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Understanding Blood Pressure Levels

Understanding Blood Pressure Levels

August 19, 2022
Understanding Blood Pressure Levels

Having a good understanding of blood pressure levels is vital to living a healthy life. In the absence of blood pressure, oxygen and nutrients could not be delivered through the arteries to the tissues and organs of the body. Blood pressure can, however, rise dangerously or fall dangerously. 

Understanding Hypertension/High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is another name for high blood pressure. It can lead to severe health complications and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. 

High blood pressure is often called a silent killer because you may not be aware that anything is wrong, but the damage is still occurring within your body. 

Systolic And Diastolic, What’s The Difference?

Systolic blood pressure is the measure of the force where the heart pushes blood out into the arteries during a heartbeat. This phase known as systole is the point at which blood pressure is the highest. Systolic blood pressure is considered normal when the reading is below 120 mmHg while a person is sitting quietly at rest.

Diastolic blood pressure is the measurement during the pause before the next heartbeat. The pause between beats is called diastole. The heart rests between beats so it can refill with blood. Normal diastolic blood pressure during quiet rest is below 80 mmHg. If you have high blood pressure, the diastolic number is often higher even during quiet rest.

What Is Considered Normal Blood Pressure Levels?

Blood Pressure Levels

Normal blood pressure levels for most adults is defined as a systolic pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80.  

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology divide blood pressure into four general categories. Ideal blood pressure is characterized as normal. Increased blood pressure may be categorized as elevated, stage 1, or stage 2 depending on the specific numbers.

To get an accurate blood pressure measurement, your health care provider typically considers the average of two or more blood pressure readings from three or more office visits. An accurate measurement determines what kind of treatment you may need. 

Medications To Lower Blood Pressure Levels

For most people, medication is a major part of the plan to lower their blood pressure levels. Anti-hypertensive medicine won’t cure high blood pressure but it can help bring it back down to a normal range. 

Many people need more than one type of medication to control their high blood pressure. It may take some time working with your doctor to find the drugs and doses that work best for you.

Medications may include:

  • Diuretics
  • Beta-blockers
  • Alpha-blockers
  • ACE inhibitors 
  • ARBs
  • Direct Renin Inhibitors
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Central Agonists
  • Peripheral Adrenergic Blockers
  • Vasodilators

The most recommended medication:

  • Verapamil – this is in a class of medications called calcium-channel blockers. It works by relaxing the blood vessels so the heart does not have to pump as hard. It also increases the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart and slows electrical activity in the heart to control the heart rate which helps stabilize blood pressure.  

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