A Guide To Understanding How Hypertension Is Diagnosed

High blood pressure (BP) condition is known as Hypertension, which increases an individual’s risk of having a stroke, and developing heart and kidney diseases. Blood pressure measures the pressure of blood pumped into the arteries. The heart muscle contracts to employ blood flow into the arteries to support organs and tissue that have blood rich with oxygen. According to Symbol of Statistics Canada, almost one-quarter of all Canadian men (24%) and women (25%) have a high blood pressure condition. Hypertension is one of the leading causes of early death across the world. It’s crucial to visit a health professional to learn more about BP conditions and how to maintain your health.

MacDonald’s Prescription #3 has put together a quick, comprehensive guide to understanding hypertension to keep you informed.

The Difference Between Normal Blood Pressure and Hypertension

Normal blood pressure indicates wider arteries and optimal blood flow to said arteries. According to the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association, normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mg Hg (millimetres of mercury.) The first number (120) represents systolic pressure, which is when the blood is pumped into arteries when the heart contracts. The second number (80) is the diastolic pressure, which is a relaxed heart that, in between strokes, becomes filled with blood. 

High blood pressure (Hypertension) is classified and separated into the following categories:

  • Elevated: 120-129 systolic pressure and less than 80 diastolic pressure.
  • Stage 1 Hypertension: 130-139 systolic and 80-89 diastolic.
  • Stage 2 Hypertension: at least 140 systolic and 90 diastolic.
  • Hypertensive crisis: When the systolic reaches over 180 as well as the diastolic reaching over 120. The patient requires immediate medication changes, and if no difference occurs, prompt hospitalization is necessary in case of organ damage. 

How Blood Pressure Is Measured

Measuring for BP is essential to check whether your blood pressure is normal or if you are at risk of or currently have a stage of Hypertension. Using a BP machine, one of our health professionals at MacDonald’s Prescription #3 will measure your BP. In a seated position with your back supported by a chair and legs uncrossed, you are fitted with a cuff that fits your arm width that will detect your measurement. To test for hypertension, the following measurement techniques are used:

  • Ambulatory BP-Monitoring (ABM): Using a digital BP machine, a belt is attached to the waist and cuff attached to one of the arms. BP measurements are recorded on the machine and measure over a 24-48 hour duration every 15-20 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes every evening.
  • Home BP Monitoring: Needs 12-14 measurements both morning and night per week on a semi automatic BP machine.
  • Office based measurements: The patient uses a BP device at the doctor’s office.

MacDonald’s Prescription #3 is your medical supply store in Vancouver to consult with you on how to care for your BP. Our healthcare professionals will guide you on what custom medication is suitable for your needs. We’re here to help make your life with hypertension easier. Send us a message to learn more about our services or stop by to speak to our pharmacists today.