Blood pressure (BP) is the measurement of pressure inside the human artery. Having a blood pressure reading that is too high or too low can cause many health problems. While some symptoms are noticeable with low blood pressure, people with high blood pressure generally don’t realize it at all. It is dangerous to have a high BP because when the blood pressure in your arteries is elevated, your heart is required to work harder to push blood through your vessels.
How is Blood Pressure Measured
There are two different types of blood pressure: systolic and diastolic. Systolic BP is the pressure inside your arteries when your heart is pumping, while diastolic BP is the pressure in the arteries when your heart is at rest. When your arm or thigh is cuffed and pressurized enough to turn off the flow of blood and then released slowly, the first pulse, the systolic reading, can be measured with a stethoscope. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and recorded by placing the systolic number over the diastolic number.
Checking Your Blood Pressure at Home
Prior to checking your blood pressure at home, we will walk you through proper sizing and demonstrate the technique right here in the office! The technology in at-home blood pressure tests has vastly improved, however, we encourage you to bring your cuff in to compare it to ours occasionally. Multiple readings either at home or in the office will increase the accuracy of the reading. The machines available for use in stores and pharmacies are often mis-used and not calibrated correctly, so you may use them as a reference, but we advise on getting your own for the most accurate results.
Why is Checking Your Blood Pressure Important
Having a blood pressure that is too high or too low can put additional strain on your heart. Because high blood pressure generally has no symptoms, it may not be addressed quickly and can eventually start to damage your blood vessels, causing a heart attack, stroke, heart failure, or kidney disease. Low pressure is more easily identified as some of the general symptoms are lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting and occurs when the flow of blood to the organs is inadequate. Having your blood pressure checked is important in being aware of your health so that you are able to follow a treatment plan customized for your health. In some cases, positive life choices like losing weight, quitting smoking, and exercising can be all you need to improve your blood pressure reading.
Now that you understand the importance of having your blood pressure monitored, call us (317)-763-2131 and make an appointment to have it checked today!