What you should know about diastolic blood pressure

November 12, 2012

What you should know about diastolic blood pressure

Blood pressure simply refers to the force with which the blood is pressing against the walls of the blood vessels and in order to measure blood pressure, two readings are required. The two reading are known as systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure is the measurement taken at the moment the heart takes a beat, and diastolic blood pressure is the measurement taken in between two beats. In order to measure diastolic blood pressure a device called a sphygmomanometer is used. This device consists of a material strap, which is wrapped around the arm and then inflated. Air is slowly released from the strap and a gauge attached reveals a pressure reading. This is probably the most common method used to measure blood pressure but there are other devices that can do so. A person’s blood pressure is written in the form of a fraction with the systolic pressure written on top and the diastolic pressure below. An example of a normal blood pressure reading is 120/80. The diastolic pressure is likely to change many times throughout the course of the day and can even vary over a period of just a few minutes. There are a number of factors that can affect the diastolic blood pressure such as exercise, stress, tension, use of nicotine and even posture. For this reason it is recommended that in order to gain an accurate reading blood pressure should be taken a number of times, with a few minutes in between each one. The average can then be taken providing a more reliable measurement.

Diastolic blood pressure is very important and this is how blood gets transported around the human body. The blood gets pumped from the heart, braches off and heads in different directions to reach different organs in the body. Diastolic blood pressure is the force, which is used to push the blood around the body and ensures that it reaches every cell providing it with the required oxygen and nutrients. If the blood fails to reach any cells they will not be able to function properly. If the diastolic blood pressure falls below 60, it is considered to be low meaning the cells are not receiving the nutrients they require and are not able to properly function or efficiently eliminate waste products. Low blood pressure is also known as hypotension.

If diastolic blood pressure is over 90 then it is considered high. High blood diastolic blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can lead to many serious conditions as over time the blood vessels become scarred and hardened which can lead to them becoming blocked or ruptured. Organ damage can occur and even complete failure. These symptom often occur naturally as you get older but high blood pressure can make it happen sooner, increasing the risk of a heart attack, stroke or organ damage. To eliminate these added risks, it is important to monitor and maintain normal blood pressure. Malignant hypertension refers to a diabolic blood pressure so high severe symptoms occur such as headaches, nausea and light-headedness. In extreme cases, emergency medical assistance is required to quickly bring blood pressure levels down and prevent bleeding in the brain.

A change in lifestyle is usually required in order to lower high diastolic blood pressure. Necessary changes often include losing weight through exercising and eating a diet high in fruit and vegetables and low in cholesterol, fat and salt. Drinking less alcohol can often also have a positive effect is bringing diastolic blood pressure down to normal levels.

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