What Is Blood Pressure?
Every time our heart beats, it pumps blood carrying oxygen and essential nutrients to different parts/organs of the body. The blood reaches different organs/parts of the body through a complex network of arteries. The pumping force that moves the blood through these arteries (our circulatory system) is termed as blood pressure. In other words, it is a measure of how hard your heart has to pump to deliver blood to different parts of your body. Normal blood pressure is important for ensuring that our body gets the required amount of oxygen and essential nutrients it needs to survive.
Why Is It Important To Check Your Blood Pressure? | What Is Blood Pressure?
An amazing thing about blood pressure is that it does not remain the same; in fact, it changes by the second. At any given moment, the blood pressure depends on the type of work being performed by your heart, the amount of blood being pumped, and the amount of resistance to the blood flow in the arteries. If your arteries are narrow and you are performing a strenuous activity, your heart will have to exert extra pressure to pump the blood, this may result in high blood pressure or hypertension. If left untreated, hypertension can result in heart strokes, blindness, heart attacks, and kidney failure. Similarly, low blood pressure or hypotension is also a cause of great concern as it indicates that your heart is not supplying the right amount of oxygenated blood to your body, and this can also give rise to a host of health issues. Therefore it is important to keep a close eye on your blood pressure.
How Is Blood Pressure Measured? | What Is Blood Pressure?
The good news is that you do not have to visit a doctor to get your blood pressure checked; with so many digital as well as analog blood pressure measuring devices (called sphygmomanometer) you can easily check your blood pressure at home or in your office at any time. The unit for measurement of blood pressure is “millimeters of mercury” or mmHg. The reading consists of two numbers, both of which are important. For example, 120/80 mmHg is defined as the normal blood pressure reading. The first number (120) is termed as “systolic blood pressure” and the second one (80) is your ‘diastolic blood pressure”.
The systolic blood pressure represents the pressure in the arteries while pumping blood, whereas ‘diastolic blood pressure” represents the pressure in arteries between heartbeats. A reading of 140/90 mmHg is regarded as high blood pressure, and 90/60 mmHg as low blood pressure.
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What Is Blood Pressure?