Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood against the walls of blood vessels, and the magnitude of this force depends on the cardiac output and the resistance of the blood vessels.
Hypertension is having a blood pressure higher than 140 over 90 mmHg, a definition shared by all the medical guidelines. This means the systolic reading (the pressure as the heart pumps blood around the body) is over 140 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) or the diastolic reading (as the heart relaxes and refills with blood) is over 90 mmHg.Based on American Heart Association (AHA),
- Normal blood pressure is below 120 systolic and below 80 diastolic
- Prehypertension is 120-139 systolic or 80-89 diastolic
- Stage 1 high blood pressure (hypertension) is 140-159 systolic or 90-99 diastolic
- Stage 2 high blood pressure (hypertension) is 160 or higher systolic or 100 or higher diastolic
- Hypertensive crisis (a medical emergency) is when blood pressure is above 180 systolic or above 110 diastolic.
- shortness of breath or nosebleeds
Causes of hypertension
- Physical inactivity
- A salt-rich diet through processed and fatty foods
- Alcohol and tobacco use.
To measure your blood pressure, your doctor or a specialist will usually place an inflatable arm cuff around your arm and measure your blood pressure using a pressure-measuring gauge.
Changing your lifestyle can go a long way toward controlling high blood pressure. Your doctor may recommend you eat a healthy diet with less salt, exercise regularly, quit smoking and maintain a healthy weight.
In addition to diet and exercise, your doctor may recommend medication to lower your blood pressure.Your blood pressure treatment goal depends on how healthy you are.