Blood Pressure – Boys Town National Research Hospital

Blood Pressure – Boys Town National Research Hospital


Blood pressure is basically a measure
of strain on the vessels and so the top
number is how much strain is on the vessels
when your heart contracts and then the bottom number is the strain
after the heart relaxes. Our goal is 120 over 80 but when you start to get
somewhere between you know 120 over 80 to 140 over 90 that’s considered that pre
hypertensive area. Anything over 140 over 90 is considered
hypertensive and that’s when we start seeing problems. If your blood pressure is hanging out in
that 150 to 180 systolic range, it’s probably not going to lead to any symptoms. If it’s really high it can cause things like headaches, vision
changes, and that sort of thing, but it’s a silent
problem so a lot of times patients don’t realize that their blood pressure is
elevated. High blood pressure can lead to strokes,
can also lead to heart disease, can lead to kidney disease and other
complications as well. Initially we can treat it with diet and
exercise, if that fails or if it gets to a point
where it’s so far out of control, that that’s not helping, then we need to
move on to things like medications and there’s some very good medications to
help high blood pressure but we like to get it early enough to
where we can maybe postpone that or try to control a diet and exercise
alone. If you have a problem with high blood
pressure it’s probably a good idea to check it a couple times a month, you don’t necessarily have to check it every day. If your blood pressure is under control and
it’s never been a problem, it’s probably okay just to check it, you know, every six months to a year. People do need to be aware of their family
history. If they do have a parent or both parents that have high blood
pressure, they should be aware that they are at risk for developing high blood
pressure as well.

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