Blood Pressure: Why Must You Know Your Numbers?

blood-pressure-why-must-you-know-your-numbers

Making sense of the numbers.

When measuring blood pressure, one will be given two numbers – the numerator and denominator.

  • The numerator (top number) - is the pressure inside your arteries when your heart is contracting.
  • The denominator (bottom number) - is the pressure inside your arteries when your heart is relaxed.


Both the numbers are important as they can provide an insight to the underlying aetiology of the disease one suffers from.


What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is a condition when the force on the walls of the blood vessels from the blood within them is more than normal. This means, the heart would need to work harder and the blood vessels are under more stress that puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.


What is low blood pressure?

Low blood pressure is a condition when the force on the walls of the blood vessels from the blood within them is less than normal. Most commonly the cause of low blood pressure is Orthostatic Hypotension. This happens when the blood pressure plummets down when a person stands up.  


How do I know if my blood pressure is high or low?

Unless, your blood pressure is super-high or super-low; you won’t know unless it is measured. Illustrated below is the classification of blood pressure:


What to do if my blood pressure is high or low?

Visit the nearest clinic to get yourself fully evaluated. High or low blood pressure can be caused by many different reasons. A doctor is trained to discern life threatening aetiologies.
 

References:

  1. Clinical Practice Guidelines, Management of Hypetension. 4th ed. Kuala Lumpur: Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia; 2015.
  2. Patient education: High blood pressure in adults [Internet]. www.uptodate.com. 2017 [cited 20 July 2017]. Available from: http://www.uptodate.com.ezp.imu.edu.my/contents/high-blood-pressure-in-adults-beyond-the-basics


Image Source:

  1. Photo credit: Foter.com

Tags
blood pressure, systolic, diastolic, orthostatic hypotension

blood-pressure-why-must-you-know-your-numbers
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CHONG KOI FAH

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