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Understanding Your Blood Pressure Numbers

High blood pressure can go undetected for years because it often develops without any symptoms.

However, a lack of symptoms doesn’t indicate a lack of damage. Left untreated, high blood pressure can silently damage your heart and blood vessels.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can keep your blood pressure under control, sometimes even without medications. If you’ve recently had your blood pressure measured and you want to understand your results, check out this information from our experts at Bethel Family Medicine

Blood pressure values explained 

A normal blood pressure reading is one that falls below 120/80 mm Hg. However, if your reading is lower than 90/60 mm Hg, you may have low blood pressure. Low blood pressure is usually not problematic as long as you don’t have any underlying issues. 

On average, athletes have lower blood pressure, as do people with a strong heart and a healthy circulatory system. 

What can impact your blood pressure levels before the test

Certain medications, supplements, and even emotions can distort the result of your blood pressure measurements. 

Your blood pressure may get lower if you take diuretics, beta-blockers, antidepressants, drugs for Parkinson’s disease, and drugs for erectile dysfunction. Low blood pressure can also occur in diabetics and pregnant women.

Your blood pressure levels may get higher when you’re stressed out or when you take certain medications such as OTC painkillers, birth control pills, and some cold medications. Illegal drugs such as cocaine can also raise blood pressure levels. 

What abnormal blood pressure levels may indicate 

Abnormal blood pressure levels are often linked to kidney disease, sleep apnea, and thyroid issues. Elevated blood pressure may also indicate that your lifestyle is negatively impacting your health.

You may want to avoid the following:

In other words, what’s good for your overall health (e.g., an active lifestyle, organic foods, and home-cooked meals) is also good for your blood pressure levels. Although medication can help, if you don’t make proper lifestyle changes, you won’t achieve optimal results.

As it stands, stroke and cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death in the U.S.

Get your blood pressure under control 

If you’re concerned about high blood pressure levels, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our staff at Bethel Family Medicine will conduct a thorough health examination to find the possible causes of your hypertension, and they may also give you lifestyle tips for blood pressure control. And if lifestyle changes aren’t enough, they may also prescribe medications. 

Call and speak to a team member today about your blood pressure and concerns. 

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