06-02-2022 / Heart & Vascular
Blood pressure is a critical factor for accessing anyone’s overall cardiac health. Read on to know about normal blood pressure, elevated blood pressure, hypertension and hypertensive crisis.
If you have stumbled upon it here to understand or access your blood pressure, then you’re in the right place. Blood pressure related issues have to be one of those deadly health diseases out there that often kills people with little to no symptoms. Dive in here to know about what is normal blood pressure and what are the risk factors associated with it, if it goes away from normal!
You have all heard a lot about the term called ‘bp’ or ‘blood pressure’ but what is it? Blood pressure is nothing but the measure of the force exerted by the blood on the walls of arteries during circulation. So, what is normal pressure? The normal blood pressure readings of a healthy person should be slightly less than or equal to 120/80 mmHg. The full form of mmHg is millimetres of pressure which is a manometric unit of pressure. If the blood pressure normal level increases to 139/89, it’s considered a pre-hypertensive state. Anything above the value of pre-hypertension indicates the presence of high blood pressure.
When you assess the normal blood pressure, there are usually two numbers – systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. The systolic reading is the highest and it is the pressure during the contraction of heart muscles. The diastolic readings on the contrary give the pressure values for the relaxed state of heart between the contractions. Blood pressure readings are presented as systolic/diastolic where the upper value is higher than the lower value.
The normal systolic blood pressure is 120.
The elevated systolic blood pressure range above normal is 120-129.
Stage 1 of hypertension which is slightly above the blood pressure normal level is 130-139.
Stage 2 of hypertension which is considerably higher than blood pressure normal level is 140 or more.
The hypertensive stage which has abnormal blood pressure normal ranges are usually more than 180.
The normal diastolic blood pressure range is 80.
The elevated diastolic blood pressure range above normal is 80-89.
Stage 1 of hypertension which is slightly above the blood pressure normal level is 90 or more.
Stage 2 of hypertension which is considerably higher than blood pressure normal level is 120 or more.
The hypertensive stage which has abnormal blood pressure normal ranges are usually more than 120.
What if only systolic blood pressure is higher than a normal blood pressure reading? The condition where you have a normal bp level in diastolic readings but elevated pressure in systole is called isolated systolic hypertension. This can be due to underlying conditions like obesity, diabetes, hyperthyroidism and heart valve issues. Having above normal bp levels for too long in the systolic readings increases the risks of strokes, heart attacks and kidney failures. So, consult your doctors before it gets serious.
What if the opposite of the former happens? What if only systolic blood pressure is higher than a normal blood pressure reading? The condition where you have a normal bp level in systolic reading but elevated pressure in diastole is called isolated diastolic hypertension. Though this condition is not as serious as isolated systolic pressure, it should not be ignored. Timely medical help is the only treatment for this isolated hypertension.
Do your standard average blood pressure readings vary by any factors other than due to some underlying diseases? Yes, your average blood pressure values can vary by age, sex and sometimes even ethnicity!
Find the average blood pressure values for different age groups below,
Other than some underlying diseases, a few factors we usually ignore may show exaggerated readings which are abnormally away from our normal blood pressure.
Here are some of the most common precautions we need to take so that exact average blood pressure readings can be determined:
Sometimes your arms level while taking blood pressure may show values away from normal bp levels. It is always advised to have your arm rested at the heart level for getting your accurate average blood pressure readings.
While taking your blood pressure assessment, sit in a relaxed position in the armchair without bending or crossing your legs.
Temperature can widely affect your normal blood pressure values, so take the readings in an average room temperature rather than in an air-conditioned environment.
Finally, empty your bladder before taking the pressure readings as a full bladder adds up to 10 to 15 mmHg to your normal bp values.
We are what we eat! So maintaining a good lifestyle along with healthy food choices is necessary for having your blood pressure at optimal levels.
For maintaining your normal blood pressure at any age, it’s best to stay away from nicotine. Smoking in the long term causes inflammation and narrowing of arteries which elevates our normal bp levels.
Too much processed foods can mess up your average blood pressure values by elevating them. Highly sugary drinks and salted foods can cause obesity which can aggravate your high blood pressure.
The excessive release of stress hormones can elevate your average blood pressure ranges by the inflammation of arteries. So, practice yoga and mindfulness to maintain good mental health.
Sleeping well maintains our optimal average blood pressure by relaxing our whole body and mind. Insomnia can increase the risks of hypertension and heart diseases.
The normal blood pressure level is 120/80 where the numbers represent systolic and diastolic pressure. Anything above or below this average blood pressure value usually indicates the presence of any cardiac issues or diabetes.
The isolated hypertension is as serious as combined hypertension. So, don't ignore your abnormal blood pressure readings even if just one value is away from normal bp levels.
Even though the standard normal blood pressure is 120/80, it slightly differs in four to five points based on age and gender. The average blood pressure values increase with age and are usually higher in men than women.
While measuring your blood pressure, your posture, position, temperature levels and arm levels determine the accuracy of your assessment. So, kindly follow the precautions given here.
For maintaining healthy normal blood pressure, you should be careful about your food and lifestyle choices. Reducing your stress levels and being mindful about your meals can do a great deal of help for your health.
The occasional deviations from normal bp values are due to many predictable factors and they are usually harmless. But frequent deviations may indicate some underlying problems and it’s better to check it up with your doctor.
Having a good lifestyle and food habits are the only ways to maintain normal bp ranges without aggravating the risks of hypertension or hypotension.
The normal blood pressure readings would keep changing throughout the day. The pressure values would be high in the morning and slowly plummet throughout the day. At night, it dips to the lowest value. It is often advised to consider the average blood pressure from the readings taken twice a day.
In the process of ageing, the arteries lose their elasticity and become stiff. The normal blood bp values are found to increase especially the normal systolic blood pressure readings were found to raise 7 mmHg per decade. Find the table given for average blood pressure relative to age and gender here.
The release of stress hormones causes your normal blood pressure to rise and as a result, the walls of the blood vessels in your body get narrower. The narrowing of the arteries only makes the high blood pressure worse. In extreme cases, it can even cause death due to the bursting of the blood vessels.
Diabetes usually damages arteries and constricts the flow of blood due to the hardening of vessels. Due to this reason, your normal bp values increase thereby causing hypertension and other health ailments.
Out of all the high blood pressure (hypertension) causing factors, alcohol and nicotine make it worse by damaging our vital organs and their functions.
The circulatory system usually expands to accommodate the foetus during pregnancy. This causes a dip in the blood pressure of pregnant women. So, during pregnancy, the value is usually lower than regular blood pressure readings.
If you find your blood pressure readings rise to 180/120 mm Hg, the risks of stones are dangerously high at these levels and we require immediate medical attention.
Though two numbers are equally important, systolic pressure is more important than diastolic pressure in a blood pressure reading. Having elevated levels of systolic pressure can cause stroke or heart attacks.
Banana has antidepressant properties and also it's packed with high potassium levels. That's why bananas are a great choice for people who are suffering from high blood pressure.
Blood pressure readings can be taken either in the morning before having any meals or medications and also can be measured during the evening hours. It's best to take two to three readings and then find the average blood pressure readings for accurate results.
Even though 140 over 90 is not dangerously high, it is still considered high blood pressure. We recommend making small lifestyle and food choice changes (as mentioned above) for getting your blood pressure under control.
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