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Normal Blood Pressure Readings

Arjun Kulkarni Mar 2, 2019
Blood pressure is the measure of the pressure of blood against the walls of the arteries. Today, many of us worry about the problems of high blood pressure, without really knowing much about it.
Nowadays, the term 'blood pressure' brings fear to the strongest hearts. Many people tend to have lot of questions regarding the same.

Explaining BP

As the blood flows through the arteries in our body, it pushes the artery to allow itself some room to flow. The 'beat-beat-beat' sound is the blood's onerous struggle to pass through the small arteries and reach the parts of the body which need the blood.
When the pumping of the heart is too hard, i.e., the force which is required to get the blood through the arteries is high, it is bound to stress our hearts and may cause damage to our arteries as well. So 'blood pressure' by itself is not bad. As long as it is in the manageable range, it's all good.
It is a combination of two forces, one is the heart pumping, and the other is the resistance of arteries. The latter is obviously the problem. The arteries not quite intent on supplying blood to our bodies, and creating hurdles for blood flow doesn't sound like good news, does it? Well, it's not good news.
Arteries resist the flow because of bottlenecks accumulated on their walls. Yes, that evil substance is called cholesterol. So when cholesterol and other residue accumulates and sticks itself to the artery walls, it is going to create an obstacle for blood flow. Thus, the heart has to work overtime and push the blood harder. Not good news really.
Furthermore, stressful situations are also known to cause the heart to beat harder and faster, putting stress on it and thereby increasing 'blood pressure'. This may result in heart disease, kidney disease, arteriosclerosis (artery hardening), and increases the chances of a stroke.
The other problem with blood pressure is that even if it is less, it can be an issue. If you have low blood pressure, then that means that enough oxygen and nutrients may not be reaching the organs, thus damaging the organs permanently.

Blood Pressure Readings

You must have noticed how there seems to be two numbers that indicate the blood pressure. It is counted over two different occurrences. The first one (higher one) is called the systolic number. It is the pressure exerted on the artery wall when the heart contracts, pumping blood to all parts of the body.
It is the higher number because when the heart pumps, the blood flows therefore exerting more pressure on the artery. The second (lower) one is called diastolic, and is calculated when the heart relaxes between two consecutive pumps. The two numbers are calculated on the mmHg (millimeters of mercury) unit.
So if your blood pressure reads 120/80, it means that when the heart pumps, the pressure is 120 mmHg and when the heart relaxes, its 80 mmHg.

Normal Blood Pressure

If your blood pressure reads 120/80, it's great news! Universally, this reading is accepted as normal. The range of 120-139/80-89 is classified as hypertension, and if your anywhere ahead of the 140/90 mark, you have high blood pressure. Similarly, if it is below the 115/75 mark, you have low blood pressure.
The worst thing about low/high blood pressure is that it is a silent assassin. Sure, it shows symptoms, but they are quite subtle and unless checked, you might not even realize that they are symptoms. Only a checkup will determine if you have normal blood pressure.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.