IF you schedule an Annual Exam, it’s pretty predictable … first thing up is the nurse taking your blood pressure.
The “squeezy” cuff….the “silent” stare as they count….so mysterious! What are they looking at and why is it important?
First, lets break down the “fractional” thing with those numbers they give you. The top, or systolic pressure (as your heart beats) and, the diastolic pressure (as your heart relaxes) which is the lower number.
You are then given these two numbers. What is good?
Here is a little cheat sheet:
Optimal – 120/80 or lower
Hypertension – 120-139/80-89 (higher number indicates more pressure
High – 140/90 or greater
Hypertension is the same thing as high blood pressure; you have it if your blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. If you have high blood pressure, you are at greater risk for developing heart disease and stroke.
If you get a higher than normal number for the first time, rest and relax a few minutes and take your blood pressure again. Sometimes the stress alone of being at the doc can make your heart work overtime.
Even if you are given the “healthy range” rating, you should keep copies of your lab work and office check ups for future comparison.
Often, your medical professional can suggest some simple things you can do to bring your blood pressure down if its high. For example, cut back on the table salt and read your product labels carefully. Sodium can be really high if you are looking at packaged or processed foods.
Stay Healthy & Smile,