What is blood pressure?

Low Blood Pressure Symptoms
Blood pressure can be categorized into five different types include normal, elevated, hypertension stage I, hypertension stage II, and hypertensive crisis.

Blood pressure is the force applied by the blood over the inner walls of the arteries. Although the average blood pressure for a person remains constant, it shows minor fluctuations throughout the day—declining while relaxing and momentarily increasing while being excited or under stress.

An increase in resting blood pressure can scar, stiffen, or harden the arteries.

  • Blood pressure is written as systolic and diastolic values.
  • Hence, BP 120/80 mm Hg means 120 is the systolic number, and 80 is the diastolic number.

High blood pressure is more likely to cause:

Signs and Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure may not have any symptoms and so hypertension has been labeled "the silent killer." Longstanding high blood pressure can lead to multiple complications including heart attack, kidney disease, or stroke.

Some people experience symptoms with their high blood pressure. These symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blurred vision
  • The Feeling of pulsations in the neck or head
  • Nausea

What are the different blood pressure categories?

Blood pressure can be categorized into five different types, namely:

Table. Different blood pressure categories
Category Systolic (mmHg) Diastolic (mmHg) Management
Normal 120 or less 80 or less N/A
Elevated 120-129 80 or less People with elevated blood pressure are at risk of high blood pressure unless steps are taken to control it.
Hypertension stage I 130-139 80-89 Doctors may prescribe blood pressure medications and some lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of heart diseases and stroke.
Hypertension stage II 140-159 90-99 Doctors may prescribe a combination of both medications and lifestyle changes.
Hypertensive crisis 180 or higher 120 or higher This is the most critical condition and requires emergency medical attention.

Contact the physician immediately if the following symptoms are experienced:


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What is normal blood pressure according to age?

Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is produced primarily by the contraction of the heart muscle. Its measurement is recorded by two numbers. The first (systolic pressure) is measured after the heart contracts and is highest. The second (diastolic pressure) is measured before the heart contracts and the lowest. A blood pressure cuff is used to measure the pressure. Elevation of blood pressure is called "hypertension".

The chart shows normal blood pressure according to age both male and female.  Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) are included in the chart.

Normal Blood Pressure By Age
Male 21-25 120.5 78.5
26-30 119.5 76.5
31-35 114.5 75.5
36-40 120.5 75.5
41-45 115.5 78.5
46-50 119.5 80.5
51-55 125.5 80.5
56-60 129.5 79.5
61-65 143.5 76.5
Female 21-25 115.5 70.5
26-30 113.5 71.5
31-35 110.5 72.5
36-40 112.5 74.5
41-45 116.5 73.5
46-50 124 78.5
51-55 122.55 74.5
56-60 132.5 78.5
61-65 130.5 77.5

How to treat high blood pressure?

Lifestyle changes and regular exercises can help to treat high blood pressure.

Some of the suggested lifestyle changes by the physicians are as follows:

  • Quit smoking
  • Lose weight
  • Avoid alcohol or at least limit the intake
  • Eat a low-sodium and low-fat diet such as the DASH diet
  • Avoid too much stress
  • Eat foods rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium such as bananas and milk
  • Regular monitoring of blood pressure after reaching the age of 35 years
  • Practice meditation and other stress-relieving exercises
  • Cut back on caffeine

The physicians may prescribe the following medications:

How to treat low blood pressure?

Low blood pressure can be prevented or treated using the following methods:

  • Consume lots of fluids
  • Limit alcoholic drinks
  • Stay hydrated, especially during hot weather or during viral flu
  • Drink more nonalcoholic drinks
  • Exercise regularly to encourage blood flow
  • Avoid sitting or standing quickly
  • While rising, take care to sit upright for a few seconds and then get off the bed
  • Stay away from heavy lifting
  • Avoid standing still for a prolonged time
  • Avoid straining while passing stools
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to hot water such as sauna, hot water springs, and spas
  • Compression stocking covering the thigh and calf restricts the blood flow to the lower part of the body
  • Try eating smaller, more frequent meals to avoid post-meal dizziness
  • Any consumption of over-the-counter medications should be reported to the physician.

Medications such as fludrocortisone or midodrine may also help to treat low blood pressure.

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Medically Reviewed on 2/24/2022