Normal Blood Pressure

What Is Normal Blood Pressure?

Normal blood pressure is that range wherein a person is said to be healthy and at the least risk for heart disease. High long-term blood pressure puts one at greater risk for a number of serious heart conditions including…

Currently normal blood pressure is considered to be below 120/80 mmHg. That is… If you have a systolic pressure below 120 mmHg and a diastolic pressure below 80 mmHg you have normal pressure. 

Some people who have blood pressure significantly below these numbers are said to have low blood pressure. However low blood pressure is not as easily identified by a strict range of numbers.

Challenges In Determining Blood Pressure Readings

When determining a person’s blood pressure it is assumed that the person is healthy and at rest. A person’s blood pressure, however, is rarely static. It can vary depending on what a person is doing at the time. Stress – whether physical or emotional – can significantly influence a person’s blood pressure. Blood pressure will also vary throughout the normal daily cycle.

Blood pressure can even change from one heart beat to the next.

Further, it is estimated that up to 25% of patients diagnosed with hypertension are actually not hypertensive. Rather they are influenced by a phenomenon known as white coat hypertension

White coat hypertension describes the alterations that occur in a person’s blood pressure readings when taken in a clinical setting. It is believed that many people experience sufficient stress when visiting a hospital, doctor’s office, or clinic to cause their blood pressure to temporarily rise. 

By taking their own blood pressure readings at home they discover their readings fall within the normal range.


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Normal And High May Not Be Enough

It is not enough to distinguish between normal blood pressure and high blood pressure. Research shows that there is a range between normal and high which puts one at increased risk for heart disease. 

In 2003 a new category of blood pressure was defined to describe this range between high and normal. That category is known as "prehypertension". Prior to this new classification normal blood pressure was considered anything below 140/90 mmHg. Suddenly millions of people were surprised to learn that their blood pressure was elevated and that they were at increased risk for heart disease. 

Currently normal blood pressure (or optimal blood pressure) is considered anything below 120/80 mmHg. High blood pressure is classified as anything over 140/90 mmHg.

Systolic levels between 120 and 139 mmHg and diastolic levels between 80 and 89 mmHg is classified as pre-hypertensive (or high-normal blood pressure).

Prehypertension indicates that a person does not have high blood pressure yet but is likely to develop it. It also indicates that a person may be at higher risk for heart disease than a person with blood pressure below 120/80 mmHg.

How Important Is Normal Blood Pressure?

The question is not as easily answered as it may appear. It is commonly accepted that long-term high blood pressure puts one at higher risk for some very serious conditions including the ones mentioned above. But what about prehypertension? 

Michael Alderman, MD, is a past president of the American Society of Hypertension and a professor of medicine and population health sciences at Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York. 

Dr. Alderman argued in 2003 that blood pressure is only one part of determining overall risk for cardiovascular disease. He argued that if a person has high blood pressure (i.e. 180/110 mmHg) and no other risk factors then the risk of developing cardiovascular disease still warrants drug therapy. 

But what if a person has what is now classified as prehypertension with no other risk factors for heart disease? Should that person receive drug therapy? Dr. Alderman argued that the benefits of lowering such a person’s blood pressure through drug therapy would probably not be worth it. To quote Dr. Alderman…

But if your blood pressure is 125 and you have nothing else, your risk is almost entirely a result of your age-then your additional risk is very small and not likely to be meaningfully reduced by lowering blood pressure.

You can read more of this article using the link below. 

Prehypertension – New Medical Condition Identified 

Generally it is accurate to say that the lower a person’s blood pressure is the less likely he or she is to develop cardiovascular disease. The exception being a person with significantly low blood pressure

Someone with normal blood pressure is obviously at lower risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) than someone with high blood pressure. And someone with normal blood pressure is less likely to develop CVD than someone who is prehypertensive. But if the person with prehypertension has no other risk factors then it is questionable how much greater his risk is.

Shoot For The Low Score

With the exception of low blood pressure it is safe to say that you should keep your blood pressure as low as possible. If you have other risk factors for heart disease then this advice becomes even more important. 

But how do you get there? How to you achieve normal blood pressure? 

Precisely when drug therapy should be used is a decision you will have to make with your doctor. But your focus should always be on lifestyle changes that will help you keep your blood pressure low.

What we do can greatly influence our blood pressure as well as other heart health issues. Get some exercise, eat a heart healthy diet and don’t smoke. 

To help lower your blood pressure naturally click here.

What Else?

There are some naturally occurring substances that have been shown to help lower and maintain normal blood pressure. They are closely related to diet because they are in what we eat. However, getting sufficient amounts of them often requires supplementing our diet. 

Omega-3 

Omega-3 has been shown to significantly reduce triglycerides. High triglycerides along with high cholesterol promote coronary heart disease. In fact…

The American Heart Association recommends Omega-3 supplements for anyone with high triglycerides or documented coronary heart disease.

What many people don’t know is Omega-3 also has been shown to have a positive effect on blood pressure. You can use the links below to learn more. 

Omega-3 and Triglycerides 
Omega-3 and Coronary Heart Disease 
Omega-3 and Blood Pressure

Fish Peptides 

A lesser known naturally occurring substance is fish peptides. Fish peptides have ACE inhibiting properties similar to those of ACE inhibiting drugs. ACE inhibitors are not for everyone.

However, if ACE inhibitors help you keep you blood pressure low you will want to investigate fish peptides as a natural alternative to drug therapy. 

Fish Peptides and Blood Pressure


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