Blood Pressure What Is It? • Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries • The heart muscle contracts and sends blood into the system, the blood flows and presses on the arterial walls • The heart muscle relaxes but since blood is still in the system, some pressure remains Systolic vs Diastolic • Your blood pressure is at its highest when the heart beats, pumping the blood through the body. This is called systolic pressure. It’s the top number • When the heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is the diastolic pressure. It’s the bottom number What affects Your BP? • Blood pressure changes during the day. • It is lowest as you sleep and rises when you get up. • It also can rise when you are excited, nervous, or active. • Other things can affect it like. . . Causes of HBP • Diet – High fat • Fat deposits on the arterial walls making them less elastic, pressure builds up (arteriosclerosis) – High sodium • Extra fluid in the system means extra work pushing it though • Lack of exercise – More fat in blood – Weight gain • Being overweight – Extra work/strain on system – Dietary contributions • Disease – CAD • Genetics Normal Blood Pressure • 110/70 High Blood Pressure •140/90 High Blood Pressure • A blood pressure of 140/90 or higher is considered high blood pressure. • Bottom number is critical • It’s understandable the pressure would be higher when the heart is contracting • Bad thing when the pressure remains high when the heart is in a relaxed state! • So 140/70 is not quite as bad as 120/95! Symptoms of HBP • Usually, there are no specific symptoms which indicate that someone has high blood pressure. • But some symptoms reported include sleep disturbance, emotional upsets, and dry mouth in those with higher pressures. Sodium and HBP • The current recommendation is to consume less than 2.4 grams (2,400mg) of sodium a day. • That equals 6 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of table salt a day. • This includes ALL salt and sodium consumed, including that used in cooking and at the table. HBP patients should eat less salt and sodium, 1,500 mg of sodium Exercise • 20 minutes a day in your THR 3X a week can contribute to lower blood pressure • More exercise when combined with weight loss and a better diet would result in more improvements!