High blood pressure – The silent killer


Hypertension, hypotension, systolic pressure, diastolic pressure-when we talk about blood pressure, we usually use these phrases, but it is important to really understand what they mean. We need to know which optimal and dangerous border in blood pressure is, how it can be reduced and why it is important to be regularly controlled.

Blood pressure is the pressure which acts on the blood vessels (arteries) in each part of our body, and is created by the work of the heart as a pump. Each ejection of blood from the heart (systole) raises the pressure, and in the inflow of blood to the heart (diastole), the pressure is lowered. That is why there are two measures of blood pressure value: the upper value (systolic) and lower value (diastolic blood pressure).

Optimal values of blood pressure

Blood pressure is optimal if systolic is less than 120 and diastolic is less than 80 mmHg. Blood pressure is normal if systolic is less than 130 and diastolic is less than 85 mmHg. Blood pressure is borderline if systolic is between 130 and 139 mmHg and diastolic between 85 and 89 mmHg. In this case, take action to control it again after one year.

The first stage of hypertension means systolic pressure between 140 and 159 mmHg and diastolic pressure between 90 and 99 mmHg. In this case, it is recommended to control blood pressure for two months. The second stage of hypertension involves systolic pressure between 160 and 179 mmHg and diastolic between 100 and 109 mmHg.

In this case, your doctor have to control your blood pressure for one month. The third stage of hypertension involves systolic pressure of 180 mmHg or more and diastolic pressure of 110 mmHg or more. In this case, it is recommended a medical treatment for one week.

What is hypertension?

Hypertension is a condition in which the blood pressure is continuously at or above 140/90 mmHg. High blood pressure is responsible for an average of 7.1 million of deaths per year worldwide.

The pressure can be influenced by a change in diet. If you want to lower pressure, the mandatory is to eat enough fruits and vegetables. In your daily menu include fish oil or flax seeds, cranberry juice and celery, apple vinegar, watermelon, olive oil, whole grain cereals and cucumbers. Another option is to reduce salt intake – recommended daily intake is one teaspoon.

What is hypotension?

Hypotension, or low blood pressure, is one of the more common problems that we face, and it means systolic pressure lower than 90 mmHg, or diastolic lower than 60 mmHg. Low blood pressure can cause dizziness (especially when standing up rapid) fatigue, blurred vision, weakness, or fainting. If hypotension is more pronounced and lasts longer, it can cause malfunction of the organs due to poor oxygen supply and even cause a stroke. Pressure can be increased by increasing the intake of salt, a doctor can determine the exact amount of which should not be exceeded. It is also recommended to increase intake of water and caffeine to prevent dehydration.

Measurement of blood pressure

There are a variety of methods for measurement of blood pressure, which can be divided into two basic categories: invasive and non-invasive. Invasive methods are generally much more accurate and reliable, but because of their character are very rarely used. Non-invasive methods leave more room for error occurs and getting fake results, but are widely used because of the ease of implementation and completely painless and harmless procedure of measurement.

There are two most common methods of blood pressure measurement: auscultatoric and oscillometric.

Auscultatoric method

The Korotkoff technique remains the most common, most compelling and most acceptable for doctors, although, until recently there was a significant progress in the implementation of this method. Korotkoff sounds originate from turbulence in blood flow and oscillation of the vessel wall.

The first tone indicates systolic pressure and coincides with intra-arterial measurements. The second and third tone do not have clinical significance, and the fourth and fifth determine diastolic blood pressure. While measuring in real terms, systolic is slightly lower and diastolic is slightly higher.

Among older people, when measuring, sometimes an auditory gap occurs and is seen due to organ damage or intra-arterial blood pressure oscillations. For the implementation of the Korotkoff technique, the mercury manometer is used (usually because it gives confidence to doctors and patients), or sphygmomanometers which use pointer or electrical panel.

Oscillometric method

In addition to auscultation methods, the Oscillometric technique is also used. Ut requires the application of the algorithm for correction. This method does not require precise placement of the cuff on the brachial artery. It is appropriate for ambulatory blood pressure measurement. Measurement on the finger (unencumbered pressure cuff) is not appropriate for clinical use because it is insufficiently precise and expensive.

Today, more and more are used automatic electronic devices use the oscillometric method of measurement of the brachial artery. They are fairly easy to use, but there is more space for error. The device is placed on the wrist and blows air in and out of the cuff. Results are then displayed on the screen. Except for a blood pressure values, the value of the pulse is also obtained.

Which device is best to use?

On the market, there are a great variety of blood pressure monitors. Most of them show real values that do not differ much from those obtained when measuring with professional devices. It is desirable for the patient that, before buying the home blood pressure monitor, they should consult a doctor and bring the device for review and to be trained how to properly place the cuff, as well as to verify the accuracy of the device.

When is necessary to treat high pressure?

A diagnosis of high blood pressure is given by the doctor, internist, or cardiologist and he or she only can suggest treatment options. For the treatment of hypertension, there are a lot of drugs, a selection of the best should be left to a doctor who later periodically control patient.

Good blood pressure regulation means reaching normal values that are below 140/90 mmHg, regardless of the age of the patient. The patients who have high blood pressure must take medications regularly, at a certain time and after normalization of pressure not to discontinue therapy. It is also necessary, to reduce intake of fat and salt.

Regulation of blood pressure will preserve the body

Regulation of blood pressure will preserve the body from damage to the heart, blood vessels and organs such as the kidneys, brain and eyes. Treatment should begin on time, before damage to the other organs, which is particularly important for patients who have some associated disease. In addition, patients with high blood pressure should periodically go for check-ups.


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