Blood pressure levels are the measurement of the pressure of blood against the walls of blood vessels. These levels are categorized as normal blood pressure, high blood pressure and low blood pressure. All three have significant effects on the health of the human body. Medical professionals read blood pressure levels by the diastolic and systolic numbers present in blood pressure readings.
Normal blood pressure levels are present in healthy individuals. When blood flows through the blood vessels in the body, a desirable pressure exists against the walls of the blood vessels. This pressure is exerted when the heart pumps blood through the circulatory system via the arteries and the veins. When the body performs properly and is at its optimum health, the pressure against the blood vessels is normal.
Highly stressed individuals usually have high blood pressure, or high arterial blood pressure. Stress tends to increase heart rate, which increases blood flow and blood pressure levels. Chronic high pressure of the blood against the walls of the arteries and veins is called hypertension, a condition that increases the risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
The condition known as hypotension, or low blood pressure, also presents its own series of negative health effects. Malnutrition, hormones and heart problems might cause this condition. Dizziness and nausea are potential side effects of low blood pressure. Experts agree that lower blood pressure presents less wear on artery walls, but blood pressure that is too low might cause problems.
Reading blood pressure levels is quite simple and can be done at home. Using blood pressure cuffs and a blood pressure monitor, individuals can easily assess their blood pressure health. Two numbers are shown, indicating the levels of arterial pressure exerted by the blood. The top number is called the systolic number. The bottom number is called the diastolic number.
Systolic pressure happens when the heart is contracting. Health experts agree that the ideal systolic number is 120. Diastolic pressure refers to the heart when it is relaxed, and medical professionals recommend this number to be about 80. A good blood pressure ratio, therefore, would be 120/80 for healthy individuals. Being overweight and highly stressed brings this ratio out of a healthy range.