Keeping an Eye on Your Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is responsible for moving blood through the body. Blood pressure is vital to push oxygen, nutrients, and white blood cells to the body’s tissues and organs. Proper waste removal is also taken care of by healthy blood pressure. Minor changes in blood pressure are normal, but when blood pressure is elevated or chronically stays too low, serious health complications may arise.

Doctors routinely check blood pressure because controlled blood pressure is vital to the health of the entire body. Blood pressure is measured by two numbers: systolic and diastolic. Systolic blood pressure (the first or top number) relays the pressure of blood against the artery walls when the heart beats. Diastolic pressure (the second or bottom number) explains the force of blood against the artery walls between heartbeats. Blood pressure is usually recorded as systolic over diastolic (ex: 120 over 80 or 120/80).