Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure or hypertension happens when this force is too high. More the blood your heart pumps & narrower your arteries, the higher will be your your blood pressure!
Blood pressure consists of two readings:
- Systolic Pressure: It is the blood pressure when the heart beats while pumping blood (when the heart muscles contract)
- Diastolic Pressure: It is the blood pressure when the heart rests between beats.
What are the typical blood pressure ranges?
- Ideally your blood pressure should be less than 120/80. (Systolic – 120, Diastolic – 80)
- For pre-hypertensive levels, the range is: Systolic – 120-139/ Diastolic – 80-89
- For high blood pressure stage 1 , the range is: Systolic – 140-159/ Diastolic – 90-99
- For high blood pressure stage 2, the range is: Systolic – 160+/ Diastolic – 100+
- If the systolic blood pressure is 90 or less & the diastolic blood pressure is 60 or less, it is the case of low blood pressure.
Some of the risk factors for high blood pressure/ hypertension are:
- Age – Your risk increases with advancing age.
- Family history
- Chronic Stress
- Being overweight/ obese
- Consumption of tobacco/ smoking
- Consumption of alcohol
- Having diabetes
- Kidney disease
- Little or no physical exercise
- Lack of balanced diet
- Consumption of junk food.
- Too much sodium or too little potassium in diet
- People of some region are more susceptible to hypertension
Unfortunately, you can have high blood pressure even if you show no symptoms of it and this can go on for years. However, this puts your heart at great risk. Uncontrolled high blood pressure significantly increases your risk of serious health issues, especially cardiovascular disease, heart failure, heart attacks etc. The table below depicts some medical conditions that can arise due to high blood pressure.
|Heart attack or stroke||Heart|
|Weakened/Narrowed Blood Vessels||Kidneys|
|Thickened/Narrowed/Torn Blood Vessels||Eyes|
|Metabolic Sysndrome||Body Metabolism|
|Increased Waist Circumference|
|Low High Density Lipoprotiens (HDL), this is calso called the Good Cholesterol.|
|High Blood Pressure|
|High Insulin Levels|
|Memory/Understanding Trouble||Reduces the ability to Think/Remember/Learn|
|Issues with understanding simple concepts|