Blood pressure may change due to many factors, such as age and activity level. Learn how to monitor blood pressure with this complete blood pressure chart.
- A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 mmHg. This means that the systolic pressure (top number) is 120, and the diastolic pressure (bottom number) is 80.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) is when the blood pressure is consistently higher than normal, and it can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.
- Hypotension (low blood pressure) is when the blood pressure falls lower than normal, which can cause dizziness, fainting, and other problems.
Like most people, you probably have no idea about your blood pressure. And even if you know, you might not be sure what’s considered “normal.” Blood pressure is one of those things that’s often talked about but rarely understood.
So today, we’re going to clear up the confusion with a complete blood pressure chart. We’ll tell you what normal, elevated, and high blood pressure numbers mean and how to interpret them.
You should look in-depth at all things blood pressure—from what normal levels should be to when you should start to worry. So whether you’re a health junkie who likes to be aware of all the latest medical news or someone who just wants to know more about their own body, read on!
What is Blood Pressure, And What Are The Different Types Of Blood Pressure Readings?
Blood pressure is the force/impact of blood pushing against the arteries as your heart pumps blood. There are two numbers in a BP reading: systolic pressure and diastolic pressure.
Systolic pressure is the higher number and represents the pressure of your blood when your heart beats. Diastolic pressure is the lower number and represents the pressure of your blood between heartbeats. Both numbers are significant in determining your risk for heart disease.
A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 mm Hg or lower. You’re considered to have high blood pressure if you have a systolic pressure higher than 140 mm Hg or diastolic pressure higher than 90 mm Hg.
Low blood pressure is when the systolic reading measures less than 90 mm Hg, or the diastolic reading consistently measures less than 60 mmHg.
Blood Pressure Reading Chart
Normal blood pressure readings vary depending on age, sex, and race but are typically between 120/80 and 140/90. Hypertension is diagnosed when blood pressure readings exceed 140/90.
Hypotension is when your blood pressure falls below the normal range. Here is a chart for further clarification:
Why Is Blood Pressure Measured In mm Hg?
Blood pressure is always measured in millimetres of mercury (mm Hg) because that’s the unit of pressure corresponding to the height of a mercury column. Mercury was used in pressure gauges because it has a very low viscosity (it flows easily).
This made it ideal for gauging the pressure of liquids and gasses. However, mercury is also toxic, so it’s no longer used in pressure gauges.
Advancements have been made in blood pressure measurement over the years. For example, portable digital devices are now available that can measure blood pressure.
These devices work by detecting the movement of your artery walls as your heart beats. They’re also able to calculate your pulse rate and other readings, such as your oxygen saturation level.
Hypotension (Low Blood Pressure)
There’s a lot of variation in what is considered a low blood pressure reading, but a general guideline is that a blood pressure reading below 120/80 mmHg is considered low. However, it’s important to note that everyone’s optimal blood pressure reading varies depending on age and health status.
Hypertension, high blood pressure, is much more common, but hypotension can be just as dangerous if left untreated. Some of the most common symptoms of hypotension include lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting spells.
In severe cases, hypotension may also lead to a heart attack or stroke. There are many possible causes of hypotension, including dehydration, medications, and health conditions like diabetes or heart disease.
What Is An Elevated Blood Pressure Reading?
A blood pressure reading of 120/80 or above is considered elevated. High blood pressure, aka hypertension, is a common condition when the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently high. Hypertension can cause heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.
Causes of elevated blood pressure
There are many potential causes of high blood pressure, including but not limited to age, obesity, stress, genetics, etc. However, dietary factors are one of the most common causes of elevated blood pressure.
For example, consuming too much salt may lead to an increase in blood pressure. This is because the sodium in the salt(the main component) causes the body to retain water, which increases the volume of blood flowing through the arteries and raises blood pressure.
Another dietary factor that can contribute to high blood pressure is excessive consumption of saturated and unhealthy fats. These fats can clog the arteries and make it challenging for the heart to pump blood around the body.
This puts stress on the heart and can lead to an increase in blood pressure. Treatment for hypertension is tailored to the individual based on their age, race, gender, and other health conditions.
What Is Considered a High Blood Pressure Reading?
A high blood pressure reading is considered to be anything over 140/90. However, people with high blood pressure often don’t experience symptoms until their blood pressure reaches a very dangerous level.
This is why it’s essential for everyone to have their blood pressure checked regularly, even if they feel healthy. If not managed with caution, you may suffer from Hypertensive blood pressure and need immediate medical care.
Causes of high blood pressure
There are a few potential causes of high blood pressure, including lifestyle factors like regular diet and exercise, as well as health conditions like obesity, diabetes, and sleep apnea.
One lesser-known cause of high blood pressure is chronic stress. When we’re stressed out, our bodies release the hormone cortisol, which can lead to a spike in blood pressure.
Other culprits include smoking and drinking too much alcohol. Too much salt in the diet can also contribute to high blood pressure, as can age and genetics.
Effect of high blood pressure on the body
It’s no secret that high BP is bad for your health. But what might be surprising to learn is that it doesn’t just impact your heart and circulatory system – it also takes a toll on your body as a whole.
For example, high blood pressure can damage the kidneys, leading to kidney disease. It can also cause nerve damage, which may lead to problems with balance and coordination, and even vision loss. Additionally, people with high blood pressure are at increased risk for stroke and heart attack.
How Can You Lower Your Blood Pressure If It’s High?
It’s not always possible to lower high blood pressure, but there are a few things you may do to try. One is to make dietary changes, such as eating less salt and more fresh fruits and vegetables.
You may also try exercise by starting an exercise program or adding some physical activity to your daily routine. And if these measures don’t work, you may need medication to control your blood pressure or try natural supplements that support bp.
Besides, you should make try to eat less processed food. You should also try to lose weight if you need to. A collective impact of all these things may help.
How To Manage Low Blood Pressure?
It’s not managing low blood pressure so much as preventing it from becoming a problem in the first place. Here are some tips:
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
- Go on a keto diet along with keto supplements.
- Make sure you’re getting enough salt in your diet.
- Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake.
- Get regular exercise.
- Make sure you’re taking any prescribed medications regularly and as directed.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Having High Or Low Blood Pressure?
There are many risks associated with having high or low blood pressure. Low blood pressure can lead to lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting.
Moreover, how stable your blood pressure is matters for your overall health. Low blood pressure is usually not a problem, but if you have low blood pressure that constantly fluctuates (meaning your blood pressure goes up or down a lot), that can be dangerous.
Irregular/fluctuating blood pressure is characterised by an inconsistency in your blood pressure measurements, either from one day to the next or even within the same day. It’s also called labile hypertension and can be caused by several factors, including stress, dehydration, and medication side effects.
High blood pressure, on the other hand, can lead to all sorts of health problems like stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure. The good news is most people with high blood pressure can bring their numbers down to a healthy level by making simple lifestyle changes.
So, what can you actually do to manage your blood pressure? Plenty! The key is to make simple lifestyle changes and stick with them. Start by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, regular exercise, and reducing stress.
If you need help making these changes or want support in reaching your blood pressure goals, talk to your healthcare provider. They may give you tips and advice on how to best manage hypertension/hypotension and keep your blood pressure under control.
- L. Bhatt, Deepak. “Which blood pressure number matters most?” Heart Health. April 1, 2021. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/which-blood-pressure-number-matters-most
- Dr Tammaro, Paolo. “What causes low blood pressure, and what are low blood pressure symptoms?” Medical: Ask the experts. https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/medical/ask-the-experts/low-blood-pressure#:~:text=If%20untreated%2C%20it%20can%20lead,hypotension
- J. Mann, Samuel. “The Clinical Spectrum of Labile Hypertension: A Management Dilemma” J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2009 Sep; 11(9): 491–497. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8673041/#:~:text=Labile%20hypertension%20can%20be%20asymptomatic,by%20both%20physician%20and%20patient