Possibly the most misunderstood thing about BP is the readings. There’s a lot of mix up out there and … and the official medical establishment policy regarding hypertension isn’t helping.
Some years back the rule of thumb regarding BP was 100 plus your age for an acceptable systolic (higher number) reading. Now the standard approach is 120/80 for everyone whether they are 9 or 99.
Indeed, both methods are flawed.
The traditional ’100 plus your age’ failed to take in account that a good lifestyle can keep away the effects of aging and help us live longer and healthier lives.
The newly established technique of 120 over 80 for all comes short in the other way.
Using the identical BP ruler to measure a 20 year old and a 75 year old is absurd.
Sure we can remain healthier and live longer through conscious choices – but that’s not the same as believing we can maintain the peak of a 20 year old’s strength, fitness, and BP for keeps.
Both methods fail to strike a balance – but good health is all about maintaining a balance.
Another downside with the 120 systolic 80 diastolic approach is that it fails to take into account the dynamic nature of blood pressure. Your BP is constantly changing.
It’s not a specific number we should worry over but the ranges that our BP moves in.
BP will naturally go up when you exert yourself, , and so on. BP is usually the lowest at
the end of a relaxed evening . And this is the best time to take your blood pressure – at home, relaxed. Not at the doctor’s office or after half a dozen cups of coffee.
If your bp comes down to acceptable range (say under 135/ 90) then there’s no need to run to the local GP’s seeking a high blood pressure medications. It’s when your BP refuses to come below to 155 over 90, ever, that you should contemplate blood pressure reducing solutions.
Why 135/90? That’s my acceptable range. You see I have a genetic inclination for high BP. My parents suffered fro high BP. So if I can keep my BP under 135 over 90 I’m pleased.
You’ll have to decide for yourself what’s acceptable for your own situation.
In case you’re interested, my actual BP reading sometimes go below the 120/80 standard. That’s a result of lifestyle changes I’ve taken on. But I’m not going to ‘freak out’ if I get a
reading of, say 133 over 89 or thereabouts.
When dealing with personal health issues, establishing your own goals runs against the grain for for many people. It’s easier to just listen to ‘the establishment’ and do what they say.
The standard approach for reading high blood pressure (on a visit to your GP) could result is a false diagnoses of high blood pressure and as a consequence be put on medications - when in fact your BP in a more relaxed situation is OK.
If you contemplate all the bad side effects linked with hypertension medications, bringing down your BP via a healthy lifestyle changes may not seem that crazy after all.
Also don’t forget that BP changes. Approach BP readings in terms of ranges, not fixed numbers.
Bottom line: get you own blood pressure monitor. For good deals see: get your own blood pressure monitor