Thursday, April 21, 2011

Basics of Blood Pressure

Understanding Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the measure of pressure exerted within your arteries by the blood being pumped out and the pressure within your arteries when the heart rests. The heart pumps blood out to the body and blood flows back into the heart. Your pulse is your heart rate, or the number of times your heart beats in one minute.

Blood pressure is determined by:
1. The amount of blood pumped by the left ventricle of the heart into the arteries
2. the resistance to the flow of blood caused by the wall of the arterioles (smaller arteries)

How a normal body maintains normal blood pressure:
1. The heart can speed up and contract more frequently
2. The Veins can expand (lowers) and narrow (raises)
3. The arterioles can expand (lowers)and narrow (raises)
4. The kidney can increase urine (lowers) or decrease (raises) 
changes in the production fo urine will affect blood pressure slowly over hours and days

Normal blood pressure is 120/80, read as "120 over 80." The first number is the systolic number. This is the pressure in your arteries when your heart contracts and pumps blood out. The second number is the diastolic number, representing the pressure when your heart is at rest. 

The range:  highest normal   140/90     Lowest Normal 90/60  
Pulse for adult should be between 60 to 100 beats per minute
Blood pressure will vary at different times of day
If you are dehydrated in the morning which is common if your adrenal function is low, your blood pressure may be high until you drink plenty of water. 

Raises Blood Pressure :

Eeating  large meals divert blood to the digestive system which diverts blood away from other major organs (the heart, brain and lungs etc.) This makes the body has to work harder to get oxygen to the cells. Blood Pressure and pulse are increased to meet this demand for oxygen.. This is why after eating a big meal people often fall asleep because the extra energy demands on the body cause tiredness. (can last for two hours after meal)

Meals high is fat will increase the viscosity of your blood -- its thickness, which slows your blood flow. This forces the heart to work harder, which increases pressure within your arteries, thereby raising blood pressure. (can raise it for five hours after a high fat meal)

Fluid retention in your circulatory system can cause high blood pressure. 
These include excessive salt intake, poor kidney function, and high levels of certain hormones like renin, angiotensin, and cortisol.

Stiff arteries lined with plaque

Excessive weight

These will raise Blood pressure 
to get an accurate reading wait at least half an hour after:

when you are excited or tense
while you are taking a bath
during exercise or soon after exercising
when it is cold
within one hour after eating
after drinking coffee, tea or other beverages containing caffeine
after smoking tobacco
when your bladder is full

Will lower Blood Pressure

A diet low in saturated fats and high in fiber, found in fruits and vegetables, will reduce the amount of fats stored in your body, thus lowering the viscosity of your blood and keep blood pressure lower..

Sleep causes a fall in blood pressure. The lowest beings about two hours after falling asleep.
If your adrenal glands work, then your blood pressure would raise toward morning and wake you up gradually.

Flexible arteries keep blood pressure lower

Regular aerobic exercise will cause your blood pressure to be lower

Weight loss

Blood pressure will be lower than usual:
after taking a bath
after drinking alcohol

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