Blood Pressure 101: The Basics

Almost every time you enter a medical professional’s office you are asked to sit in a chair and have your vital signs taken. These measurements usually include your temperature, oxygen saturation, pulse, and blood pressure. Sometimes the provider will discuss this information with you in the course of the visit. Often times however, the subject of blood pressure doesn’t come up as the purpose of the visit distracts us from that information. For a primary care clinic like Eldorado Family Health, these measurements are a crucial first step that provides us with valuable information about your health status so we can offer preventative care and keep you healthy.

Blood pressure is explained with two numbers. Let’s say your blood pressure is “140 over 90. The first (top) number is the pressure inside your arteries when your heart is contracting. This is called the Systolic Pressure. The second (bottom) number is the pressure inside your arteries when your heart is relaxed, referred to as the Diastolic Pressure. If the blood pressure is elevated, we can use the information to help us diagnose problems such as hypertension (high blood pressure), level of pain, or the amount of stress a patient is under.

High blood pressures do not usually cause symptoms or provide you with warning signs and can, therefore, be very dangerous. When the pressure gets too high, you are at risk for a heart attack, a stroke, and kidney disease.

There is of course much more to determining a diagnosis than just looking at one blood pressure reading but as we get to know you and record multiple readings we can use the information to assist with health care decisions.

In the following weeks we will go a bit more in depth into this topic. In the meantime, you can click on this link: and be directed to our Blood Pressure information sheet from Eldorado Family Health.

Please feel free to call 505-216-7772 or come by to schedule a new patient appointment and wellness check so we can protect your heart health.

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