Learning the Basics of High Blood Pressure through the Internet

 Basics of high blood pressure (HBP) learned

Here I learned why a person lets his blood pressure be taken, how to interpret the numbers indicated in the stethoscope after a person’s blood pressure is taken, what is high blood pressure and pulse pressure, and its implications as well. I hope individuals who are a bit slow in comprehending things will find this article beneficial to them.

Praise for fast learners

Lots of people, especially those in the field of medicine: doctors and nurses, elderly individuals, and those affected by the disease are conversant about the thing called High Blood Pressure. They can talk about it at length without getting tired. I believe they are fast learners and are gifted to learn things by mere listening to lectures or recordings. I look at them with envy and take my hat off for them in respect.


I am a slow learner and need enough time to learn and digest facts and information. Thanks to the internet. I discover it a real teacher and a true friend, one that does not hurry me up, and waits on how I discern things with understanding. Motivated by a long desire to know exactly why a person’s blood pressure is taken and to interpret correctly the significance of the readings in the stethoscope, I opened my computer and started to search for the needed facts and information. Indeed, data one upon the other unfolds before me.

The meaning of HBP

There were difficult words for ordinary layman like me to understand, but with patience I had to unlock their meaning to bits for better understanding and digestion. I am now face to face with the real McCoy. First, I need to know the meaning of High Blood Pressure (HBP), so I decided to portray a concrete idea of what it was really. Here are the data I got for it: WebMD says “High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the most common cardiovascular disease.” So HBP is a disease. It’s the most common disease to both the heart and the blood vessels, collectively called cardiovascular. It’s likewise known as hypertension or arterial disease accompanied by HBP.

What is blood pressure (BP)

Related to HBP is blood pressure. It needs likewise an exact definition for me to comprehend it before achieving my goal of correctly interpreting the readings in the stethoscope. Here are the basic facts I obtained from my reference: “Blood pressure refers to the force of blood pushing against artery walls as it courses through the body, ” according to WebMD. It is the measurement of the pressure in your arteries during the active and resting phases of each heartbeat. Like air in an automobile tire, blood fills arteries to a certain point. Putting too much air pressure may cause the tire to burst, in like manner, HBP can damage healthy arteries, giving way to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

Determining if a person has HBP

To determine a person if he has HBP, he must be examined by an instrument called stethoscope, a medical instrument used for listening to breathing, heartbeats, and other sounds made by the body. The examination is usually administered by a doctor, nurse, midwife, trained health attendant or anybody conversant about its use.

I came to understand that when the stethoscope is used in a person to measure blood pressure, its reading reveals two numbers. ” The top number is the maximum pressure your heart exerts while beating (systolic pressure), and the bottom number is the amount of pressure in your arteries between beats (diastolic pressure), “according to MayoClinic. In other words, the first number indicates the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and fills them with blood,  whereas, the number in the bottom measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats.

What is Pulse Pressure

The numerical difference between the systolic and diastolic blood pressures is called pulse pressure.  To illustrate, if the stethoscope reads 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), 120 is the systolic pressure while 80 is the diastolic pressure. In this case, it’s 120/80 with a difference of 40. The pulse pressure therefore is 40, which is considered a normal and healthy pulse pressure.

Significance of Pulse Pressure

A high pulse pressure may indicate a severe heart problem, especially for older adults:  “If your pulse pressure is greater than 60 it is considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Generally, a pulse pressure greater than 40 mm Hg is abnormal. A pulse pressure lower than 40 may mean you have poor heart function, while a higher pulse pressure may mean your heart’s valves are leaky (valve regurgitation),” said Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D. in a Mayo Clinic article.

No. 1 cause for elevated Pulse Pressure

Sheps said stiffness of the largest artery of the body which is the aorta is number 1 and most important cause of elevated pulse pressure. HBP or fatty deposits in the walls of the arteries (atherosclerosis) could be the cause of the stiffness. The stiffer and more damaged the vessels are presumed to be, if the pulse pressure is higher. Other conditions — including severe iron deficiency (anemia) and overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) — can increase pulse pressure as well. Treating high blood pressure usually reduces pulse pressure, he emphasized.

What to do if blood pressure is high

What to do if tests indicate your blood pressure is high. Dr. Sheps says that you should  make it a priority to visit your doctor for a definite diagnosis, and make use of the occasion to gather information to enable you to bring your blood pressure under control.

Research indicates blood pressure increases from about 90/60 from birth to about 120/80 in a healthy person. This is normal and no cause for alarm. It’s but natural for blood pressure to rise and fall depending on the changes in activity or emotional state of the person taking the BP test.

No cause for alarm

Blood pressure readings from one area of the body to another may vary. Experts say this is normal. Likewise, it is normal for blood pressure to vary from person to person  But when blood pressure remains consistently high, it’s time to talk with your doctor about it and its treatment. Consistently high blood pressure forces the heart to work far beyond its capacity. Along with injuring blood vessels, hypertension can damage the brain, eyes, and kidneys, experts are agreed.

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Here are more significant facts that I’ve unearthed about HBP

From webmd.com:  “People with blood pressure readings of 140/90 or higher, taken on at least two occasions, are said to have high blood pressure. For those over age 60, readings of 150/90 or higher indicate high blood pressure. If the pressure remains high, your doctor will probably begin treatment. People with blood pressure readings of 180/120 or higher need treatment immediately. Researchers have identified people with blood pressures slightly higher than 120/80 as a category at high risk for developing hypertension. This condition is called pre-hypertension … is now known to increase the likelihood of damage to arteries and the heart, brain, and kidneys …”

CREDIT: youtube.com for video; commons.wikimedia.org for picture in poll.

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