Taking Care of Your Blood Pressure

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By Nisha Sharma

healthyheartbpBlood Pressure Monitoring

Monitoring blood pressure is important to keep the heart and veins of the body in optimal condition. First, an individual must schedule an appointment with a medical professional to determine if blood pressure is normal. A chronic abnormal blood pressure reading will determine what actions a patient must follow. When a patient visits a physician, several important vital signs assist in determining blood pressure health. Individuals might need to change to a low-sodium diet, increase exercise, lose weight or take daily prescription medication when blood pressure is abnormal.

Routine Physician Visits

Blood pressure is measured on adults with a specialized medical armband device called a sphygmomanometer. The device has mercury that rises to show diastolic and systolic rates. At the same time, a stethoscope is used to listen to heartbeats and respiration rates. Each individual has a variation of blood pressure readings throughout a day due to physical activity, health conditions, medication, diet and emotional stress. Blood pressure readings in combination with the temperature of the body, heartbeats per minute and pulse rates are important tests to determine physical conditions.

Abnormal Blood Pressure Readings

An abnormal blood pressure reading is the result of a chronic, temporary or emergency health condition. Many patients have higher readings due to nervousness while at a medical facility. Additional factors that show temporary abnormal readings are having a full bladder, recent exercise, smoking and consuming caffeine. Individuals with abnormal readings in a medical office setting can purchase a blood pressure monitoring device to check readings throughout a normal day. This is a great way for an individual to care for blood pressure health.

bloodpressureHypotension

Low blood pressure is a dangerous medical condition that causes fainting or dizziness. Emergency hypotension is a result of massive blood loss, hormonal imbalances, infection, toxins or thrombosis. Eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa change the chemical balance inside the body while often causing hypotension. A patient in a trauma situation resulting in blood loss can develop a shock condition rapidly. Low blood pressure more commonly occurs as a medical crisis than a chronic health condition.

Hypertension

Hypertension is a chronic condition of high blood pressure that causes the heart muscles to work harder to move blood through the veins and arteries. If an individual routinely has a high blood pressure reading, then arterial hypertension is present. Chronic hypertension damages veins, arteries and heart muscles. Hypertensive patients are more likely to have aneurysms, renal failure, heart attacks or strokes. Individuals with this condition must modify daily lifestyle to reduce blood pressure readings.

Lifestyle Modifications

A nutritious food plan with natural foods low in sodium such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein from poultry and whole grains assists in lowering blood pressure. Individuals should consume foods high in calcium, magnesium and potassium. Reducing emotional stress is imperative for hypertensive patients. Individuals can engage in physical activities to improve cardiovascular health and muscle strength. A physician will typically prescribe antihypertensive medication to assist in lowering blood pressure.

– Nisha represents a site called MHA.org.uk. She enjoys writing about elderly healthcare and dementia care.