Hypertension — Systolic/Diastolic and Different Stages by Mitchel Weaver MD
Hypertension or blood pressure, is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure elevated in the arteries. It means the heart has to work hard to pump the blood through the system. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower the arteries, the higher you have hypertension.
Usually you check your blood pressure via stethoscope. You check for your systolic pressure and your diastolic pressure. If these 2 pressures goes up beyond normal, you have hypertension. If it goes down beyond normal, you may have hypotension (low blood pressure).
Systolic pressure is the amount of pressure in your arteries during the contraction of your heart muscle. When you are exercising, or in emotional stress, your systolic pressure goes up. That is normal. But if you are rested and your systolic reads more than 130, you have stage 1 hypertension. If it is more than 140, you have stage 2 hypertension, and if is above 180, you have hypertensive crisis, which requires immediate medical attention. Even if you reached stage 1, you need to consult your doctor for medications.
Diastolic Pressure is the pressure the blood exerts within the arteries in between heartbeats, that is, when the heart is not actively ejecting blood into the arteries. When your heart finished contracting, the cardiac ventricles relaxes momentarily so that it can refill blood again for the next contraction. Normal reading of Diastolic Pressure is up to 80. If it goes more than 80 you may have stage 1 hypertension. If more than 90, you have stage 2 hypertension. And if it goes above 120, just like systolic, you need immediate medical attention.
Stages of Hypertension
If your systolic reading is between 120–129 and diastolic is up to 80, you have elevated blood pressure. That requires you to take on heart-healthy habits. Technically this numbers are not considered high blood pressure, but this means you are already moved out of the normal range. And it may elevate to actual hypertension if you do not make necessary changes to yourself. Regular exercise, eating healthy foods, being pro-active will have a big chance to return you to the normal range of 120/80.
Stage 1 Hypertension
If your systolic reads between 130–139 and diastolic between 80–89 you now have high blood pressure stage 1. This requires you regular doctor visit and taking medicines daily to lower your blood pressure. If this goes unchecked, it will increase your risks of having heart disease and stroke.
Stage 2 Hypertension
In this stage, it indicates even more serious condition. If your systolic goes up to 140 and your diastolic is over 90, it requires more medical attention and regular checkup with your doctor. Usually your doctor will give you 1 or more medications to make your blood pressure under control.
A blood pressure reading more than 180/120 (systolic/diastolic) indicates you have serious health problem. This requires urgent treatment as this will indicate that you will have a bigger chance of a stroke. Visual changes, shortness of breath, chest pain, blood in urine, dizziness and headache are the symptoms that accompanies with this stage.
Sometimes having high readings of your systolic and diastolic will occur temporarily and will go down to normal reading. This is normal if you have just recently go for a exercise (jogging or any activities that may cause your heart to beat fast). That is why doctors or nurses goes for a second reading to ensure if you are having high blood pressure and give you proper treatment or medications.
Either you have elevated, stage 1 or stage 2 hypertension, it requires you to have healthy habits to avoid hypertension. Regular exercise, mostly cardio, will maintain healthy blood pressure reading. Reducing caffeine intake. Maintaining healthy weight. And reducing alcohol intake and quit smoking will reduce your chance of having hypertension.