Guest Blog by Hena, Nurse Intern
Blood Pressure… Blood pressure… Blood pressure…
This measurement is almost always taken anytime we receive healthcare.
What is Blood Pressure?
Humans need to survive and function on a daily basis and to do so oxygenated blood is delivered throughout the body with the help of our circulatory system. When our heart beats, it creates pressure against our blood vessels, which includes the veins, arteries, and capillaries. This is called blood pressure.
Two forces are involved in blood pressure. The top number is called systolic pressure which is the pressure in the vessels while the heart is pumping blood to the rest of the body. The lower number, diastolic pressure, is the pressure in the vessels when the heart is resting between beats.
Why it’s Important
BP is an important indicator for complications in the body since the heart is the main hub with vessels going out and back to the rest of the body. Complications can arise affecting our organs. It can even lead to death. According to CDC, high blood pressure was the primary or contributing cause of death for more than 410,000 americans, that’s more than 1,100 deaths per day… I repeat, per day!
What do these Readings Mean?
Your at your doctors appointment. The assistant gets your blood pressure and tells you it is 145 over 98. You listen, nod your head and forget about it not knowing what it even means. Instead of just nodding and forgetting about the significant meaning to those numbers lets learn about what these numbers really mean.
According to the New York guidelines the optimal blood pressure reading is anything less than 120/80mmHg but higher than 90/60mmHg . Hypertension is a BP of 130/80 mmHg or higher. Measure many times over a period of time.
According to the CDC, 1 out of 3 Americans have high blood pressure, and nearly half of Americans have high blood pressure but don’t even know it.
It’s a silent killer.The American Heart Association
There is a high chance you might have hypertension so go get checked!
Correct Way to Measure BP
Measuring blood pressure can be difficult. Following these steps will put you in the correct path to achieve the most precise reading.
To begin with, make sure you have the correct cuff size. Make sure there is no clothing in the way of the cuff. Refrain from caffeine, exercise, or smoking 30 minutes prior to measurement. You should sit for about five minutes or more prior to measurement.
Then you are all set to begin taking your blood pressure!
Treatments: Pharmacological and Nonpharmacological
Pharmacological treatments include various drugs prescribed by the provider. Make sure you are following your providers instructions with taking the right medication and dosages at the right time. Make sure you consult your provider if you would like to make any changes.
Nonpharmacological treatments include: weight loss, healthy diet, such as the DASH diet, and physical activity.
The DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)
When following the DASH diet you are taking the right step toward achieving a healthier blood pressure. This diet incorporates more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods. The most important part is limiting the salt consumption to 2-3 or less grams of salt a day. Here are 3 easy meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner that you can make at home!
Breakfast: glass of almond milk, oatmeal, strawberries and blueberries
Lunch: Glass of water, chicken salad with (spinach, cucumbers and tomatoes) and an orange
Dinner: salmon, sweet potatoes, broccoli and carrots with a glass of water