Blood pressure is the force applied by the blood over the inner walls of the arteries. Although the average blood pressure for a person remains constant, it shows minor fluctuations throughout the day-declining while relaxing and momentarily increasing while being excited or under stress. An increase in the resting blood pressure can scar, stiffen, or harden the arteries.
Blood pressure is written as systolic and diastolic values. Hence, BP 120/80 mm Hg means 120 is the systolic number, and 80 is the diastolic number.
High blood pressure is more likely to cause:
Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is produced primarily by the contraction of the heart muscle. Its measurement is recorded by two numbers. The first (systolic pressure) is measured after the heart contracts and is highest. The second (diastolic pressure) is measured before the heart contracts and the lowest. A blood pressure cuff is used to measure the pressure. Elevation of blood pressure is called "hypertension".
The chart shows normal blood pressure according to age both male and female. Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) are included in the chart.
Age SBP DBP
21-25 120.5 78.5
26-30 119.5 76.5
31-35 114.5 75.5
36-40 120.5 75.5
41-45 115.5 78.5
46-50 119.5 80.5
51-55 125.5 80.5
56-60 129.5 79.5
61-65 143.5 76.5
21-25 115.5 70.5
26-30 113.5 71.5
31-35 110.5 72.5
36-40 112.5 74.5
41-45 116.5 73.5
46-50 124 78.5
51-55 122.55 74.5
56-60 132.5 78.5
61-65 130.5 77.5
Blood pressure can be categorized into five different types, namely:
Normal: Blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg is considered to be normal.
Elevated: When blood pressure readings consistently range from 120 to 129 systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic, it is known as elevated blood pressure. People with elevated blood pressure are at risk of high blood pressure unless steps are taken to control it.
Hypertension stage I: In this condition, blood pressure readings consistently range from 130 to 139 systolic or 80 to 89 mm Hg diastolic. Doctors may prescribe blood pressure medications and some lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of heart diseases and stroke.
Hypertension stage II: In this condition, blood pressure readings consistently range from 140/90 mm Hg or higher. The doctors may prescribe a combination of both medications and lifestyle changes.
Hypertensive crisis: This is the most critical condition and requires emergency medical attention. In this condition, the blood pressure suddenly exceeds 180/120 mm Hg. Contact the physician immediately if the following symptoms are experienced:
Shortness of breath
Change in vision
Lifestyle changes and regular exercises can help to treat high blood pressure. Some of the suggested lifestyle changes by the physicians are as follows:
Avoid alcohol or at least limit the intake
Eat a low-sodium and low-fat diet such as the DASH diet
Avoid too much of stress
Eat foods rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium such as bananas and milk
Regular monitoring of blood pressure after reaching the age of 35 years
Practice meditation and other stress-relieving exercises
Cut back on caffeine
The physicians may prescribe the following medications:
Calcium channel blockers
Low blood pressure can be prevented or treated using the following methods:
Consume lots of fluids
Limit alcoholic drinks
Stay hydrated, especially during the hot weathers or during viral flu
Drink more of nonalcoholic drinks
Exercise regularly to encourage blood flow
Avoid sitting or standing quickly
While rising, take care to sit upright for a few seconds and then getting off from the bed
Stay away from heavy lifting
Avoid standing still for a prolonged time
Avoid straining while passing stools
Avoid prolonged exposure to hot water such as sauna, hot water springs, and spas
Compression stocking covering the thigh and calf restricts the blood flow to the lower part of the body
Try eating smaller, more frequent meals to avoid post-meal dizziness
Any consumption of over-the-counter medications should be reported to the physician.