Why Is Blood Pressure Important?

The heart delivers blood through the veins and arteries to every area of the body. The force of the blood against the arteries is called blood pressure. Blood pressure readings contain two values, systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the measurement of blood flow when the heart beats. Diastolic pressure is the measure of blood flow when the heart rests in between beats.

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What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure occurs when the force of blood flow against the arteries and veins is too strong. The elevated blood pressure damages blood vessels and encourages plaque buildup in the arteries. The vessels decrease in size and blood has difficulty flowing properly through the veins. High blood pressure leads to a variety of conditions like heart attack, stroke, vision loss, kidney failure, and heart failure.

Is hypertension the same as high blood pressure?

Yes, hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. To diagnose a patient with hypertension, doctors will conduct blood pressure readings and a medical exam. The readings tell doctors the systolic and diastolic pressure levels. The average blood pressure reading for someone with a normal rate is any value less than or equal to 120mmHg systolic and 80mmHg diastolic. The first value is always the systolic reading and the second is the diastolic.

How does hypertension develop?

Hypertension develops in two ways. The first way is through the normal aging process of the body. Patients over the age of 60 are more susceptible to developing hypertension. The second way is through lifestyle and environmental factors. Obesity, a poor diet, and using tobacco contribute to the development of hypertension. Women may also develop hypertension during pregnancy.

Will lifestyle changes lower my blood pressure?

Making significant lifestyle changes can positively impact a person’s blood pressure levels. Losing weight is a good way to start. As the body carries more weight, blood pressure rates increase. Weight loss can decrease the risk of hypertension.

What are some other lifestyle changes I can make?

Incorporating exercise and physical activity into a daily or weekly routine will also lessen the chances of hypertension. Exercising, especially cardio exercise, gets the blood pumping through the heart. These activities strengthen the heart and improve blood circulation.

Will a healthy diet lower blood pressure?

Eating a well-balanced diet with lots of vegetables, lean meats, and low in saturated fat also improves heart health. A healthy diet reduces the cholesterol fat deposits in the body. These deposits can turn into plaque that clogs the arteries and increases blood pressure levels.

Should I talk to my doctor about lowering my blood pressure?

Patients should consult with a doctor about blood pressure concerns. Hypertension doesn’t always have any noticeable symptoms, so only a doctor can test and diagnose a patient with the condition. Patients can also discuss healthier lifestyle factors with doctors.