Understanding Your Blood Pressure Readings
Your blood pressure monitor will produce two readings - your systolic pressure and your diastolic pressure.
The systolic pressure is the higher of the two readings and represents the pressure when your heart is pumping and the diastolic pressure is the lower of the two figures indicating the pressure when your heart is resting between beats. Your blood pressure is normally written as systolic pressure / diastolic pressure - for example, 100 / 75.
Blood pressure does fluctuate not only over extended periods of time but also throughout the course of a day and there are many things which can affect your blood pressure. If you get an abnormal reading therefore you should not immediately assume that you have a problem. If however your pressure readings are consistently abnormal over a series of readings then you should consult your doctor.
Although we often talk about the problem of high blood pressure, remember that low blood pressure can also be a problem which needs to be investigated. If your systolic (higher) blood pressure reading is consistently below 90 (or more than 25 points below your normal reading) then you should consult your doctor.
|Blood Pressure Status||Systolic||Diastolic|
|Normal||Less than 120||Less than 80|
|High Blood Pressure: Stage 1 (Note:1)||140-159||90-99|
|High Blood Pressure: Stage 2||160 or higher||100 or higher|
|Note 1: If you are suffering from diabetes or kidney disease your high blood pressure range could be lower than this and you should consult your doctor to discover your particular high pressure range.|