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Understanding the Numbers that Make Up Your Blood Pressure Number

Understanding the Numbers that Make Up Your Blood Pressure Number

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a health condition that can lead to serious problems, including stroke, heart attack, aneurysm (when a blood vessel swells and bursts), and even dementia. 

But what exactly is high blood pressure? It’s the force your blood exerts when it hits the walls of your arteries. Blood is constantly moving through your body, delivering nutrients and oxygen to every part. It also helps remove waste from your body, fight infections, and direct essential hormones to where they’re needed. 

Dr. Gurprit Sekhon and the Nu Wave Medical Center team help patients manage their blood pressure so they can live with a lower risk for the serious health conditions we mentioned. Getting your blood pressure under control is one of the most important things you can do for your health, and we can help you.

Why is blood pressure so important?

Your blood pressure reading, as we said above, is a make-or-break number that either puts you at risk for certain serious health conditions or lowers your risk for them. 

When your doctor talks to you about “knowing your numbers,” these are important indications about your health, and include your weight, blood glucose level, and cholesterol. Your blood pressure reading? An absolutely essential piece of health data. 

How do I interpret my blood pressure reading? 

Your blood pressure reading consists of two numbers, an upper and lower number:

Your systolic blood pressure is the upper number and reflects your blood pressure while your heart is beating.

Your diastolic blood pressure is the lower number and indicates what your blood pressure is between your heartbeats. 

When blood pressure becomes too high, it can weaken your blood vessels.

What’s a “good” blood pressure reading?

In 2020, blood pressure guidelines changed; normal blood pressure is now defined as under 120/80, and elevated blood pressure is considered to be a reading of between a systolic pressure of 120 and 129 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80. 

Stage 1 high blood pressure is a systolic blood pressure between 130 and 139 and a diastolic blood pressure of between 80 and 89. Stage 2 high blood pressure is 140/90, and a blood pressure crisis would be a reading of 180/120. 

High blood pressure is known as a silent killer, or a condition that exists without your being aware of it. There are often no obvious symptoms unless the condition is fairly advanced. 

This is why it’s critical to take a blood pressure reading at every doctor’s visit. Dr. Sekhon does exactly this, and doesn’t rely on your yearly wellness exam to be an accurate reflection of your blood pressure picture. 

Fortunately, you can consider Dr. Sekhon your partner in lowering your blood pressure and keeping it at a healthy level. You have the power to lower your blood pressure through changing your lifestyle habits like:

Dr. Sekhon can also prescribe blood pressure-lowering medications if lifestyle changes don’t normalize your pressure sufficiently. 

Getting your blood pressure under control — and maintaining it — can be a true challenge. Call us to schedule an appointment to learn more about your blood pressure, or book one online

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