Thursday, October 07, 2004

Understanding Blood Pressure

Commonly known as a “traitor,” hypertension is one of the leading causes of mortality these days. Before knowing what causes hypertension, it is best that you understand what a blood pressure is first. Blood pressure is something closely monitored in all diabetic patients.

Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in the arteries as the heart pumps it around the body. It is measured by a machine known as the sphygmomanometer. There two forces that the apparatus measures:

1) Systolic - This is shown as the top number when reading your BP. This is the pressure in the arteries as the heart is squeezing blood out during each beat.

2) Diastolic – This is the force of blood in the arteries as the heart relaxes between beats. This is shown as the bottom number when reading your BP.

Since blood pressure varies, it is recommended that you measure your blood pressure regularly so that you have an idea what your regular readings are when seeing a doctor.

When can you tell you have a high blood pressure? These numbers serve as your guide but these are not absolute. It is still best that you consult your physician.

120/80 or less - normal blood pressure
120/80 and 140/90 - high normal
140/90 or above - high
180 or above - very high

What happens if you have a high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is the most common factor of stroke. If it remains at a very high pressure, it could break blood vessels in your brain, thus bleeding and clotting in your brain. Also, when blood vessels burst in your eyes, this could lead to blindness. Among other things, it could thicken the blood vessels in the kidneys preventing the kidneys to filtering failure.

What are the causes of high blood pressure?
Genes, Continuous stress, beating of heart faster that it should, existing medical condition, but most of the time, the cause cannot be determined.

One important thing you should keep in mind is that there is no cure for hypertension but it can be prevented. How? Oh no, you might say here she goes again, but let me tell you briefly how you can prevent it: Be active; eat a wide variety of foods; achieve and maintain an healthy weight; stop smoking if you are, watch your drink and if on medication, take it exactly as prescribed.


Blogger bayibhyap said...

I don't know if I am talking scientifically. I find having regular toilet habits a great help to maintaining normal blood pressure. When I experience some constipation problems, relieving it brings the pressure down immediately. This also means that in the course of a busy day, we often postpone going to the toilet, which is a very bad habit.

Regular exercise with the proper stress on cardio aspects does wonders. But this has to be regularly done over a prolonged period for very evident benefits.

Sometimes I bathe in cold water to bring my body temperature down. This brings down the pressure as well.

When I am stressed with work problems, I stop to think more positively and take a short walk to put the problems in better perspective.

Knowing what relieves your blood pressure really helps.

10:11 AM  
Blogger ting-aling said...

Bayi it might not sound scientific to you but think developing a good habit of going to the toilet has a connection to your BP. I have noticed that if I do not visit the toilet in the morning, I develop a headache towards the end of the day. I have seen my GP about my headaches and he said that it is because of my high blood pressure.

On one occasion, I did not know I had a high BP. While driving my head was getting lighter so I had to pull over. Luckily, I was very close to a store which had a place where you could check your BP for free. I had no idea that I was experiencing a high BP but because I was so afraid to drive I had to give my husband a call to come and get me. For some reason I saw this apparatus and I instictively tried it. True enough. I was under stress at that time..deadlines at work.

I also notice that when I have a headache, my nape stiffens. My doctor says never to massage it because you might be putting pressure to your blood vessels which might trigger aneurism. Rather, go for a walk and just relax.

12:09 PM  
Blogger ting-aling said...

Someone e-mailed me to find out how old I was. I must have given the impression that I am an old lady. I am under forty but I think I need to put this on record that you can be hit by hypertension at any age. In fact, in our community, a 21 year old guy died of hypertension..he was a computer programmer and was earning a damn 6-digit salary. Unfortunately, his life was cut short by the tension that he's gone through. Stress at work has a lot to do with it. Nobody suspected that he had a high blood pressure.

1:44 PM  
Blogger bayibhyap said...

I can believe that you are under 30, ting-aling. I was hit by high BP before I was forty. Crazy workload and impossible problems. Boy, I should have turned down the job. But, hey, no is still good :-).

4:21 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

At least, I have a good blood pressure reading. Tumataas lang occasionally pag masyadong mainit. I don't know if there's a correlation but that happens to me occasionally.

4:31 AM  
Blogger ting-aling said...

Tito Rolly. There is definitely a correlation. The doctor suggested that cold shower elps. Drinking cold water too.

12:43 PM  
Blogger bayibhyap said...

If the person is on medication, I wonder if taking the medication at the same time everyday helps. The same question is relevant to other conditions, such as hypertension, etc.

5:58 PM  
Blogger bayibhyap said...

My apologies. I mean, other conditions such as diabetes, high cholestrol, etc.

7:46 AM  
Blogger cathcath said...

ang high blood ay wala ng pinipiling edad ngayon. Magtanda, magbata,magbatang isip.

Kung minsan dahil sa workstress lalo kung ang papangit ng mga kasama mo.

5:16 PM  
Blogger ting-aling said...

Cathy, dahan-dahan ka sa huling sinabi mo..baka ikaw ay ma heart attack, hehe..matutuwa yung katabi sige ka.

9:23 AM  
Blogger ting-aling said...

Bayi, that's right. The trouble is, once you're on medication, you will always be and you know what it means..costly!

9:24 AM  
Blogger Cerridwen said...

I have HBP and i take might not believe this but i was at the doctors office being checked when the nurse had to do it 2x tomake sure ..same as the doctor...210/92 and i was still sitting there giggling...they said i should be in the ER...i wonder, maybe there are just people with a high BP and to them its normal? i ended up losing weight in 30 days and cut my salt intake along with the medication. last week I was there again for a check up and it was 175/80...guess it's working...

12:27 AM  
Blogger ting-aling said...

Oh dear, Cerridwen you should be on top of your Blood Pressure if your reading is that high. I'm surprised that there'd been no damages in your nerves. Aneursym is something I dread the most when one suffers from HBP. And from what I see, you're still young? You take care and look after your health. Thanks for the visit.

10:01 AM  
Blogger santi said...

I am not sure if I am suffering from HBP, but the last time I checked in the clinic it was 120/80, so I presumed it is normal. I am just feeling "high blood" once in a while meaning I get irritated or hot headed easily.

6:17 AM  
Blogger watson said...

Hello ting-aling! Bakit pakiramdam ko nakaupo ako sa waiting lounge ng clinic? hehehe. Just dropping by po, para mangulit ... if you have time from, dalaw ka ulit sa blogsite ko at kwentuhan mo ko tungkol sa balut vendors sa Burnham Park ha! tenkyu!

11:39 PM  
Blogger Dr. Emer said...

Another great post, Ting-Aling!

Cerridwen should do more physical activity and diet modifications to bring down BP. 175/80 is still out of bounds.

Stress and hot weather really do contribute to high BP, but at best, they're just contributors. The main culprit remains to be blocked arteries and high lipid levels.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Cerridwen said...

I am thinking that maybe there are just people who has a normally high blood pressure. I hardly feel anything when they say my BP is high. Sometimes just a slight headache. I noticed thou that I am thristy a lot.

I am actually active, only time i sit still is at night when I am blogging. As to diet, I don't even eat much meat, I am into vegies and seafood even when I was young.

This is the kicker: I have Rx for 90 days of same BP meds and i haven't refilled it yet. I haven't taken my medication in the past 3 days and I don't feel anything. But i will get that meds...hopefully soon. :)

10:35 PM  
Blogger watson said...

Hi ting-aling! You're the first person ever to call me Baguio Boy! Mas may dating pa ata kesa sa watson!

Oo nga pala, about blood pressure ang blog na to. Ok, para naman may connection dito sa comment ko ... di ako na-high blood sa bago kong palayaw. :-)

3:26 AM  
Blogger eye said...

i never knew the significance of the numerator and denominator of all those BP readings hehehe! thanks for this very useful info.

i am on the other end of the scale, with a usual BP of 90/50. it got really bad when i started avoiding meat. this year, it has gotten better with 100/60 to 110/70 when i started balancing everything with physical activities.

12:02 PM  
Blogger ting-aling said...

Hi Eye, Thanks for the visit and thanks for finding this helpful. Things sometimes are taken for granted until they actually happen to us. Hopefully you get your BP to what is normal very soon.

1:13 PM  
Blogger eye said...

aling ting! guess what? i bought a compact/automatic BP monitor earlier for only 15 euro (about P1K). excited na nga ako iuwi para sa tatay ko, i know it's not that accurate pero at least di na siya mahihirapang dalhin araw-araw yung manual at malaking monitor niya hehehe! and btw, 115/83 yung BP ko :)

12:34 PM  
Blogger ting-aling said...

Good one eye. It's actually a good help at home.

5:23 PM  
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