Your systolic blood pressure is the force with which blood pumps out of your heart and through your arteries, veins, and capillaries. Systolic pressure is the upper number in your blood pressure reading. The lower number is the diastolic pressure, or the force at which blood is moving through your vessels between heartbeats. Dr. Grija generally considers your blood pressure to be normal if you consistently have a systolic reading of 120/80 or less. Blood pressures that range from 140-159/90-99 put you in the high blood pressure, or hypertensive, category.
When you have high blood pressure, your heart is working harder and less efficiently to pump oxygen and other nutrients to your organs. This can cause your heart to enlarge and may lead to heart failure. The elevated pressure also puts stress and strain on the delicate tissues inside your arteries and other blood vessels. This can damage your blood vessels and may lead to any number of serious medical conditions, including:
Since symptoms are few, your first defense against the complications associated with high blood pressure is to check yours regularly and report any consistent elevations to your doctor. You can also reduce your risk factors for developing high blood pressure by:
If your blood pressure is consistently high, Dr. Grija develops a treatment plan that lowers your risk factors for further complications. This may medication as well as improvements in lifestyle factors that help control blood pressure.
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