Blood pressure is one of the vital signs being checked when we go for a routine medical examination. In past times, blood pressure was strictly measured by doctors and nurses with analog sphygmomanometers, but that isn’t the trend anymore. Thanks to technology, we can monitor our blood pressure digitally on smart devices with blood pressure and heart rate apps like the Apple health blood pressure monitor and others. With these apps (like Welltory), we can enter blood pressure data and get meaningful interpretations of our readings.
Here, we will provide information on what blood pressure means, checking your blood pressure, and how to check blood pressure on an iPhone. We’ll also share tips on how to maintain healthy blood pressure. So let’s dive right in.
What is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force pressed by the blood on the walls of the arteries when it is pumped by the heart into the blood vessels. According to the British Heart Foundation for our understanding of BP, it ensures an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients to the organs and tissues of the body to guarantee their correct physiological functioning. If the BP is low, this distribution process fails, compromising the functioning of all organs. Also, a high blood pressure of which there are different stages can pose potential risks of heart diseases, thus, the need for a balance.
On this note, blood pressure monitoring is essential, and the values indicate the state of all the vital organs of our body. In this sense, the general practitioner often advises patients to purchase a blood pressure monitor to check their blood pressure whenever needed.
Blood Pressure Chart: What Your Reading Means
The blood pressure is calculated in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). It varies in relation to the cardiac cycle; it is highest in the cardiac contraction phase (systole), while it decreases when the heart relaxes (diastole) to fill with blood.
In relation to this, two values are identified: systolic pressure (PS) and diastolic pressure (PD). The normal blood pressure of an adult at rest is expressed as 120/80 mmHg. That is 120 mmHg systolic pressure and 80 mmHg diastolic pressure. Therefore, any value way above the normal is an indication of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.
High BP is a health state in which there is a persistent increase in vascular pressure. This condition does not occur in adults only; children and teenagers are also not left out. But the good news is, regardless of age, we can prevent and manage hypertension.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), there are four blood pressure types: normal, prehypertension, stage 1 hypertension, and stage 2 hypertension. Here is a chart on the blood pressure types with their corresponding values;
|Systolic pressure (mmHg)||Diastolic pressure (mmHg)|
|Normal||below 120||below 80|
|Prehypertension||120 – 129||below 80|
|Stage 1 Hypertension||130 – 139||80 – 89|
|Stage 2 Hypertension||140 and above||90 and above|
Note that there are different treatment approaches for the respective blood pressure types in the above chart.
Checking Blood Pressure at Home
Checking your blood pressure at home is certainly a good habit. It is a great way to keep your health under control and prevent heart attacks. However, it is a highly variable and often unpredictable value, which changes continuously throughout the day.
The results, which can be affected by a wide range of factors, are often misinterpreted, and some people turn a simple precautionary measure into great concern and false alarms. This is why it becomes essential to check your blood pressure at home and take several readings in sequence. To do this, you need to have the right tool at hand and know how to use it.
For a long time, blood pressure was measured by doctors with classic sphygmomanometers. But over the last few years, many technological innovations have surfaced with digital sphygmomanometers, smart devices, and mobile blood pressure and heart rate apps. Thus, the duty of checking your blood pressure is not restricted to your doctor alone.
How to Check Blood Pressure on iPhone
You can check your blood pressure on an iPhone with a blood pressure monitor compatible with iOS, like the Apple Watch. The Apple health blood pressure monitor is an app that comes with every iPhone, and you can sync it with the Apple watch. An innovation that allows you not only to measure your blood pressure values but also to follow their trend directly on your phone. Plus, it features Rapid-Tech technology for a fast and comfortable detection experience.
You can synchronize the blood pressure monitor with your iPhone. With the Welltory app, you can enter blood pressure data and get an appropriate interpretation according to cardiovascular standards.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
The first symptoms of untreated high blood pressure are:
● Nosebleed or blood in the eye
● Bad headache
● Feeling of tightness in the chest, more or less painful, with shortness of breath
● Anxiety and agitation.
Low blood pressure can also be dangerous, mainly because it can cause confusion, blurred vision, dizziness, and fainting.
Fundamental in both cases, whether high or low, is not to vary the therapy without a doctor’s opinion. Therefore, you should take the blood pressure monitor to your doctor’s office for proper evaluation.
When to Check Blood Pressure?
Generally, a check in the morning and one in the evening, trying to keep the same time, over a week is the best. Remember that it is normal for your blood pressure to change throughout the day.
Maintaining a Healthy Blood Pressure
High blood pressure happens, especially when we are stressed or lead an unregulated and sedentary lifestyle. It is vital to get your blood pressure checked and mind that one reading is not enough. Two successive measurements at a distance of one minute from each other and making the average of the values is the proper approach.
Most cases of hypertension are due to incorrect lifestyle habits. From a young age, it is advisable to maintain blood pressure at desirable levels by following some simple rules of behavior.
In particular, limit the consumption of salt. For the needs of our body, the amount of salt already naturally contained in food is sufficient. Also, eat lots of fresh meal: fruits and vegetables, as they are rich in potassium, which helps keep blood pressure low. It is also important to drink plenty of water, at least 1.5 liters per day.
Regular physical activity
Regularly practicing moderate-intensity physical activity (30 minutes of brisk walking a day is enough) helps keep blood pressure at a reasonable level. Physical exercise also helps keep your weight under control. The heart has to pump blood with more energy to send blood to all tissues with weight gain.
Depending on the hypertension stage, your doctor may prescribe some antihypertensive drugs like diuretics, beta-blockers, and the like to help stabilize your blood pressure. Also, Aspirin may be prescribed as it helps in vasodilation. It is essential to comply with any medication prescribed to ensure proper maintenance of your blood pressure.
Do not stop trying to improve your lifestyle! For example, smoking causes fatty materials to clog the arterial walls and, in turn, increases your blood pressure. Also, a high alcohol intake can cause hypertension.
High blood pressure is a condition that, within certain limits, can be prevented or treated. Thanks to modern meters, you can sync with the Welltory app to keep track of your blood pressure and have the situation under control.