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How to Read Blood Pressure Results

Updated on January 5, 2011

 There we are. The RN or lesser, is taking your blood pressure. She blurts out a few numbers. Greek, to me. Excuse, any translation?

Yes, if the systolic is less than 120 and and the diastolic is less than 80, you are fine! The systolic reading measures the pressure when the heart ejects blood and the diastolic measures pressure when the heart relaxes and fills.Cardiac output is systolic, while total peripheral resistance determines the diastolic reading. if you hear 120 over 80, think: good news.

If the reading is 120-139 over 80-89, you are prehypertension for some reason. If readings are consistent everytime, something is not right.

Readings of 140-159 over 90-99, are stage 1 hypertension. Readings of more than 160 over 100, are stage 2 hypertension.

Untreated hypertension is a killer. Known as silent disease, it can cause your heart to enlarge abnormally, cardiac output is low leading to heart failure. If your toes and fingers are cold or fluid in the lungs, this is caused indirectly by hypertension and inadequate perfusion. The higher the blood pressure, the more kidneys reduce renal blood flow. Hypertension causes capillaries to change, blood cholesterol collects in arterial walls and reduces blood flow to the heart and causing other infections.



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    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

      Good information and I have allergies to almost all BP meds so control it mostly through diet and herbs, such as celery seed being a diuretic and people on fluid meds would want to watch using that herb maybe lowering BP too much, even though that is why I use it. Grapefruit is something else that goes against BP meds, but I have not heard that it helps lower it but I have not done a thorough study on that one, just seen the warnings.