I am frequently confronted by friends and relatives telling me their blood pressure reading was high after doctor visit. They often say, “I never had high blood pressure!”
To me that’s like saying “I never was overweight”, or “I never had wrinkles”. The difference is age happens.
First of all blood pressure is not a constant. It can change daily or hourly. That is why if it is somewhat elevated when visiting the doctor they will retake the reading again at end of visit. Blood Pressure reading is a tool used to know how hard your heart is working. The top number, systolic, is your heart at work or pumping blood and the bottom number, diastolic, is your heat at rest or between beats. Each number gives important information. It is not uncommon for systolic readings to be affected by factors such as anxiety, coffee or exercise.
Picture a water hose. A new hose will pump water freely and can withstand crimping it off in the middle and then letting go to resume free flow of water. When the hose ages, it becomes more brittle and stiff. A water hose that is stiff is not as pliable with a sudden gush of water rushing through, therefore, putting more pressure on the hose. If hard water runs through it there may be some residue on the inside of the hose making water harder to pass through, much like a plaque buildup in your arteries.
Some factors affecting blood pressure are stress, diet, smoking and genetics. Control stress by exercise and meditation, watch your diet avoiding fatty foods and those with high cholesterol. Quit smoking or never begin smoking in the first place. If overweight, try to lose a few pounds (not an easy task).