Today I was thinking about the subject of blood pressure and how it could affect you during a long-term emergency. Doing a bit of research on this subject I came across this excellent explanation of what blood pressure readings mean.
The following is the explanation from WebMD
“Often wonder what the top and the bottom blood pressure numbers mean? Doctors call them systolic (the top number) and diastolic (the bottom number) blood pressure.
Knowing both your systolic and diastolic blood pressure numbers is important and could save your life.
What Does the Systolic Blood Pressure Number Mean?
When your heart beats, it contracts and pushes blood through the arteries to the rest of your body. This force creates pressure on the arteries. This is called systolic blood pressure.
A normal systolic blood pressure is below 120.
A systolic blood pressure of 120 to 139 means you have prehypertension, or borderline high blood pressure. Even people with prehypertension are at a higher risk of developing heart disease.
A systolic blood pressure number of 140 or higher is considered to be hypertension, or high blood pressure.
What Does the Diastolic Blood Pressure Number Mean?
The diastolic blood pressure number or the bottom number indicates the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats.
A normal diastolic blood pressure number is less than 80.
A diastolic blood pressure between 80 and 89 indicates prehypertension.
A diastolic blood pressure number of 90 or higher is considered to be hypertension or high blood pressure.”
Get a good blood pressure cuff
You need a good blood pressure cuff also know as a sphygmomanometer in your first aid kit. Get a good quality manual one and learn how to use it.
A while back, I was present when an older over weight person had heart problems at a social activity. Experienced medical people were on the scene, but had no equipment with them. Having a first aid kit with me, I loaned one of them my blood pressure cuff. Much to my surprise it would not fit, their arm was too large. They needed an extra large cuff. Prior to this incident, I did not know they came in sizes. So if you have someone in your family or group that is unusually large you may want to check it out and make sure your cuff will fit.
Even if no one in your group has high blood pressure, a blood pressure cuff is an important item for your medical people to have in case of a serious accident or injury. If someone in your family or group has or develops high blood pressure and you have no medication available, there are ways to lower it. Lose weight, exercise, eat a healthy diet, reduce your intake of sodium, limit alcohol, cut back on tobacco products and caffeine, and reduce stress.
Here is a list of herbs and spices that have been used in the past for blood pressure problems.
- Celery seed
- French lavender
- Cat’s claw
- Black Cohosh
Now I am not a Doctor nor do I have any special medical training, the above herbs and alternate treatments have been recommended to me by various sources that I consider reliable. But I do not have high blood pressure, have never tried any of these treatments and cannot vouch for their effectiveness.
Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels. Get your blood pressure checked and if you have high blood pressure go and see your doctor.