Friday, October 31, 2014

Blood Pressure Monitoring

Blood pressure is something that doctors refer to very often – and with good reason. Every time you visit your physician, no matter what the problem is, you’ll notice that they always check your blood pressure. Blood pressure plays a very important role in our bodily functions and provides a signal of overall health. In fact, it is safe to say that blood pressure is at the core of our body functions. A small change in the blood pressure can lead to various problems and health issues. Here’s a bit of background on exactly what blood pressure is, why it’s important, and how to keep yours in check. 

Blood Pressure - The Core of Our Body

Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in the circulatory system – seems almost too simple to be true, right? But it really is that simple. Without the pressure that forces the blood through our body, no oxygen or nutrients can be supplied to vital organs and tissues. Too low a pressure means your heart isn’t working hard enough, a sign of cardiac problems, while too high a pressure means you’re overstressed and the heart is working far too hard.  Blood pressure monitoring looks at the force and rate of the heartbeat since it is related to the rate at which your heart pumps blood. It can also be measured through the elasticity and width of your artery walls. For example, when our arteries are clogged, it takes a lot more pressure for the heart to pump blood and send it through the body.

How Do We Measure Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is measured with a simple cuff that is put around your arm. Blood pressure  is measured in two numbers – systolic and diastolic. Both these numbers are written as a ratio. The systolic number is usually the higher of the two numbers and and measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats.  A reading of less than 120 usually means everything is normal. On the other hand, the diastolic number measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats. A number less than 80 usually means the blood pressure is normal. When the cuff of your personal blood pressure monitor (or your doctor’s) is placed around your arm and pumped, the cuff is cutting off blood flow with the pressure exerted by the cuff. When the pressure is released, the blood starts flowing again. During this time, the doctor or your electronic blood pressure monitor can analyze the blood flow with the stethoscope. The number at which the blood starts flowing is the systolic number. When the sound stops while the pressure is being released, that is the diastolic number.

The Importance of Measuring Blood Pressure

Both high and low blood pressure are bad for the body. In extreme cases, high and low blood pressure can be life threatening. High blood pressure can be caused by stress, an adrenaline rush, or certain hormones. A high blood pressure can lead to artery damage and narrowing causing the heart to pump harder. It can also cause heart failure, stroke, coronary artery disease, kidney failure, and more. On the other hand, low blood pressure can cause dizziness, dehydration, blurred vision, depression, and nausea amongst other issues. Thus, it is important to keep your blood pressure in check on a regular basis to avoid health problems. Blood pressure is not a complete picture of health, however – you still need a digital oximeter to monitor the concentration of blood oxygen levels, for instance. The blood might be pumping at a normal pace, but if it’s not well saturated with oxygen, it’s not useful to the body.

Devices that Can Help Monitor Blood Pressure

Gone are the times when you had to see a physician to get your blood pressure checked. With today’s advances in technology, blood pressure can be kept under control at home or on the go. In addition, blood pressure monitors have turned into simple automatic devices to be used by everyone. Today there is a wide array of non-invasive blood pressure monitors available, which are simple to use and affordable. Some monitors are also automatic and all you need to do is put it around your arm and press a button while it monitors your blood pressure.

One such device is the Elite Automatic Electronic Blood Pressure Monitor. With its sleek design, automatic inflation, easy-to-use button and digital reading display, it is one of the most user-friendly machines available. Find it today, along with oximeters and more at Concord Health Supply – your source for health monitoring equipment.