So, you’re worried about your blood pressure. Maybe you’ve been to the doctor recently and they warned you that it was getting too high (insert dramatic sound effect here). Don’t panic just yet! Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what exactly a dangerous blood pressure is, let’s take a step back and talk about what blood pressure even is.
A Brief Overview: What Exactly Is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure refers to the force of your heart pumping blood through your arteries. This includes two numbers – systolic and diastolic. Systolic refers to when your heart beats and pumps out blood, while diastolic measures when your heart relaxes between beats. Think of it as squeezing then releasing an exercise ball – that’s basically what happens with each heartbeat in our bodies.
So How Do We Even Measure Blood Pressure?
It can be done using something called a sphygmomanometer (what even are these words?) or more commonly, automatic machines which wrap around your arm (you know those giant cuffs?!) But don’t worry so much about the equipment used; instead focus on understanding those numbers displayed on those screens.
Does It Matter Where I Measure My Blood Pressure?
Yes! Not all readings are created equal. The most accurate measurements come from having someone measuring it at peak relaxation using proper technique (yup they have techniques for this too guys!). Measurements can also differ based on where they’re taken (think left vs right arm) so make sure it’s measured consistently in one spot(let’s not let people catch us off guard shall we ?!).
Now onto Our Main Question: When is BP Considered Dangerous ?
Generally speaking if BP consistently stays above 140/90 mmHg over time period sufficiently long enough to be concerned as high blood pressure. Hypertension, the technical term used by the doctors, has degrees of severity including:
- Stage 1 Hypertension (140 -159/90-99)– While not a cause for immediate concern some lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise modifications can be prescribed to lower BP
- Stage 2 Hypertension (160+/100+) – Higher risk for cardiovascular and other complications may warrant medications alongside lifestyle interventions.
- Hypertensive Crisis(over 180/120) which is an emergency requiring prompt medical attention.
Now that you understand what these terms mean (thank me later) let’s talk about why it’s crucial to maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
Why Exactly Does High Blood Pressure Matter?
High BP over long periods of time can lead to serious health issues such as
- Heart disease
These conditions are caused by chronic damage done inside your arteries, putting increasing pressure on them until they harden or become blocked completely(scary right?). It’s almost like inflating a balloon too much till it bursts(cringe).
So How Do We Lower Our Risk For These Health Issues?
Two key strategies come in play here; Lifestyle Modification(s), Medical intervention (i.e Medications)
Changing lifestyle habits
This includes physical activity & weight loss programs (time wave goodbye to those fries and start moving please) — specifically aerobic exercise for greater benefit i.e running,jogging,cycling etc . Limiting alcohol intake whilst cutting out smoking entirely will also help considerably along with adopting healthier diets like dash,stress reduction interventions(having thankful moments..like reading this utterly humorous article ?!). Incorporating a strong support system from friends,family or consult clinical psychologist could reduce stressors immensely.(cue some mad booties in the club..oop!)
In select cases, your healthcare provider may deem it necessary to add medications such as diuretics or ACE inhibitors. Please do not start medication unless prescribed by one’s doctor.
Final Thoughts (Don’t Worry, It’s Short) :
Keeping a healthy blood pressure is vital. Remember though that hypertension is only part of it; factors like smoking and obesity play a heavy role too(family pizza nights might have to be paused for some other more healthier family night activities). To keep your heart happy ,put those good ol’ lifestyle habits into practice and don’t hesitate to consult your primary care provider with any questions or concerns (no Mr.WebMD doesn’t count!) .Thanks for reading!
Hey there, I’m Dane Raynor, and I’m all about sharing fascinating knowledge, news, and hot topics. I’m passionate about learning and have a knack for simplifying complex ideas. Let’s explore together!
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