Teaching Measurement of High Blood Pressure

Teaching Measurement of High Blood Pressure
Teaching measurement of high blood pressure is more difficult than it used to be.

But blood pressure is a major biomarker of your health, so let’s get busy learning how to measure and interpret those measurements.

Once upon a time, not too long ago, you either had high blood pressure or you didn’t. Today it’s not so simple. There’s a new classification, in-between normal and high, called pre-hypertension.

According to recent research, about 90% of those in this mid-range stage eventually develop full-blown high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is definitely something to avoid. And, if you already have it, it’s well worth any effort it takes to get your blood pressure down into the normal range. Why?

Here’s the short list. High blood pressure dramatically boosts your risk of stroke, kidney failure, heart disease and heart attack. New studies also show that it can even lead to Alzheimer’s Disease.

As you can well understand, it would be wise to use high blood pressure or pre-hypertension as a warning signal. If you don’t, there’s a high probability of bigger, more serious problems down the road.

You can keep track of your blood pressure numbers by buying your own sphygmomanometer. Find a good pharmacist and ask which make they recommend.

Or, you could go to one of the machines located at many discount and drug stores for regular free readings. Since stress and other factors can temporarily raise blood pressure and some machines are less accurate than others, be sure to check your readings at different times in different places to get an accurate assessment.

Blood pressure is read systolic over diastolic. For example, 120/80 would be120 systolic over 80 diastolic.

Systolic is the measurement referring to when the walls of the blood vessels contract. Diastolic is measured when the blood vessel walls relax. Here’s how the new federal guidelines break down:

• Normal: Systolic less than 120. Diastolic less than 80
• Pre-hypertension: Systolic 120-139. Diastolic 80-90
• Stage one hypertension: Systolic 140-159. Diastolic 90-99
• Stage two hypertension: Systolic 160+. Diastolic 100+.

You want to keep your readings below 120/80. The lower you can get them without feeling faint when you stand up, the better off you’ll be. Even a slight reduction could make a big difference. Just a couple of points can decrease your risk of both stroke and heart disease.

And, the really good news is that blood pressure can usually be lowered without resorting to medications. This is important since medications often have serious unpleasant side effects.

Here’s how you do it. Begin making healthy lifestyle changes, such as adding moderate exercise to your daily routine. Taking a relaxing 30-minute walk can do the trick. Also find ways to reduce your stress.

Get started on a good healthy whole food diet with plenty of fresh vegetables, whole grains and omega 3 fish. Research shows the essential fatty acids in quality fish oil can help lower blood pressure.

High blood pressure can be costly to both your health and your pocketbook. Follow these simple guidelines and you can avoid or even reverse high blood pressure

For my highest recommendation check out the Omega-3 web site.

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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.

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