Blood Pressure Measurement

Blood pressure measurement refers to the measurement of the force that blood exerts on the walls of the arteries while flowing through them. The heart pumps oxygenated blood to the different body parts. In the process, i.e., throughout the cycles of compression and relaxation, the heart exerts different pressure measures on the artery walls (which carry oxygenated blood).

High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure increases when you exert yourself too much, become stressed or experience anxiety; this is very much normal. You can say that you have high blood pressure only when your blood pressure reading is above the normal BP (120/80 mm HG) and that when measured with your body at rest.

The blood pressure measurement is high when you have hypertension and this is caused when:

The small blood vessels get narrower
The walls of the larger arteries become rigid and lose their elasticity

Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure or hypotension occurs when there is a decrease in your blood volume or body fluids. You are in danger of having low blood pressure when the constrictions of the arterioles are not enough. Low blood pressure makes you feel dizzy.

Measuring Blood Pressure

Blood pressure measurement is taken with the help of a monitor known as sphygmomanometer. This pressure gauge is a digital box, which has a cuff attached to a tube. The cuff is wrapped around the upper arm and inflated; then it is allowed to deflate gradually. The sensor in the cuff enables you to know your blood pressure. The doctor or the nurse listens to the flow of your blood using a stethoscope and understands what blood pressure you have – high or low.

The normal blood pressure measurement will read 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm HG). The figure that is on the top, in this case 120, denotes the systolic blood pressure, the measurement of the maximum pressure in the circulatory system. The lower figure 80 denotes the diastolic blood pressure. It is the pressure between the heartbeats when the heart is resting and measures the minimum pressure in your circulatory system.

In the UK, high blood pressure measurement refers to an increased systolic blood pressure of 140 or more and a diastolic blood pressure of 85 or more. A diabetic person must ensure that his/her blood pressure measures below 130/80. If you have high blood pressure or suffer from diabetes, your doctor will insist on getting a regular blood pressure measurement.

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