Understand the Importance of Regular Blood Pressure Readings and the Risk of High Blood Pressure

You probably have had your blood pressure checked numerous times, as it is a regular part of the traditional healthcare routine. Some people may even get their blood pressure checked when they visit the dentist. To understand the significance of regular blood pressure readings, it’s crucial to understand the concern surrounding high blood pressure.

We all have heard that high blood pressure can be dangerous, but what does “high” blood pressure actually mean? Many do not realize that high blood pressure often has no symptoms but can be life-threatening.

One in three people are currently diagnosed with high blood pressure or hypertension. High blood pressure is a medical condition where the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels is consistently too high. Blood pressure is measured by two readings – systolic and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is measured when blood pumps out of the heart and into the arteries, while diastolic pressure is measured as the heart rests between heartbeats. These two numbers make up a blood pressure reading. 

The American Heart Association defines high blood pressure readings as follows:

  • Below 120 (systolic pressure) and below 80 mm Hg (diastolic pressure) mmHg: normal
  • 120 to 129 and above 80 mm Hg: elevated blood pressure
  • 130 to 139 and 80 to 89 mm Hg: stage 1 hypertension
  • 140 or more and 90 mm Hg or more: stage 2 hypertension
  • 180 or more and 120 mm Hg or higher: an emergency

It is important to note that if a blood pressure reading is over 130/80, it is recommended to seek a medical expert’s opinion.

When should I be concerned about high blood pressure?  

Blood pressure readings that have systolic numbers above 130 and diastolic numbers above 80 are a cause for major concern and could indicate an underlying health issue. 

High blood pressure is often referred to as the “silent killer” since individuals may not experience any noticeable symptoms. Without monitoring blood pressure levels or conducting blood tests, you may not be aware of any physical issues, but there could be serious and potentially life-threatening damage occurring inside the body.

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure 

High blood pressure typically has no symptoms. When blood pressure is severely elevated, some experience headaches, heart palpitations, or nosebleeds. Leaving high blood pressure unmonitored or untreated can lead to severe organ damage.

What Can I Eat to Manage High Blood Pressure? 

Eating a healthy diet can help minimize the risk of high blood pressure and maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Here are some tips for dietary changes to lower blood pressure: 

  • Increase the intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins in daily diet. The American Heart Association recommends at least 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.  
  • Limit the amount of sugar-sweetened food.
  • Keep your sodium intake between 1,500 milligrams and 2,300 milligrams. 

Other Preventative Measures to Lower Blood Pressure 

By making lifestyle changes, many people with high blood pressure can lower their blood pressure to a healthy range or keep their numbers steady. Here are some tips to effectively lower blood pressure:

  • Exercise Regularly  
  • Avoid Smoking 
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight 
  • Manage Stress
  • Get Quality Sleep 
  • Limit Alcohol Intake 
  • Drink Water 
  • Monitor Your Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure and Pregnancy 

High blood pressure can be extremely dangerous for expecting mothers and the baby if it is not monitored closely during the pregnancy term. Although, women with high blood pressure do give birth every day, they may be at a higher risk for complications. Also, women who have never had blood pressure issues may develop several high blood pressure conditions that often reverse after delivery. 

Preeclampsia is the development of high blood pressure during pregnancy. This is a serious condition that can lead to organ complications, putting the mother and the baby at severe risk. High blood pressure problems during pregnancy are still a significant cause of maternal death and the only known cure is delivery.

Many people may have high blood pressure without even realizing it since it often does not present any symptoms. If you’re worried about high blood pressure or experiencing symptoms like headaches or heart palpitations, Phoenix ER is here to provide you with medical care. Our top-notch emergency room is available 24/7 with onsite imaging and laboratory services to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care and feel better as soon as possible.

Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Phoenix ER and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.  

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