What is normal blood pressure
Arterial blood pressure is referred as the pressure of blood, exerted on the walls of blood vessels. When heart contracts it pushes the blood, increasing the blood pressure. After that the heart relaxes for a while, getting filled with blood, thereby reducing the blood pressure in arteries. This process goes on throughout the whole life of a human.
Two values are used to measure the blood pressure. The first value stands for a systolic blood pressure, which defines the heart contraction. The second value stands for diastolic blood pressure, which is fixed at the moment of heart relaxation. These two parameters define the levels of blood pressure.
What determines the level of blood pressure?
* total amount of blood in the body;
* density of blood, concentration of hormones and other regulating components in it;
* the blood vessels tone in the central and peripheral nervous system;
* strength of the heart, pushing out the blood into the arteries;
* elasticity of the blood vessels that resist the blood flow;
* physical activity of a person;
* psychoemotional state of a person.
Because blood pressure depends on many factors, its levels changes all the time. For instance, stress and physical activity make the blood pressure to increase, while if person is resting the blood pressure goes down. Thus even healthy person with normal blood pressure may have high blood pressure for a while.
Normal blood pressure
Normal blood pressure can change slightly throughout a day. The acceptable difference between the blood pressure values on the right and left arm is 5 mmHg maximum. Perfect blood pressure is considered 120 / 80 mmHg. Still normal blood pressure index may vary depending on the age, gender and chronic diseases of a person.
Blood pressure chart for age
* The age of 1 year: normal blood pressure is 96 over 66 mmHg;
* Age 10 years: normal blood pressure is 103 over 69 mmHg;
* Age 20 to 30 years: normal blood pressure is 124 over 77 mmHg;
* Age 40 years: normal blood pressure index is 129 over 81 mmHg;
* Age 50 years: normal blood pressure is 135 over 83 mmHg;
* At the age of 60 and older, normal blood pressure ranges between 143 and 145 over 85 and 78 mmHg.
While in teenagers the minimum norm of the blood pressure is 100 over 70 mmHg, the same index in elderly people may indicate the failure of cardiovascular system.
When determining the normal blood pressure, it is also important to consider general health. If patient feels no discomfort, then probably low blood pressure is his normal state.
Why do we need blood pressure control?
Chronic increase of the blood pressure is one of the risk factors for health. Every time when the blood pressure goes up by 10 mmHg it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by 30%. People with high blood pressure often suffer from strokes, coronary artery disease, lesion of the blood vessels of extremities and renal insufficiency. Thus one must pay attention on the following symptoms of high blood pressure: headache, fatigue, noise in ears, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea and chest pain.
Regular blood pressure control is a must for elderly people, as well as those who have any of the cardiovascular diseases.
Medication to cure high blood pressure
There are several types of medications for the treatment of high blood pressure:
• Calcium channel blockers
• Combination medicines
• ACE inhibitors
• Renin inhibitors
• Angiotension II antagonists
• Diuretics (sometimes called “water pills”)
• Beta blockers
• Peripherally acting alpha-adrenergic blockers
• Centrally-acting alpha adrenergics
All these drugs belong to different pharmacological groups and have different mechanism of action. For instance, ACE inhibitors (Captopril, Lotensin, Prinivil and Vasotec) provide the dilation of peripheral blood vessels. This achieves the decrease of blood pressure and load on the heart, improvement of the pulmonary circulation and circulation in kidneys, as well as increase of the efficiency of breathing. ACE inhibitors are prescribed for the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure. However, they may cause such side effects as insomnia, cough and headache.
Beta blockers (Lopressor, Inderal, Trandate, Corgard) provide hypotensive, antiarrhythmic and antianginal effect. They can also reduce the frequency of heart contractions and cardiac output, reducing the oxygen need of myocardium. Beta blockers may cause side effects: indigestion and nausea.
Calcium Channel blockers (Isoptin, Cardizem, Procardia, Plendil) reduce the tone of peripheral blood vessels. Also they provide coronary vasodilation and improve the circulation in the heart muscle. Calcium channel blockers act by reducing the arterial blood pressure and frequency of heart rate. They may provoke side effects: ankle swelling, feeling of drowsiness.
Combination medicines for the treatment of high blood pressure contain two or even three active substances. Such drugs are: Diovan HCT (hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan), Vaseretic (enalapril and hydrochlorothiazide) and Tarka (verapamil and trandolapril).
Active substances of Combination medicines belong to different pharmaceutical groups. In particular, Diovan HCT it is vasodilator + Angiotension II antagonist; Vaseretic is vasodilator + ACE inhibitor; Tarka is Calcium channel blocker + ACE inhibitor. The combination of substances from two different pharmacological groups allows to get optimal clinical response.
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