Blood Pressure: What They Are Telling You and What Does It Mean?

There is a lot of concern placed on blood pressure.  And for good reason too.  High blood pressure is the cause of heart attacks, strokes, pulmonary failure, kidney problems and cardiac arrest.  Low blood pressure is the consequence of kidney disease, hemorrhaging, and other serious medical conditions.  In this article, we will try to quickly and easily demystify the terms that are thrown at you and tell you what they mean to you.  First, though I’m going to throw you some terms with numbers.

Blood Pressure Category Systolic (mmHg) Diastolic (mmHg)
Hypotension <90 <60
Normal 90 – 120 60 – 80
Pre-hypertension 120 – 139 (or) 80 – 89
Stage 1 140 – 159 (or) 90 – 99
Stage 2 160 or higher (or) 100 or higher

So what does all of this mean?  Well –

  • Systolic pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is constricted.
  • Diastolic pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is open.
  • mmHg is millimeters of mercury and is a measurement of atmospheric pressure.  It is how non-invasive blood pressure is measured.
  • Hypotension is low blood pressure.  The consequences of low blood pressure include blacking out, stroke and if it continues, death.  Low blood pressure isn’t an issue itself, but a symptom of other problems.
  • Hypertension is high blood pressure.  Imagine your car stuck in second gear going along the interstate.  The engine revs ever higher and gets hotter every time you push on the gas pedal.  This is because the engine has to work very hard to push the gears.  You know that eventually you are going to blow your engine the longer this goes on.  This is what is happening with high blood pressure: the heart is having a hard time pushing blood through the blood vessels and eventually is going to blow a gasket.
    There are two principal types of hypertension: Pulmonary and Reno vascular.  Pulmonary is high blood pressure centered around the heart and lungs, Reno vascular is caused by constricted arteries near the kidneys, causing cells in the kidneys to release chemicals into the blood stream that constrict blood vessels near to the heart.¹

You can see why blood pressure is so closely watched.   In subsequent articles, I will tell you what you can do to lower your blood pressure that won’t break the bank, make you scream or cause you to change everything about your lifestyle.

1. High Blood Pressure Basics

About Nathan

Hi! I am Nathan! So why am I here? That is my main question. I am fascinated by the current wave of science meeting with the philosophical questions throughout history. I am a Taoist and a disorganized dreamer who makes up new words to describe states of being and thought processes. I love to bring to you these simple yet powerful little inspirations and truths. I believe that each one of us is infinitely important and we are all connected. As Carl Sagan put it, “We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself.” We might be all connected, but you are still you. It is your perceptions that shape your reality. So join me in changing perceptions!

1 comment to Blood Pressure: What They Are Telling You and What Does It Mean?

Leave a Reply