Understanding Blood Pressure : What Does Reading Means?

Blood pressure

How To Calculate Your Blood Pressure Reading?

The only way to check your blood pressure is to measure it. Understanding the result of it is the only key to control it.

When you get your blood pressure checked, you will get two readings in which the first or “top” one is called systolic blood pressure, and the second or “bottom” one is called diastolic blood pressure.

Knowing both of them is equally important to measure the correct value of blood pressure.

Meaning of Systolic Blood Pressure

When the heart beats, it squeezes and pushes blood through the arteries and veins of the body. The force created by the blood vessel is called systolic.

Value of Systolic 

Normal Stage – When the value gets below 120

Elevated Stage – When the value is between120-129

Stage 1 hypertension ranges from the value between130-139

Stage 2 hypertension ranges from 140 or more.

Hypertensive crisis scales from 180 or more

Meaning of Diastolic Blood Pressure

The diastolic reading or the bottom number is the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between the beats.

During this time, the heart gets filled with blood and gets oxygen.

Value of Diastolic 

Normal – When the value gets lower than 80

Stage 1 Hypertension: When the value ranges between 80 to 89

Stage 2 Hypertension: When the value scales up to 90 or more

Hypertensive crisis: When the value ranges to 120 or more

Systolic & Diastolic Blood Pressure


The following chart has the details of different Blood pressure stages-

Blood pressure category Systolic mm Hg (upper# ) Diastolic mm Hg (lower#)
       Normal Less than 120 Less than 80
      Elevated 120-129 Less than 80
High blood pressure

( Hypertension Stage 1 )

130-139 80-89
High blood pressure (Hypertension Stage 2) 140 or higher 901 or higher
Hypertensive crisis ( Need for emergency care )


Higher than 180 Higher than 120


The lower the pressure, the lower the chance of heart attack or stroke. When the BP is high in number, the chances of heart diseases and diabetes go up. High blood pressure raises the risk of heart attack, stroke, eye problems, and kidney diseases

Lifestyle Changes Required To Control High BP

If there’s an issue of high BP, then take small initiatives to make your lifestyle better. If not controlled through lifestyle changes, the doctor can also recommend some medication.

Some of the changes in the lifestyle that one can make to control the problem of high BP are given below-

Reduce sodium in food – The doctor will recommend the amount of sodium one needs to in-take. Act accordingly, and make sure that always read the nutrition facts written on every food-packaged item.

Get more into fitness – Exercise will make the heart run faster, which will eventually decrease the risk of heart attacks. Studies also suggest that 3-4 sessions of 40 minutes in a week of aerobic exercise can give you a lot of health benefits.

Weight Loss – Being overweight or facing obesity increase the risk of developing high blood pressure. As a matter of fact, it is said that losing just 4 kilograms can reduce the risk of blood pressure.

In-take healthy dietYou need to follow DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) that consists of –

Blood Pressure

  • Eat more vegetables, fruits, and dairy food which consist of low-fats.
  • Cut back items that are high in saturated fats, cholesterol, and Trans fats.
  • Eat whole-grain foods such as fish, poultry, and nuts.
  • Limit the intake of sodium, sweets, drinks, and red meats
  • Stop the consumption of alcohol.

Researches have proved that the DASH diet shows results in 2 weeks, and lowers BP.


If you need medications the doctor will prescribe them, No one should self-medicate themselves as it can cause harm to the body. Medication varies on a case-to-case basis, condition-to condition, and depending on your health and preferences.

Some of the medications recommended by the doctors are – Diuretics, ACE inhibitors, Alpha-blockers, Beta-blockers, Calcium channel blockers, vasodilators, and a combination of medications.

When To Go To Check Blood Pressure

  • When it is in the normal category – If the reading is less than 120/80, then there’s a need to go to a doctor on an annual basis.
  • When it is elevated – If the blood pressure is between 120 and 129 or less than 80, then there’s a need to go to a doctor every 3-6 months.
  • When it is at Stage -1 Hypertension – If the blood pressure is between 130-139 over 89-90, then there’s a need to go to a doctor every 3-6 months or the medical practitioner will ask to bring some lifestyle changes or recommend you with some medications.
  • When it is at Stage-2 Hypertension – If the blood pressure is at 140 over 90 or higher than that. The doctor would recommend proper medications and ask to come every month.

Why Blood Pressure Is Measured In mm Hg?

The abbreviation “mm Hg” means “millimeters of mercury”. Mercury was used in the first accurate pressure gauges and is still used in medicine today as the standard unit measurement of pressure.

Keep the track of blood pressure at your home – If someone’s facing the issue of high BP, then there’s a need to keep a track of it at the home. This method would help the doctor know whether the treatment is working on the right path or not.  Sometimes, it is seen that when you go to the doctor’s office your BP automatically gets high compare to other surroundings and this condition is called “white coat hypertension

Doctors usually recommend you to buy an easy-to-use home BP monitor. While measuring always makes sure that the cuff fits the arm properly and if you feel that the arm is bigger than the cuff, then the reading of the BP will be higher than what exactly it is. With the bigger arms, you need to buy a monitor with a bigger cuff.

A Word From Mantra Care

If you are looking for more information on this topic or on Diabetes treatment, Online Therapy, Hypertension, PCOS treatment, Weight Loss, and Physiotherapy, please visit mantracare.org or feel free to reach out to us at +91-9711118331 or email at [email protected]. You can also download our free Android App or IOS app.

Here at Mantra Care, we have an incredibly skilled team of health care professionals and coaches who will be happy to answer any questions and provide further information so you know what’s best for your unique needs.

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