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Measuring Blood Pressure, what the numbers mean.

February 28, 2008

Useful information.  I looked this up because I thought my blood pressure might be too low 105 over 60 with a pulse of 58.  Seems that its just fine . . . BUT . . . a good doctor should make a judgement as well.  Health is one thing you don’t want to be a ‘lone ranger’.  Communicate with your health care provider as a pro-active, engaged client.  IT IS YOUR LIFE, yes?!

What do the numbers mean?
When you have your blood pressure measured, it is written down as two numbers, one over the other like a fraction.
For example:

140/90mmHg

It is said as “140 over 90,” for example. The top number, which is called the systolic pressure, shows the pressure in your arteries when your heart is forcing blood through them. The bottom number, called the diastolic pressure, shows the pressure in your arteries when your heart relaxes. The top number can be anywhere from 90 to 240 and the bottom number can be anywhere from 60 to 140. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury, which is written down as: mmHg

Everyone has a different blood pressure and it can change in the same person during the day and night. Your blood pressure varies by large amounts, depending on what you are doing. The lowest blood pressures occur when you are asleep or if you relax all your muscles. Standing up, exercising or anxiety all cause an increase in blood pressure. In a single day your blood pressure may vary by 30 to 40 mmHg systolic with similar proportionate changes in diastolic pressure. This is why when you have your blood pressure level assessed it is so important to have it measured under the same conditions every time.

Measuring Blood Pressure, what the numbers mean.

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