Blood pressure is an important health factor for every individual, and hypertension rates have reached peak levels in the United States. Ignoring the health risks of heightened blood pressure levels can cause a heart attack or stroke, so it’s important to maintain healthy levels. To better understand how blood pressure works and what you can do to keep an eye on it, we are here to help!
Number Seven: The Threat
Maintaining a healthy blood pressure level is essential to keeping your heart in peak condition, but more and more Americans are falling into the clutches of hypertension. An unhealthy blood pressure is a key cause of strokes or heart attacks and has become the cause of roughly a quarter of all United States deaths. With this risk in mind, you should also be aware that about a third of the adult population has high blood pressure.
Number Six: Watch the Salt
High salt intake is one of the largest causes of this condition. It is estimated that a large majority of Americans consume almost three times the 1,500 recommend milligrams per day.
Number Five: Other Causes
Working in collaboration with the overconsumption of salt are a number of other factors that aid in developing high blood pressure. Among these influences are alcohol, tobacco use, rapid body temperature change, lack of exercise or weight gain, and even medical decongestants.
Number Four: Reading Your Levels
If you want to check your pressure levels, you can find a machine to tell you your levels at most health care locations. If you have no idea what those numbers mean, you’re not alone. The normal levels should be about 120/80 mmHg. If your levels are higher, the risk grows once you reach 140/90 mmHg. Anything at this level or higher indicates high blood pressure and health risk.
Number Three: The Scientific Side of Blood Pressure
If you really want to know what your blood levels really mean, we are here to fill you in. The heart pumps blood through your body by a series of tubes called arteries; the blood pressure levels read the strength in which the flowing blood is pushing against the walls of these arteries. The harder the strength, the higher the blood pressure. When your blood puts out so much pressure that the heart has a hard time pushing it, that’s where heart attacks come in.
Number Two: Systolic vs. Diastolic
As your heart beats, your blood pressure rises and falls. The pressure reaches its highest as the heart is using effort to push your blood, creating the systolic pressure (the maximum). As your heart rests, the pressure goes down to reach its minimum point. This is the diastolic pressure.
Number One: Another Reading
Another indicative test is a pulse pressure reading. This is most often done to judge inflammation of arterial walls, but can also be used to indicate health risk of hypertension. A pulse reading won’t give you a systolic and diastolic level, but it can tell you the difference between the two. We hope you enjoyed touching up on everything you should know about blood pressure!