Understanding your blood pressure

Lumas was designed to make checking your blood pressure a piece of cake. But what exactly is your blood pressure?

We all get our blood pressure taken at the doctor’s office. Generally, the doctor will let us know if the blood pressure is normal, high, or low. But what do these values really mean, and how does this influence your health?

Your blood pressure is measured in mmHg, which is millimeters of mercury. This literally measures the pressure of your blood as it goes through your body.

It has two components:

  1. Systolic blood pressure – the top number of the blood pressure reading. This is actually the pressure of your blood when your heart is squeezing the blood out (during the systolic phase of your heart beat!)
  2. Diastolic blood pressure – the bottom number of the blood pressure reading. This is the blood pressure when your heart is relaxed (the diastolic phase of your heart beat).

There is also another value of your blood pressure that is rarely reported:

  1. The mean arterial pressure or MAP – this is usually not reported to patients, but is a number the doctors can check to look at the average of your blood pressure in your body.

Each of these values in important, although doctors tend to look at the top number (your systolic blood pressure) the most.

Doctors use this information to diagnose illnesses, as well as prevent other illnesses by putting you on medication. There are multiple different types of medications used which are covered in this post. The majority of medications are prescribed for people with high blood pressure, but there are also medications for people with low blood pressure as well.

Visit these resources to find out what can cause a high blood pressure or low blood pressure.