What do systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings mean?
when you get yoursblood pressure numbers, there are two of them. The first or "top" is the systolic blood pressure. The second, or "below," is the diastolic blood pressure.
Knowing both is important and can save your life.
What does systolic blood pressure mean?
If yourHerzhit, push and slidebloodthrough yourarteriesfor the rest of your body. That force creates pressure in those blood vessels, and that's your systolic blood pressure.
How to understand your systolic blood pressure reading:
- Normal: below 120
- Hoch: 120-129
- stage 1high pressure(also called high blood pressure): 130-139
- Hypertension Stage 2: 140 or more
- Hypertensive crisis: 180 or more. call 911.
What does the diastolic blood pressure number mean?
The diastolic reading, or bottom number, is the pressure in the arteries when thatHerzpauses between bars. This is the time when the heart fills with blood and receives oxygen.
This means your diastolic blood pressure number:
- Normal: below 80
- Hypertension Level 1: 80-89
- Hypertension Stage 2: 90 or more
- Hypertensive crisis: 120 or more. call 911.
Our table below provides more details.
Even if your diastolic reading is normal (below 80), you may have high blood pressure if your systolic reading is 120-129.
blood pressure ranges
If you have normal blood pressure, your blood pressure is below 120/80. Maintain an active lifestyle and a healthy diet to maintain this.
Is your blood pressure above the normal range, at one or both systolic and diastolic levels? Your doctor will want to take more than one blood pressure reading before diagnosing high blood pressure.
Treatments include lifestyle changes, and when that's not enough, they can also includemedication.
Lifestyle changes include:
- sodium cut. Ask your doctor what your daily sodium limit should be. Read the label for nutritional information on food.
- get morethe exercise. Studies show benefits with 3-4 sessions per week, each lasting 40 minutes,aerobic exercise(the kind that gets your heart pumping).
- lose weight, if you areoverweight. You can expect to lower your blood pressure readings by about 1 point for every pound you lose.
- Eat healthy.A diet DASHsupposed to improve blood pressure. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Do you prefer vegetables, fruits,full grain, low-fettdairy products, poultry,Fischand chicken.
- limitAlcoholto no more than one drink per day for women or two for men.
If you also need medication to lower blood pressure, there are several types:
- Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)
- beta blockers
- calcium channel blockers
- central agonists
- combination drugs
If you need medication, your doctor will decide which type is best for you. (They will also recommend lifestyle habits that help lower blood pressure.) The decision as to whether medication is needed is usually made on a case-by-case basis, based on what else is going on with your health and preferences.
If you have:
- High blood pressure:Your systolic blood pressure is 120-129 and your diastolic blood pressure is below 80. Lifestyle changes and monitoring your blood pressure may be all you need at this point. Your doctor will inform you about this.
- Hypertension stage 1:Systolic 130 to 139 or diastolic 80 to 89. Your doctor will recommend lifestyle changes and see if you also need medication.
- Stage 2 high blood pressure:Systolic at least 140 or diastolic at least 90. Your doctor will recommend lifestyle changes and you should also consider treatment to lower your blood pressure.
- Hypertension Crisis:Your blood pressure is 180/120 or higher. You may or may not have symptoms such as chest paindor, shortness of breath, deafness/weakness and problems witheyesightor with language. This is an emergency. call 911.
One measurement may not be enough to make a diagnosishigh pressure. Your doctor may want you to take multiple blood pressure readings over time to determine if it's consistently high.
How blood pressure is measured
A doctor or nurse will take your blood pressure with a small gauge attached to an inflatable cuff. It's easy and painless.
The person taking your blood pressure places the cuff around your upper arm. Some handcuffs wrap around the forearm or wrist, but these are often not as accurate.
Your doctor or nurse will listen to the blood moving through your artery with a stethoscope.
You inflate the cuff to a pressure greater than your systolic blood pressure and it will tighten around your upper arm. Then they will be released. When the cuff is deflated, the first sound you hear through the stethoscope is the systolic blood pressure. It sounds like a hissing noise. The point at which this sound disappears marks the diastolic blood pressure.
When measuring blood pressure, the systolic value always comes first, followed by the diastolic value. For example, your numbers could be "120 over 80" or written as 120/80.
When to measure blood pressure
- If your blood pressure is normal(less than 120/80), check every year or more frequently as recommended by your doctor.
- If your blood pressure is high-- a systolic blood pressure between 120 and 129 or a diastolic blood pressure below 80 -- your doctor will probably want to check every 3-6 months. They will likely recommend lifestyle changes such as B. morethe exerciseand better nutrition.
- if you have stage 1 hypertension-- 130-139 over 89-90 -- The doctor may suggest lifestyle changes and see you again in 3-6 months. Or they may tell you to make the changes and give you medication and then check back on your condition in a month. It depends on what other health conditions or risk factors you have.
- If you have stage 2 hypertension-- 140/90 or higher -- You will likely receive medication. You also need to change your lifestyle and see your doctor again in a month.
Blood pressure control at home
Keeping track of your blood pressure at home is important for many people, especially if you have high blood pressure. This will help you and your doctor find out if your treatment is working.
Your doctor may also suggest checking your blood pressure at home if they suspect you have "white-coat hypertension." It's a real state. The stress of a doctor's office increases your blood pressure, but when you're at home, that's normal.
Ask your doctor to recommend an easy-to-use home blood pressure monitor. Make sure the cuff fits properly. If your arm is too big for the cuff, the reading may be higher than your actual blood pressure. Ask your doctor about a larger cuff, or be sure to purchase a home monitor with a cuff that fits you.
You can also use a wrist blood pressure monitor, but these are usually not as accurate. Follow the instructions that came with the device to ensure you are using it correctly.
No matter what type of blood pressure monitor you have, it's a good idea to take it to your doctor. You can compare your reading with the numbers your doctor gets. AvoidCaffeine, cigarettes and exercise for at least 30 minutes before the test.
When measuring blood pressure at home, sit up straight on a chair and place bothFootin the ground. Ask your doctor or nurse to show you how to position your arm properly to get accurate readings.
Check at the same time of day so readings are consistent. Then take several measurements about 1 minute apart. Be sure to record the results.
Take the blood pressure diary with you to the doctor's office so that you can discuss any changes in your values. Your doctor will determine if you need medication in addition to lifestyle changes.
Even if your blood pressure is high, you probably won't have any symptoms. That is why he is often referred to as the "silent killer". The first symptom of untreated high blood pressure may be aHerzattacke,leak, or kidney damage.
prevent high blood pressure
Your daily habits are crucial to keeping your blood pressure within the normal range. These things help:
Do not smoke.Among the many health problems thatSmokingcauses increases blood pressure.
Make physical activity a habit.Most experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (e.g., bicycling or brisk walking) at least five times a week. Or you can do a harder activity for a shorter amount of time per session.
Eat properly.Lerfood labelsto see the amount of sodium in a serving. Consult your doctor to find out what your daily limit should be. Add plenty of veggies and fruits, along with whatever else you want to put on your plate.
stick to onehealthy weight.Extra pounds raise your blood pressure. If you're not sure what a healthy weight would be for you, consult your doctor.
get enoughsleep.It's 7-8 hours for most adultssleepper night regularly.
If you do drink alcohol, limit it to no more than one drink a day if you're a woman and up to two drinks a day if you're a man.