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What Is Normal Blood Pressure

by Mike T. Norris

What is normal blood pressure reading for women and during pregnancy, for men and for children and for teenagers

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Normal blood pressure for adults both men and women is 120/80mmHg. The figure 120 represents the systolic reading and the bottom figure of 80 represents the diastolic blood pressure reading. The systolic figure is bigger because the blood pressure reading is detected by the machine when the heart contracts exerting increasing blood pressure against artery walls.

The diastolic reading is smaller because it is measured in-between heartbeats or when the heart is resting therefore having less pressure. It is possible for the diastolic reading to be higher than systolic reading. This is however abnormal and is known as isolated diastolic hypertension or high diastolic blood pressure. It is in fact a high blood pressure condition that requires attention and medical treatment.

Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings are extremely important when considering what is normal blood pressure or when determining what the ideal blood pressure should be. The table below illustrates the three widely used categories of normal blood pressure consisting of a high normal, normal and low normal blood pressure readings.

Normal Blood Pressure Chart

It must be noted that by all means it's best to have your blood pressure reading as close as possible to the normal reading of 120/80mmHg. Having your blood pressure wondering off above that normal reading even though still normal also increases the chances of cardiovascular problems associated with high blood pressure. This in essence means a normal reading is better than a high normal reading shown above.

It is also important to realize that in considering what normal blood pressure is, blood pressure in itself fluctuates through-out the day for many different reasons. It is not true that your blood pressure will remain stagnant at that normal reading of 120/80mmHg for adult men and women through-out the day.

Known factors such as morning hypertension occurring is certain individuals, physical activity, stress, food intake and so on will drive your blood pressure over or below specific normal readings through-out the day. Doctors are interested in a person's blood pressure reading over a period of time. This is what give the correct state of affairs. This translates to averaged readings to arrive at uniquely what is normal blood pressure for you. This is then compared against a blood pressure chart showing medically pre-defined blood pressure ranges .

Keeping your blood pressure at what is normal blood pressure numbers is a difficult task for millions of people. Many people go on to develop hypertension and having their blood pressure numbers shooting way past what is considered medically normal. This happens in men, women, teenagers and children alike for various reasons which put together constitute causes of high blood pressure or causes of low blood pressure whichever case it might be.

Individuals with benign hypertension and labile hypertension often end up developing serious high blood pressure subtypes such as accelerated hypertension because of the food that they eat, for example. In order to keep your ideal blood pressure within what is normal blood pressure ranges it is important to carefully consider what you eat and generally your lifestyle including social indulgences such as nicotine use and alcohol.

The association between salt and high blood pressure and caffeine and blood pressure is important to doctors and by default to patients for the simple reason that these two consumables have been shown to affect your otherwise normal blood pressure. Many salts including table salt, sea salt and processed foods contain sodium. Sodium is literally an enemy of normal blood pressure health.

Sodium ramps up your blood pressure even to dangerous levels particularly in salt sensitive persons. Every person must reduce and control sodium intake to stand a better chance for long term normal blood pressure health. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends maximum 2300mg of sodium consumption per day for adults and even less for teenagers and children as well as pregnant women. Yet most people eat up to 5400mg of sodium daily mostly because of sheer ignorance and also because of outright rebellion and rejection of priceless advice.

A remarkable number of today's nutritional supplements actually work against individual health particularly robbing them of what is normal blood pressure. A good example of such a supplement is glucosamine. The glucosamine and blood pressure link is important to appreciate. Glucosamine sulfate is a supplement used to fix knee cartilage. It has been shown to elevate blood pressure due to the sodium in the sulfate.

Hypertension medication side effects may also make it difficult for specific individuals to keep their blood pressure readings within what is normal blood pressure ranges. Hypertension medications such as diuretics are particularly known to cause low blood pressure readings in some patients. In as much as these hypertension patients are seeking hypertension treatment in a bid to manage their blood pressure readings to normal levels, they fail due to these side effects.

Keeping your blood pressure within what is normal blood pressure readings will also be achieved by eating healthy perhaps by following a hypertension diet rich in foods that lower blood pressure. This is particularly useful for people already suffering from high blood pressure and seeking to lower blood pressure naturally.

Aerobic exercise is certainly good for your blood pressure and this article on exercise and blood pressure (follow link) fully discusses the role of exercise in keeping your blood pressure normal. This also includes reducing it when it's too high.

As you are attempting to reduce your blood pressure to normal levels illustrated in the table above or alternatively wanting to maintain it within the normal ranges; investing in blood pressure equipment becomes very important. Home blood pressure monitoring has since become very important so important that doctors endorse it and rely on it apart from doctor's office measurements to treat hypertension patients.

Taking blood pressure readings at home will help you check your blood pressure measurements against what is considered normal blood pressure.You have a better chance to see the impact of any high blood pressure medications you might be taking or the impact of lifestyle modifications you might have adopted.

Purchasing a home blood pressure monitor comes with another responsibility of ensuring that you purchase a good brand such as Omron, Samsung, Relion or Lifesource amongst others which are clinically approved for that purpose.

What Is Normal Blood Pressure for Women and during Pregnancy

Similar to their male counterparts adult women have a normal blood pressure of 120/80mmHg. This also applies to women who are pregnant. In pregnancy, however, doctors may freely leave room for blood pressure to raise up to 140/90mmHg before entertaining alarm. Other factors are taken into account including the hypertension history of the pregnant woman in question outside of gestational hypertension which is medically hypertension during pregnancy.

In general, blood pressure for women raises above that of men going beyond the age 50 or at menopause. Prior to this an average woman turning 50 or reaching menopause her blood pressure is lower than that of men. In other words men have higher blood pressure than women prior to women reaching the age 50 or reaching menopause.

What Is Normal Blood Pressure reading for teenagers and for children

Teenagers and young children are particularly dynamic. Between the ages 3 to 5 years their blood pressure is normal averaging 116/76mmHg. As shown in the table below, normal blood pressure for children and teens raises as they grow. This is because their bodies will be biologically expanding putting an increased demand on blood supply all across the body.

This is roughly the same concept behind increase in blood pressure associated with overweight and being obese save for the fact that in the case obesity the blood pressure elevation is harmful and potentially dangerous. Teens and children can have abnormally elevated blood pressure due to underlying causes of hypertension such as ill-functioning organs namely kidneys, eyes, liver or the heart.

Blood Pressure Chart for children

The following table presents a normal blood pressure chart for children according to age.

Systolic Reading Diastolic Reading Children Age
116mm Hg 76mm Hg 3 - 5 years
122mm Hg 78mm Hg 6 - 9 years
126mm Hg 82mm Hg 10 - 12 years
136mm Hg 86mm Hg 13 - 15 years

By way of conclusion, the tables inserted within this article summaries what is normal blood pressure for different demographics at different stages of development.


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