- Blood Pressure Categories
- When To Check Blood Pressure
- Antihypertensive Drugs
- 7 Other Factors
- Measuring During Symptoms
With increasing age, the risk of developing high blood pressure increases. People older than 40 years old should have their blood pressure checked one time a year. The ages between 18 and 40 years old should get their blood pressure checked every three to five years unless they fall into the high-risk category.
The factors that increase the risk of developing high blood pressure include:
- African American ethnicity
- Inactive lifestyle
- Bad sleeping habits
- Improper and nutrient deficit diet
- Kidney diseases
- Heart diseases
- Excess caffeine consumption
- Heavy alcohol intake
- Family history of blood pressure
According to the American Heart Association:
- Normal blood pressure is estimated to be about 120/80 mmHg. If your blood pressure is normal or slightly less than 120/80 mmHg, you are recommended to have your blood pressure checked at least every two years.
- If your blood pressure reading is higher than normal, where the systolic or the upper value is 120 to 129 mmHg and diastolic or the lower value is less than 80 mmHg, your doctor may take numerous readings overtime before diagnosing you with high blood pressure.
- If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may encourage you to monitor it at home in addition to your regular medical sessions.
What are the categories of blood pressure?
Various categories of blood pressures include:
- Normal: Systolic blood pressure value is less than 120 mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure value is less than 80 mmHg.
- Elevated: Systolic blood pressure value is 120 to 129 mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure value is less than 80 mmHg.
- Hypertension stage I: Systolic blood pressure value is 130 to 139 mmHg, or diastolic blood pressure value is 80 to 89 mmHg.
- Hypertension stage II: Systolic blood pressure value is 140 mmHg or higher, or diastolic blood pressure value is 90 mmHg or higher.
- Hypertensive urgency: Systolic blood pressure value is higher than 180 mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure value is higher than 120 mmHg.
- Hypertensive crisis: Hypertensive crisis is an emergency with blood pressure values the same as hypertensive urgency, but there is always a symptom of end-stage organ damage as well (impending stroke, chest pain, or kidney failure). You must seek immediate medical attention.
What is the right time to check blood pressure?
Because your blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day, you should check it five to six times throughout the day in the beginning. Once you have developed a routine for measuring your blood pressure and have a better comprehension of the figures, you may start checking it one or two times a day.
- Ideally, blood pressure should be measured at the same time of the day, every day.
- This is especially important if you are diagnosed with high blood pressure.
- This will produce consistent readings that are less influenced by other circumstances.
- It indicates how effectively your drugs and dosages are functioning.
The best approach is to get into the habit of checking your blood pressure in the morning and again at night. The morning readings are to not be taken immediately as you wake up and before breakfast or morning coffee.
What is the best time to measure blood pressure concerning antihypertensive drugs?
If you are diagnosed to have high blood pressure and placed on antihypertensive drugs, it is best to check your blood pressure before taking the medication.
The level of drugs from your previous dosage will be at its lowest at this point. This is referred to as a trough value.
Measuring your blood pressure before the next dose will show how effectively the drug is working.
7 other factors that influence blood pressure results
Various factors can cause your blood pressure to rise. It is critical to understand how these "spikers" affect your blood pressure levels. Check your blood pressure before and after experiencing each of the factors to learn how they affect you.
Once you understand their effect, avoid using these spikers before your daily checkup. This will allow you to determine whether your standard blood pressure is stable.
- Food: Wait for about 30 minutes after having food to check your blood pressure.
- Caffeine: Hold off on your morning cup of coffee until you have taken your blood pressure reading. Caffeine should be avoided for at least half an hour before measuring.
- Alcohol: Avoid consuming alcohol for at least 30 minutes before taking your blood pressure.
- Exercise: Doing exercise regularly is great but wait until you have checked your blood pressure. Exercise should be avoided for 30 minutes before blood pressure readings.
- Tobacco: Your heart will appreciate you if you can quit completely. Otherwise, wait at least half an hour before taking a measurement.
- Cold temperatures: In exceptionally cold temperatures, your heart will work overtime to keep you warm. Before you start measuring, make sure you are at a comfortable temperature.
- Full bladder: Blood pressure may rise because of a full bladder. So, before you measure, go to the restroom.
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Should you measure blood pressure during symptoms of hypertension?
Symptoms are another crucial factor to consider. Take a blood pressure reading if you are having any symptoms of high blood pressure. If your symptoms are severe, you should seek immediate medical attention.
The following are some of the most common signs of high blood pressure:
- Extensive headaches
- A pounding sensation in the chest, neck, or ears
- Irregularities in heartbeat
- Issues with vision
- Chest pain
- Breathing problems
- Blood in the urine
Measuring your blood pressure while experiencing these symptoms can help determine whether high blood pressure is the cause. Taking readings during symptoms helps the doctor change your medications or dosages to suit your conditions.
What is nondipping in high blood pressure?
As you sleep your body relaxes and blood pressure goes down; this is called dipping.
Monitoring blood pressure at home using blood pressure monitors is useful, especially when you experience any side effects. However, home monitoring is not the ultimate result, you must visit your doctor regularly to maintain proper blood pressure levels.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Harvard Health Publishing. Checking blood pressure at home pays off. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/checking-blood-pressure-at-home-pays-off-201307036436
Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation. How Often Should You Check Your Blood Pressure & Cholesterol? https://wwhf.org/how-often-should-you-check-your-blood-pressure-cholesterol/
Cleveland Clinic. Blood Pressure: When & How to Check at Home. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/4014-blood-pressure-when--how-to-check-at-home
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Blood Pressure PictureThe blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. See a picture of Blood Pressure and learn more about the health topic.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million people in the US have hypertension (1 in 3 adults), and only half of them are able to manage it. Many people do not know that they have high blood pressure because it often has no has no warning signs or symptoms.
Systolic and diastolic are the two readings in which blood pressure is measured. The American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for high blood pressure in 2017. The guidelines now state that blood normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. If either one of those numbers is higher, you have high blood pressure.
The American Academy of Cardiology defines high blood pressure slightly differently. The AAC considers 130/80 mm Hg. or greater (either number) stage 1 hypertension. Stage 2 hypertension is considered 140/90 mm Hg. or greater.
If you have high blood pressure you are at risk of developing life threatening diseases like stroke and heart attack.
REFERENCE: CDC. High Blood Pressure. Updated: Nov 13, 2017.
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Is 120 Over 60 a Good Blood Pressure Reading?If your systolic blood pressure is normal (between 100-120), and your diastolic blood pressure is lower (60 or below), you are considered to have low blood pressure, or isolated diastolic hypotension. Low diastolic blood pressure should be monitored closely.
Is 140 Over 70 a Good Blood Pressure?Blood pressure of 140/70 mmHg indicates stage 1 hypertension and may be cause for concern. Learn about blood pressure ranges and hypertension treatment.
Is 150 Over 90 a Good Blood Pressure?Blood pressure of 150/90 mmHg comes under the category of stage I hypertension and means that you have high blood pressure.
Is a Diastolic Blood Pressure of 64 mmHg too Low?Diastolic blood pressure means the blood pressure reading during the phase when your heart relaxes (diastole). Force of the blood against the walls of the arteries (the blood vessels carrying blood from the heart to other sites) in the body is called blood pressure. The heart pumps the blood into the arteries as it contracts (systole).
Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)Low blood pressure, also referred to as hypotension, is blood pressure that is so low that it causes symptoms or signs due to the low flow of blood through the arteries and veins. Some of the symptoms of low blood pressure include light-headedness, dizziness, and fainting if not enough blood is getting to the brain. Diseases and medications can also cause low blood pressure. When the flow of blood is too low to deliver enough oxygen and nutrients to vital organs such as the brain, heart, and kidneys; the organs do not function normally and may be permanently damaged.
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What Causes Low Diastolic Blood Pressure?A diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of somewhere between 60 and 90 mm Hg is good in older people. Causes of low DBP include bed rest, dehydration, loss of water, alcohol use, hormone deficiencies, allergic reactions, nutritional deficiencies and prolonged standing leading to blood pooling in the legs.
What Is the Proper Way to Take Your Blood Pressure?If you want to monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis, you can do so at home easily using an automated or digital blood pressure machine. Here’s how to make sure your at-home reading is accurate.
Which Blood Pressure Number Is the Most Important?The blood that flows through the arteries (blood vessels carrying blood from the heart to other parts of the body) exerts pressure against the arterial walls. The number above (120) is called the systolic blood pressure and the number below (80) is called the diastolic blood pressure. Though both readings are important, many doctors believe that systolic blood pressure is a better predictor of complications of hypertension, such as heart disease or stroke.
Why Is My Bottom Blood Pressure Number High?Isolated diastolic hypertension (IDH) occurs when your systolic blood pressure is normal, and only your diastolic blood pressure is high (over 80 mm Hg). Causes of high diastolic blood pressure include a high-sodium diet, obesity, lack of physical activity, excessive alcohol consumption, stress and anxiety.