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Blood Pressure

man getting blood pressure checkedBlood pressure refers to the force of blood moving inside your arteries. Your arteries are the conduit that carries blood from your heart throughout your body. Every time your heart beats, blood gets pumped into the arteries, allowing them to deliver the nutrients and oxygen your body needs to function properly.

Your blood pressure reading is a measurement of how powerfully your blood is traveling through your arteries and blood vessels. This force fluctuates throughout the day based on what you’re doing at the moment. If you’re engaged in physical activity or feeling excited, your blood pressure will rise. When you’re performing more sedentary activities or are resting, your blood pressure will lower.

Both your heart and your arteries play an important role in your blood pressure. Your heart contracts each time it beats, creating maximum pressure as your blood is pumped out into your arteries. However, the elastic nature of your arteries are equally critical to your ability to maintain proper blood flow throughout the body. If your arteries become narrowed or blocked, it will impact the flow of blood to your organs, increasing your risk of dangerous health conditions.

Learn more about blood pressure:

How Is Blood Pressure Measured?

Blood pressure is measured by two figures:

These numbers are reported in the following way: systolic/diastolic. For example, if your blood pressure is “120 over 80” (or “120/80”), it means your systolic blood pressure is 120 mm Hg and your diastolic blood pressure is 80 mm Hg.

What Is Normal Blood Pressure?

The American Heart Association has identified five different blood pressure ranges:

What Is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is a condition that occurs when your blood pressure numbers are consistently above the elevated blood pressure range. Roughly 50% of American adults suffer from high blood pressure. It is considered a “silent killer” because in most instances, there are no symptoms associated with the condition. For this reason, many individuals don’t even know they suffer from high blood pressure and as a result, experience significant organ damage before they become aware that something is wrong.

There are two main types of high blood pressure:

High Blood Pressure Threatens Your Health

heart health issues associated with high blood pressureWhen your blood pressure remains high for an extended period of time, your heart must pump harder to deliver blood to the rest of your body. If left untreated, it can result in a variety of serious health conditions, including:

High Blood Pressure Risk Factors

The following factors may increase your risk of high blood pressure:

Tips for Managing High Blood Pressure

normal blood pressureWhile there’s no cure for primary high blood pressure, you can effectively manage the condition with a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. When you’re able to get your high blood pressure under control, it will improve your quality of life and reduce your risk of the serious health issues discussed above.

Know Your Blood Pressure Numbers

The first step in managing high blood pressure is to monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis. When you know your numbers, you’re able to more easily detect patterns and identify changes as they occur. In addition, tracking your blood pressure over time will help you determine whether the lifestyle changes you’ve made are having a positive impact.

Make Lifestyle Changes

Managing your blood pressure will become a lifelong commitment. It’s important to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle. Changes you should make include:

Take Blood Pressure Medication as Directed

In many instances, medication may be an important component of your high blood pressure treatment plan. The following tips will help ensure your blood pressure medication delivers maximum impact:

South Denver Cardiology Associates Can Help You Manage Your High Blood Pressure

South Denver Cardiology Associates offers comprehensive services that can help you improve your heart health and effectively manage high blood pressure. These include:

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.