Blood pressure is the force of blood against blood vessels walls. Normal blood pressure is anything below 130/85 mmHg – ideally below 120/80 mmHg.
Blood pressure is a good health indicator
Blood pressure and its value indicates the condition of your heart. Blood pressure is the force with which the blood acts on the walls of blood vessels. The higher the pressure the more stress is applied on arteries.
Blood pressure is applied by the heart, which beats 60 – 70 times per minute on average (this value depends on every individual alone. Some may have a higher or lower BPM – beats per minute – rate).
The heart operates in two cycles. First cycle is when the heart is extended and filled with blood (pretty much the same as when you fill the balloon with air). In second cycle the heart shrink and pushes blood through the veins (air is left out of balloon).
Diastolic and systolic blood pressure
When heart shrinks, vessels expands – this is referred to as top or systolic blood pressure. When the heart expands (to be filled with blood) the pressure in the blood vessels lowers (as vessels shrinks) – this is referred to as the lower or diastolic blood pressure.
When talking about blood pressure, blood pressure is always referred to as a double number, for example 120/80 mmHg. These two values represent systolic and diastolic blood pressure respectively. The unit of measure is mmHg – millimetres of mercury.
Blood pressure is what ensures proper flow of blood in the blood vessels which supply organs with oxygen and nutrients that are necessary for their proper functioning.
Low, normal and high blood pressure
High blood pressure is anything above 140/90 mmGh. High blood pressure is also referred to as hypertension.
Low blood pressure is anything below 110/70 mmGh. Low blood pressure is also referred to as hypotension.
Why blood pressure rises / drops?
The cause of high blood pressure in most people is not known but there are known factors that affect and increase the risk of high blood pressure and the development of cardiovascular disease. Certain factors such as heredity, age, gender cannot be influenced. However other risk factors which may be influenced are obesity, diet with too much salt, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, exposure to stress and lack of physical activity. Clearly – mitigating these risks will lower your blood pressure.
Prolonged high blood pressure can cause cardiovascular disease, heart failure, stroke and kidney failure. Read more about high blood pressure symptoms.
Low blood pressure has no known risks associated to it. In some rare cases, people with hypotension (low blood pressure) need medical attention. Read more about low blood pressure symptoms.