Velocity Care looks at the dangers of high blood pressure and offers advice on how to keep your numbers in check
What is the definition of blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the amount of pressure that the blood in your body exerts on the walls of the vessels and arteries as it passes through. As the heart pumps, it pushes blood through these arteries, exerting a certain amount of force against them. This force is known as blood pressure. The higher the pressure, the more force that is exerted and the harder it is for your heart to pump your blood.
Blood pressure is shown as two numbers, one on top of the other. The top number (also known as the systolic pressure) is the highest amount of pressure measured when your heart beats. The bottom number (also known as the diastolic pressure) is the least amount of pressure measured in between heartbeats, when your heart is relaxed.
What is the normal range?
An ideal blood pressure reading is anywhere between 100/70 and 120/80. A reading above this range means that the heart is having to work harder to pump the blood around your body and may put you at a higher risk for a heart attack or stroke. A reading below the ideal range means that you have low blood pressure. This is not usually a cause for concern unless you are feeling ill or dizzy, in which case a trip to the walk-in clinic is needed.
What can cause high blood pressure?
Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure can lead to serious medical conditions such as heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and more. When arteries are clogged or blocked, blood pressure goes up and the heart must work harder than normal to keep the supply of blood flowing through your body. Although the exact cause of high blood pressure is not known, there are many factors that can contribute to it. Being overweight, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, high sodium intake, high stress and age can all contribute to hypertension.
What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?
In most people, high blood pressure produces no symptoms at all. This is why it is extremely dangerous. Many people will have no idea that their blood pressure is high until they experience a stroke or heart attack. In a few, rare cases, someone with very high blood pressure may have symptoms such as frequent nosebleeds, dizziness or recurrent headaches.
How can I keep my pressure in the normal range?
Leading a healthy lifestyle is the best way to keep your blood pressure in check.
- Get plenty of exercise and keep your weight in a healthy range.
- Eat a healthy diet that is low in saturated fats and sodium and contains lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Quit smoking.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Reduce your stress levels.
Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center is here to answer your health care questions and to provide you with quick and efficient care for all your medical needs. Visit our website at www.velocitycare.com/locations to find a walk-in clinic near you.
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