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Health and Fitness

Monitoring Blood Pressure: Why Does It Matter? The Highs and the Lows

As you’re reading this article, it’s likely either you or your partner are suffering in some way with hypertension or high blood pressure. High blood pressure is extremely common in the U.S affecting almost half of the population. Perhaps even more disconcerting is that as many as two-thirds of these people do not have their condition under control.

Monitoring blood pressure is now convenient and easy to do from your own home. The technology has improved and with it the accuracy of the measurements. In this article, we’ll give you the motivation you need to monitor your blood pressure, and take an important step in the right direction of preventing yourself and your loved ones from becoming another statistic.

Blood Pressure Highs and Lows

If you think back to your biology lessons at school you’ll remember that the heart is a pump. Like most pumps, there are moments of high pressure and there are moments of lower pressure. For example, as you pump air into your football or bicycle tire, the point of greatest pressure is when air is forced into the object. As you reset your pump to begin the cycle again, there is a moment of reduced pressure.

This is how your heart works. As the heart compresses and forces blood out and through your vascular system it creates the highest pressure called systolic pressure which is the higher number in your blood pressure reading. As the heart ‘resets’ to begin the next compression the blood pressure drops to the lower reading called diastolic pressure.

Normal values are around 120/80. Anything 130 and over is considered stage 1 hypertension, while 140 upwards is considered stage 2. Very high pressure of 170 upwards is a medical emergency and needs immediate medical attention. Check out this guide to blood pressure for more information.

Health Impact

High blood pressure damages your internal organs. The scary part is that if you’re not monitoring your blood pressure, then you may never know that your organs are slowly being impaired. Two very important organs will be affected by your blood pressure.

The first one is your brain. It stands to reason your brain needs a rich supply of oxygen; it gets this from an amazing network of blood vessels. These blood vessels can become damaged and even burst under higher pressure. This is basically a stroke.

The second important organ vulnerable to high blood pressure is the kidneys. These organs filter the blood and remove toxins. Under higher pressure, the filtration mechanism gets damaged and may lead to the need for dialysis or even complete kidney failure.

Start Monitoring Blood Pressure

In this article, you’ve read about the value of monitoring blood pressure. Hypertension is a big subject and many complex factors influence it. However, the bottom line is that you’re wise to start monitoring your own blood pressure, especially if you’re over 40.

Once you start monitoring your blood pressure it will likely give you some of the motivation you need to make lifestyle adjustments to protect your health. You can check out other informative and health-conscious articles on our site.

Read Also: The Pros and Cons of Suboxone Treatment for Opioid Addiction

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