The higher than normal blood pressure is not good for a healthy heart. Blood pressure is a hidden problem that shows little or no symptoms until it reaches a certain point. Before concluding that a slight elevation in the blood pressure is deadly for the heart, do know that there is a limit to the heart’s tolerance to blood pressure. There are several ranges of blood pressure that helps assess the health of the heart. It helps determine how much risk is present.
Blood Pressure And Heart Health
There are 2 ways the high blood pressure can cause damage to the healthy heart. The first is coronary heart disease that has the blood vessels to the arteries having plaque formation on the walls. This allows little space for the blood to flow putting pressure on the heart pumping.
The second way is the hypertensive heart disease where the blood pressure making the heart chamber, especially the left chamber wall thicker and stiff for normal work. Thickening of the walls makes the pumping tougher which can lead to heart attacks.
Understanding The Blood Pressure
Blood pressure reading is done by measuring the two types of pressure. They are systolic pressure and diastolic pressure.
- Systolic pressure is the pressure in the arteries when it contracts. It is the contraction of the arteries that pump the blood out of the heart. The force or pressure with which this is done is called systolic pressure. It is the maximum pressure that is measured here.
- Diastolic pressure is the pressure on the same arteries in between the normal beats. The minimal pressure of the heart in these recess seconds is calculated here.
Reading Blood Pressure Results
The blood pressure readings show 2 numbers. The higher number refers to the systolic pressure and the lower number is the diastolic pressure. There is a specific range of each number to determine how the blood pressure fares for the health. If the readings are higher than normal it is high blood pressure and when the numbers are lesser, it is low blood pressure. While both of these are unhealthy to the heart, high blood pressure is the riskier than the other.
- The normal range is 120-80. Blood pressure is measured in the unit mmHg. This is the healthy blood pressure that is seen in a healthy person. The number may change slightly from time to time. But as long as the average stays in this limit, everything is fine.
- Pre-hypertension is the slightly elevated range of blood pressure. The elevated or pre-hypertension stage readings show over 120 and within 139 for the systolic pressure and 80-99 for the diastolic pressure. The pre-hypertension stage is easily manageable with slight changes in the lifestyle and diet. You need to get medical attention for this range and is not risky for the heart as well.
- Stage 1 hypertension is the reading that is 140-159 for high level and 90-99 for the lower range. This can be considered high blood pressure outright. This may be the time that you need medical attention. This is not directly risky to the healthy heart but the heart might start experiencing trouble. The threat here is also that it can go further if you are not careful enough.
- Stage 2 hypertension is the more dangerous for the heart. The blood pressure readings here may be more than 160 and 100+. You definitely need medications to lower the pressure and also require severe changes in the life. The heart is definitely under threat and the possibility of heart diseases arising can be anytime.
- Severe hypertension is when the blood pressure readings show 180-110 or higher readings. The heart is currently under severe threat.
Taking Care Of The Heart Under High Blood Pressure
As a rule, you need to take care of the heart and keep track of the blood pressure regularly, no matter what your age is. A slight change in the blood pressure may have serious effects on the heart. You need to be cautious when the blood pressure is at pre-hypertension range itself.
The reason for high blood pressure can be high cholesterol and plaque formation on the artery walls, high amount of salt in the blood causing disruption and the damage to the blood vessel linings etc.
You can easily manage the diet and daily activities to stay healthier. It also helps to reduce the cholesterol level and salt consumption.
Few Things To Note Before Taking The Blood Pressure Readings
Measuring the blood pressure is something that you can do at home. You can see a variety of blood pressure machines in the market. Check with your physician to see which one is ideal for you. You can take the measurements on your own. Here are a few pointers before you take the readings.
- The blood pressure reading should be accurate so that you can take the necessary actions.
- Never take the blood pressure if you have had caffeine, alcohol or have smoked within 30 minutes. Wait at least 30 minutes or an hour before you measure the blood pressure.
- The mind should be calm and quiet when you are measuring. The slight changes in the emotions can vary the readings. Take some time out of about 5 minutes to calm your mind and body before you take the readings.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes while measuring blood pressure. And try not to talk as well.
High blood pressure and heart may not be in good terms. But you can work on to make them get along healthier. Living with a high blood pressure is risky for the heart but it is not impossible to continue to live with them. All it takes is extreme care and proper management to sustain a healthy heart.