Everything You Need to Know About Blood Pressure
When you go to the doctor, they will most likely take your blood pressure, using an oscillometric device that is wrapped around your upper arm and is tightened in order to make a reading. Then the nurse will give you a number that you may or may not understand. If your blood pressure is at a normal, healthy level, there is usually nothing to talk or worry about. But high blood pressure can be a sign and symptom of other issues. In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about blood pressure, including what it is, how it’s measured, what’s normal, the dangers of high blood pressure, and what you can do to keep a healthy level or decrease high blood pressure.
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Everything You Need to Know About Blood Pressure
What is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force that carries blood, oxygen, and nutrients from the heart throughout the circulatory system to tissue and organs. Blood pressure also helps distribute white blood cells throughout the body and aids in removing toxic waste from the liver and kidneys. Without the heart pushing blood through the arteries, or without an efficient way to transport the blood through the body, vital organs wouldn’t get the nutrients they need to survive.
How is it Measured?
When your blood pressure is taken, the nurse or doctor is measuring two numbers: the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure. A blood pressure reading is one number over the other, for example, 120/80 mm Hg. The abbreviation mm Hg is millimeters of mercury, which is a standard unit of measurement for pressure.
- Systolic Pressure: The top number is the amount of pressure in the arteries when the heart is contracting.
- Diastolic Pressure: The bottom number is when the heart is between beats, so the pressure is lower.
Normal to Hypertensive
According to the American Heart Association, normal blood pressure is a systolic that ranges between 90 and 120 and a diastolic that is between 60 and 80. To get an accurate reading, you should be seated and resting for at least five minutes, which may give some justification for waiting in the doctor’s room for so long.
- Elevated Blood Pressure: Blood pressure is considered elevated when the systolic is between 120 and 129 and the diastolic is less than 80.
- High Blood Pressure, Stage 1: Also known as hypertension, the systolic is between 130 and 139 and the diastolic pressure is between 80 and 89.
- High Blood Pressure, Stage 2: Hypertension stage two is when the systolic pressure is 140 or higher and the diastolic is 90 or higher.
- Hypertensive Crisis: If your systolic blood pressure is 180 or higher and the diastolic is higher than 120, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible. If your blood pressure is over 180/120 and you are also experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, or numbness/weakness, dial 911 right away.
Because the first number, systolic pressure, is the force that is exerted against the arteries during a heartbeat, there is generally more attention paid to this number. As we age, our arteries stiffen and there may be a gradual build-up of plaque, which can increase blood pressure. For people over 50, elevated blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, blood pressure can also be too low, which causes hypotension, still resulting in our body not getting enough blood.
What are the Dangers of High Blood Pressure?
As you can imagine, if your body and organs aren’t getting the necessary amounts of blood, oxygen, and nutrients, that it can lead to some serious conditions. When left untreated, blood pressure can cause a variety of issues.
- Increases risk of heart attack and stroke
- More likely to develop heart failure
- When the heart itself doesn’t get enough blood, it can cause chest pain
- Kidney damage
- Vision problems
- Peripheral artery disease
How to Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure, if it runs in the family, or even if your blood pressure is at a normal range, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to ensure your blood is pumping through your body efficiently. Even though there are prescription medications that can be used to help lower blood pressure, the good news is that there are many natural solutions to lowering high blood pressure and maintaining a healthy pressure.
- Lose Weight: This may only be necessary if you currently struggle with high blood pressure, but maintaining a healthy weight is something everyone can strive for. As weight increases, blood pressure will typically increase as well. According to the Mayo Clinic, losing about 2.2 pounds will lower blood pressure by 1 mm Hg.
- Exercise: Consistent exercise, about 30 minutes a day and four or five days a week can help lower blood pressure. When trying to maintain or lower blood pressure, all types of exercise can help, including aerobic exercise (cycling, swimming, or jogging), high-intensity interval training, and strength training.
- Reduce Sodium: It’s tempting to add a layer of salt to your popcorn or an extra dash on your eggs, but sodium plays a significant role in blood pressure. Sodium should be limited to 2,300 mg a day or less.
- Limit Alcohol: Alcohol in moderation may actually be good for you, just be careful about exceeding a moderate amount. What “a moderate amount” means is still up for debate, however. In general, try to limit it to one drink per day. If you want the benefits of alcohol without the risk, try a resveratrol supplement.
- Quit Smoking: All doctors will recommend quitting smoking, whether you’re experiencing high blood pressure or not. Quitting smoking can help improve overall health, reduce the risk of heart disease, and reduce blood pressure.
- Reduce Stress: Easier said than done, start by determining what causes stress in the first place, and then find ways to mitigate those triggers. Even though more research is needed, stress may contribute to high blood pressure.
- Eat a Healthy Diet: Our bodies crave nutrients, and with the right foods you can decrease the risk of developing high blood pressure as well as lower existing high blood pressure. Focus on eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and avoid foods with saturated fats and cholesterol. Potassium, in particular, is one mineral that can lessen the effects of sodium.
When plants are injured, they produce phytoalexin, which is a substance that has antimicrobial and antioxidative properties. Resveratrol is a naturally occurring phytoalexin and has antioxidant benefits when consumed. Found in many fruits and vegetables, resveratrol has been shown to help improve blood flow and lower systolic blood pressure. Resveratrol may help arteries that have become stiff with age to relax, making it easier for blood to flow through the body.
The resveratrol supplement from vYv contains grape seed extract, an ingredient that is rich in resveratrol. The supplement also contains CBD, which also has antioxidant properties, helping to maintain balance and health in our bodies. If you’re looking to lower blood pressure and want to fill in nutritional gaps, our natural supplement may be a solution!
vYv is passionate about helping people live high-quality lives naturally. There are several medications for high blood pressure, but when there solutions that harness the power of nature, why wouldn’t you? Give your body some additional help and shop vYv for a CBD and resveratrol supplement.