How Blood Pressure Readings Work

How Blood Pressure Readings Work

August 30, 2019 22 By Bertrand Dibbert


hey guys it’s Jackie
we’ve all had our blood pressure taken at one point or another but what do
those numbers mean and what are the implications for our health
I’m here with dr. Robert Martin who’s going to break it all down for us
so dr. Martin let’s start real simple what does blood pressure actually mean
what does that term mean the blood pressure refers to the pressure that’s
put against the walls the artery in the body and the arteries of course are the
blood vessels that distribute oxygen to life and when you take someone’s blood
pressure you can tell a lot about what’s going on inside their body mostly it’s
about risk factors so people with high blood pressure are an increased risk for
a lot of serious health problems including heart disease diabetes heart
failure kidney disease and stroke we estimate that there are about 75 million
adults in the United States with high blood pressure according to the Centers
for Disease Control the things that we eat can also affect our blood pressure
so if you have high blood pressure you can maybe make some dietary adjustments
absolutely so the two things that come to mind right away
are salt and alcohol so no more than two alcoholic drinks per day for an adult
man and no more than one per day for an adult woman Americans generally at a
very high sodium diet and we know that salt can increase your blood pressure
usually when you get your blood pressure taken you’re given two numbers what do
each of those numbers mean sure the top number is called the systolic and that
number refers to the pressure in that artery when the heart has contracted
okay and the bottom number is called the diastolic which is the pressure in the
artery in between heartbeats generally speaking a normal number is still
considered 120 over 80 when people come in to get their blood pressure taken
they can be a little bit nervous both about the process and then also getting
the results what do you tell them it’s really common for patients to be nervous
generally speaking when they come to the doctor particularly they haven’t been to
the doctor in quite a while and I think patients also get nervous
about being diagnosed with a chronic condition so I think it’s so important
to reduce risk factors and control your high blood pressure so we can prevent
other series problems in the future and if your
doctor is not mentioning to you what your blood pressure number is you should
ask that person how five left after today okay well after all this
discussion I think it’s important for me to get my blood pressure checked while
I’m here great let’s check it out we’re ready to begin what happens to earth
okay so the most important thing before you take the blood pressure is to have
avoided caffeinated drinks the previews of power when you’re taking the blood
pressure ideally you have your feet on the floor and your back supportive and
chair and you’re resting for three to five minutes before the moon the next
thing we do is we grab the blood pressure cuff here the cuffs always have
a marker that goes over your artery and that’s basically goes over the middle of
the arm right here in front of the elbow and the next thing we’ll do is just
inflate the cuff it’s going to get a little tight that won’t hurt okay yeah I
feel like getting tighter but it doesn’t hurt it’s just some pressure we’re going
to slowly release the air out of the cuff so we’re listening for that first
sound which is the sound of the blood coming through as the pressure is
released okay so did you okay you must really like your job because your blood
pressure is so good 102 over you good to know and see I was I was worried going
into it like everybody is and it really wasn’t that bad at all and if
everything’s fine yeah it’s really not that scary to have your blood pressure
taken and it is so important to know what the number is so you can protect
yourself and protect your future thank you so much doctor and to learn more
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