Blood pressure ‘simplified’, for Indians

With wisdom comes responsibility 🙂. Age gets us wisdom and also the need to take care of our bodies. And with age, our heart starts needing help from us to be at its best.

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Who is this article intended for:
  • This article is suitable for those who are crossing 40 or even 35 and concerned about their health. And want to take proactive care.
  • So, basically for someone who is going into the age & body conditions that could lead to Blood pressure conditions.
  • This also helps someone who has started the on-going treatment of this so-called chronic disease and wants to know about it.
Who is this article NOT intended for:
  • This article covers the basics of Blood Pressure and hence may not be of much use if you are either aware or a patient who is experienced.
  • But please feel free to read on and chime in comments

when it comes to heart health, two of the most important criteria are Blood Pressure and then, the Heart Rate.

Are the Blood Pressure concepts universal or local?

Now, even though Blood Pressure, its concept, and application are universal, there are many factors that influence how this reading is to be interpreted, such as diet habits, lifestyle, culture, and family life. And each of these is very different in India compared to the west, where many of these studies and methods have been developed.

So in this article, we also look at this in the Indian context.

So, what is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is a measure of the force that your heart uses to pump blood around your body.

It is the force that blood exerts on the inside walls of your vessels.

Why is it important to know the Blood Pressure?

We would want to know if the Blood Pressure is higher or lower than what is normal or healthy.

Depending on if it’s higher or lower, we will know what possible conditions in your heart or blood circulatory system (cardiovascular system) caused it. They indicate areas of problem in your body such as with hearth, arteries, and so on.

Take, for instance, high blood pressure means is too much pressure within arteries. One reason for such high pressure is the resistance inside your arteries. Now, that can cause arterial damage and increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and kidney failure.

So, Blood Pressure is a simple yet very critical criterion for assessing your vital health condition.

From what age should I start monitoring my Blood Pressure?

It is recommended that after 40, we need to get our blood pressure checked at least once a year. And better yet, whenever we happen to visit our hospital or family doctor.

Understanding the Blood Pressure test & results

In layman terms, they test the pressure of blood pumping within your arteries.

Now, there are two readings taken of this pressure in two different conditions.

  • Pressure when the heart pumps out blood = Systolic Pressure
  • Pressure when the heart is at rest (between the beats) = Diastolic Pressure

This reading is represented as Systolic (top) / Diastolic (bottom)

The units really do not matter but they are ‘mm Hg’ = millimeters of mercury. This is one of the ways of measuring and indicating the pressure.

What is a good “normal” Blood Pressure?

In most cases 120/80 is considered “normal” or healthy.

  • 120 is Systolic
  • 80 is Diastolic
What are the Different Stages of Blood Pressure?
Low Blood Pressure less than 90 / or less than 60
Normal 120/ 80
Elevated 120-129/ less than 80
Stage 1 high BP 130-139/ 80-89
Stage 2 high BP 140 and above/ 90 and above
Hypertension crisis
(See a doctor right away)
higher than 180/ higher than 120

Tire Pressure vs. Blood Pressure 😆

Blood pressure is similar to the vehicle tire pressure. The method of testing (checking both) are different for obvious reasons. But it would be fun (as well as worth) noting that when converted to same units, i.e. kPA (kilopascals) they are

approx. 190 kpa for tire vs. approx. 16 kPA / 11 kPA for the Blood

So our car tire pressure is about 11 to 12 times the ‘normal’ blood pressure

So, should I be concerned with ‘not normal’ Blood Pressure?
  • Yes, we should be concerned at least once it starts climbing up the stages.
  • A ‘not normal’ reading, especially ones that are in higher stages, indicate for some underlying problem that we cannot leave unattended.
Should I do home testing?
  • These days the monitoring tools aren’t expensive, so it will be a wise investment to keep one at home.
  • It pays itself in the long-run and saves a lot of time and effort in getting blood pressure reading taken at the hospital or at a lab.
Some recommended Blood Pressure Monitors

These are picked from a review site for India that I count on. It’s one of ours 🙂 . You may check the full “Top Blood Pressure Monitors for Indian homes“.

Is Blood Pressure curable?
  • This is my next question too, having come to this far on my research with Blood Pressure & its readings.
  • I will be writing another article “Is Blood Pressure curable?” that focuses on different propositions out there in various medical fields.
  • On a cursory note, if we look at the causes of Blood Pressure and what does bring it under control, they seem pretty much the same.
  • So this could mean we are causing the Blood Pressure with some lifestyle aspects. And the medical community says undoing those are indeed going to control the Blood Pressure.
  • So I guess the answer is obvious.
Testing – what you need to know & do
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
Recommended Reading

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