Blood Pressure: WTF?

Blood Pressure: WTF?

Welcome to Hot on Health, I’m Nurse Robbie.
Blood Pressure – what the *bleep* is that? Have you ever been getting your blood pressure
taken and as the cuff is tightening you’re thinking… ‘what is going
on right no- OH MY GOD THIS CUFF IS TIGHT!’ Let’s break down what blood pressure actually
is because it is a really, really important tool to measure your cardiovascular health
AND you’re going to get it done like a million times in your life so you might as
well know what’s going on. Blood pressure is just that, pressure from
the blood! It’s the amount of force that blood puts on the walls of our arteries as it pumped
around the body. We measure blood pressure as two numbers, something over something
else. The first number is the pressure on the arteries as our heart pumps blood and
the second number is the pressure as the heart as it relaxes. If someone has consistently high blood pressure this is known as ‘hypertension’ and if it’s
consistently low it’s known as ‘hypotension.’ There is no perfect or ideal blood pressure
because we’re all individuals but this is a pretty good, general guide. If you find
yourself falling outside the normal range you may need to get this investigated further.
You can find this chart in the online article. Our blood pressure is never just one fixed
set of numbers, it changes all the time to meet our body’s needs. Some factors that
temporarily affect our blood pressure are the position we’re sitting in,
our breathing pattern, our emotional state, the amount of sleep we’ve had amongst other things. Then of course there are the things that
affect our blood pressure permanently. Things like genetics, poor diet, being overweight, smoking, some mental health issues and many others. For this reason it’s important
not to just go off one reading; if you get your blood pressure taken and it’s high
then go back a few more times to get it taken again for a more dynamic picture, or you can even buy one of the affordable blood pressures monitors and do a few readings at home for yourself. So why does this matter? High blood pressure,
or hypertension, is extremely common and contributes to the majority of cardiovascular disease
in Australia. Having high blood pressure can lead to serious health consequences like heart
attack, stroke and kidney disease. Hypertension often goes without symptoms and so you don’t realise you’ve got it until it causes another, more serious issue. It’s believed about 6 million Australians
over 18 have high blood pressure and about two thirds of those people have poor control
over it. So when was your last blood pressure check? This is just the beginning, I could talk for
a surprisingly long time about blood pressure. If you want to learn more, please head to the article I wrote online to find out how you can use lifestyle factors to control your blood pressure instead of medication, the units we measure blood pressure in and more. And remember there is no healthcare without self-care! And that includes regularly getting your blood pressure checked!

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.