
The first thing to do is to seek advice from a healthcare professional. You will likely be prescribed drugs that are designed to treat hypertension.
These drugs often consist of a combination of diuretics and ace inhibitors.
The diuretics helps to reduce blood pressure by stimulating urination. The increased frequency of urination means the body retains less salt, salt is a major cause of hypertension because it’s presence in the body causes blood vessels to constrict.
Ace inhibitors reduce the body’s sensitivity to angiotensin converting enzymes, again, the presence of these enzymes cause blood vessels to constrict.
Aside from taking prescribed drugs to reduce hypertension, there are several changes that you make to your lifestyle that will increase the chances of making a recovery.
Diet – Cutting down on processed foods, red meat and those high in sodium (table salt), will have an immediate effect on blood pressure. This can be aided by including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables into your daily meals. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks should be avoided.
Exercise – Aerobic exercise helps to stimulate the cardiovascular system. Even walking for just 20 minutes a day can have a profoundly positive effect on blood pressure levels.
Slowly increasing your daily level of exercise will also help speed up the metabolism, a faster metabolism means that you can be more liberal with your diet because the body will be able to burn more calories.
I hope this article has been informative to anyone who is, or thinks they are suffering from high blood pressure. If you do suspect there is anything wrong, do not hesitate to contact a health care professional for an expert diagnosis.