High blood pressure (BP) is definitely a symptom of stress. It's also a symptom of many other things, but do you really know what those numbers mean that your doctor tells you after you get your BP taken? This article will cover what those numbers mean about your health, and some changes that you may need to take if they are higher than normal.
If you have any concerns about your BP levels, the first thing that you need to do is go and get your blood pressure taken by a doctor. The machine at the drug store just is not accurate enough. Your BP fluctuates through the day, and you need the help of a doctor to understand those daily fluctuations.
Getting down to the numbers, your BP is read as your systolic over your diastolic. For example, the idea BP for the average person is 120 over 80 (the first number is systolic, and the second number is the diastolic). You systolic BP is the pressure when your heart contracts, while your diastolic BP is the pressure while your heart is relaxed.
As I've mentioned already, an ideal BP for the average person is 120 over 80. If either of those numbers start getting any higher, you may have some degree of hypertension. If your BP is around 130 over 85, you're not doing too poorly and with some changes to your diet and lifestyle you should be able to get back to normal. If your blood pressure is in the range of 150 over 95, chances are your doctor will prescribe heart pressure medication. Now if your BP reaches 160 over 100 you will likely need to make some major changes in your life! Blood pressure medication and drastic changes to your diet (such as eliminating caffeine, alcohol, and most of the salt from your diet) will likely be prescribed by the doctor.
High blood pressure has become much more common in North America, and understanding what your blood pressure is, is one of the first steps to understanding how important is it. Once again, if you have any concerns about your blood pressure, do not hesitate to see a doctor to have your checked.