What Exactly Is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the pressure of circulating blood against the walls of blood vessels. Blood pressure is taken using two measurements: systolic and diastolic

What Exactly Is Blood Pressure?

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the pressure of circulating blood against the walls of blood vessels. Blood pressure is taken using two measurements: systolic and diastolic

  • Systolic is measured when the heartbeats when blood pressure is at its highest
  • Diastolic is measured between heartbeats, when blood pressure is at its lowest

So why is measuring your blood pressure so important?

Knowing your blood pressure is very important because if your blood pressure stays high over time, it can cause the heart to pump harder. Overworking the heart overtime can lead to serious chronic diseases such as:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Your blood pressure changes over time so it is important to get checked regularly.
  • Talk with your health care team about regularly measuring your blood pressure at home.
  • Self-measured blood pressure (SMBP) monitoring is easy and safe to use! By monitoring your blood pressure at home, you can:
  • Help with early diagnosis
  • Help track your treatment
  • Encourage better control
  • Cut your health care costs
  • High blood pressure readings are also labeled by categories, ranging from normal to crisis. You can visit the American Heart Association webpage for more information!
Image from American Heart Association
image from American Heart Association

Home monitoring is not a replacement for regular visits to your provider. But it can provide important information!

Some symptoms of high blood pressure include:

  • Severe headaches
  • Disturbed vision
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue and confusion
  • If you have any of these symptoms, it is best to get a blood pressure screen and talk to your doctor about treating high blood pressure.

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