Blood Pressure 101

Blood Pressure 101

A yearly physical or even just a normal visit to the doctor
can involve having your blood pressure checked. Not everyone understands why or
how important this information can be. Understanding the basics about blood
pressure can lead to making better health decisions. This first piece of
information to learn is that the top number is called systolic pressure and the
bottom number is called diastolic pressure.

When having blood pressure checked, the doctor will put an
inflatable cuff around the upper arm. Then they will use a stethoscope to
listen to the blood moving through the arteries. The doctor will inflate the
cuff which will cause it to tighten around the arm. As the cuff becomes deflated,
the doctor will listen through the stethoscope to determine systolic blood
pressure. When the noise that goes away from the deflation stops, the doctor
can then take the diastolic reading.

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This Symptom Can Be an Important Clue That You Have High Blood Pressure

This Symptom Can Be an Important Clue That You Have High Blood Pressure

Getting up to go to the bathroom in the night isn’t just annoying—it may be a sign of hypertension. If you have high blood pressure, you are 56 percent more likely to be hitting the head two or more times a night, versus those who sleep soundly, research from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles finds.

It’s an important clue, since high blood pressure often has no symptoms; unless you have an annual checkup, you might not know you’re running the risk of serious cardiovascular issues. “If blood pressure is elevated, the kidneys filter more blood and produce more urine,” says study co-author and cardiologist Florian Rader, M.D. Getting up once in a while is OK, but if it’s consistent, see a doctor.

Also prioritize these foods, which can help keep your heart healthy.

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