Health Encyclopedia

 
  • Blood pressure - Animation

    Blood pressure

    Animation

  • Blood pressure - Animation

    Normal blood pressure is important for proper blood flow to the body's organs and tissues. The force of the blood on the walls of the arteries is called blood pressure. Blood pressure is measured both as the heart contracts, which is called systole, and as it relaxes, which is called diastole. Normal blood pressure is considered to be a systolic blood pressure of 115 millimeters of mercury a diastolic pressure of 70 millimeters of mercury, stated as "115 over 70". If an individual were to have a consistent blood pressure reading of 140 over 90, he would be evaluated for having high blood pressure. If left untreated, high blood pressure can damage important organs, such as the brain and kidneys, as well as lead to a stroke.

  • Tracking your blood pressure at home - Animation

    Tracking your blood pressure at home

    Animation

  • Tracking your blood pressure at home - Animation

    Following your blood pressure at home has gotten a lot easier in the last few years. I'm Dr. Alan Greene. I'd like to share with you a little bit about that. Not too long ago when you wanted to follow your blood pressure at home, you had to have the old fashion sphygmomometer, and the device was a complex as that word sounds. You had to pump something up, and put a stethoscope in your ears, and fumble all these different tubes and even so wouldn't get a very accurate reading. Now, there are simple, high quality, digital blood pressure cuffs. They're easy to use at home. They're built so they snap on the arm very easily, just press a single button, and the chip inside does the work for you. It blows it up, it gives you the reading, and some of the newer models even connect it to your PC and track the readings for you. Now, how accurate are they? They're really pretty good. I wouldn't trust a single reading that much if you get one that's high or low. I wouldn't be either reassured or panicked. But, I would trust the pattern of readings. So, if you have one that tracks it for you, that's great, if not, just write them down what date and time you took it and see what the pattern is over time. If there's anything of concern, be sure to report it to your physician. Normal blood pressure is important for proper blood flow to the body's organs and tissues. The force of the blood on the walls of the arteries is called blood pressure. Blood pressure is measured both as the heart contracts, which is called systole, and as it relaxes, which is called diastole. Normal blood pressure is when your blood pressure is lower than 120/80 mm Hg most of the time. If a person were to have a consistent blood pressure reading of 130 over 80, that person would be evaluated for having high blood pressure. If left untreated, high blood pressure can damage important organs, such as the brain and kidneys, as well as lead to a stroke.

  • Essential hypertension - Animation

    Essential hypertension

    Animation

  • Essential hypertension - Animation

    Carrying a lot of extra weight around your middle or sprinkling too much salt onto your food at each meal can cause high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension. Stress and your genes can also bring your blood pressure up. Sometimes when your blood pressure is high, your doctor might not be able to find any direct cause for it. That's what's called essential hypertension. When your doctor talks to you about your blood pressure, he's referring to the force of your blood pushing against your artery walls. The top number in your blood pressure is called the systolic blood pressure. That's the pressure in your blood vessels while your heart is pumping. The bottom number is called the diastolic blood pressure and that's the pressure when your heart rests between beats. You want your blood pressure to stay at 120 over 80 or less. A blood pressure of 140 over 90 or more is considered high. Why is high blood pressure a problem, you ask? Well, you can think of high blood pressure as being like a river that's rushing too hard, eventually it's going to damage its banks. With high blood pressure, the extra force of your blood pushing against your artery walls eventually damages them. It can also damage your heart, your kidneys, and other organs. So, how do you know if you have high blood pressure?Often you don't know, because high blood pressure doesn't have symptoms like a fever or cough. Usually there are no symptoms at all, and you won't be able to find out that you have high blood pressure unless you've had it checked, or you've developed complications like heart disease or kidney problems. You can check your blood pressure yourself with a home monitor, or have it checked at your doctor's office. If it's high, you and your doctor will set a blood pressure goal. You can achieve that goal in different ways, like eating a healthy diet, exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, quitting smoking, eating less than 1,500 milligrams of salt per day, and using programs like meditation and yoga to relieve your stress. But if these lifestyle changes aren't enough, your health care provider might prescribe one or more medicines to lower your blood pressure. The reason why doctors are so serious about a patients' blood pressure is that having uncontrolled blood pressure can cause a lot of serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and loss of vision. When it comes to your blood pressure, it's best to be proactive. Call your doctor for a check-up if you haven't had one in a while, and get your blood pressure checked. If it's high, follow your doctor's advice for bringing it back into a healthy range.

  • Hypertension - Animation

    Hypertension

    Animation

  • Hypertension - Animation

    If your doctor told you that you have high blood pressure, you may have wondered, what's the big deal? Well high blood pressure IS a big deal, because it can lead to a heart attack, stroke, vision loss, and kidney disease, sometimes before you even realize you have it. When you have high blood pressure, you'll want to control it before it can lead to these dangerous complications. Let's talk about high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension. Blood pressure measures the force at which your blood rushes against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps it through your body. The higher the force, meaning the higher your blood pressure, the harder your heart has to work. High blood pressure damages not only your heart but also your arteries. When your doctor or nurse measures your blood pressure, you'll see two numbers. The top number is called systolic blood pressure. That's the force of blood in your arteries whenever your heart beats. The bottom number measures diastolic blood pressure, or the force of blood in between heartbeats.   You're more likely to have high blood pressure if you don't exercise regularly, you're obese, you eat too much salt, you have diabetes, you smoke, or you have a family history of high blood pressure. Most of the time, you won't know that you have high blood pressure. That's because high blood pressure usually doesn't cause symptoms. Unless you get your blood pressure checked, you may have no idea there's a problem until you develop heart disease or another complication. If your blood pressure is high, a few simple lifestyle changes can help bring it back down, and prevent its complications. Eat a heart-healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy, avoid fatty, salty, and sugary foods, exercise at least 30 minutes a day, limit salt to 1,500 milligrams or less a day, that's less than a teaspoon per day, and if you smoke, now is the perfect time to quit. Ask your doctor for tips on how to kick the habit. If these measures don't work, your doctor may prescribe one or more medicines to control your blood pressure. Because high blood pressure can sneak in without warning, stop it before it starts. Stay healthy, and have your blood pressure checked at least once a year. If you already have high blood pressure, follow your doctor's advice to get it under control.

  • High blood pressure tests

    High blood pressure tests

    Routine lab tests are recommended before beginning treatment of high blood pressure to determine organ or tissue damage or other risk factors. These lab tests include urinalysis, blood cell count, blood chemistry (potassium, sodium, creatinine, fasting glucose, total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol), and an ECG (electrocardiogram). Additional tests may be recommended based on your condition.

    High blood pressure tests

    illustration

  • Blood pressure check

    Blood pressure check

    To measure blood pressure, your doctor uses an instrument call a sphygmomanometer, which is more often referred to as a blood pressure cuff. The cuff is wrapped around your upper arm and inflated to stop the flow of blood in your artery. As the cuff is slowly deflated, your doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to the blood pumping through the artery. These pumping sounds register on a gauge attached to the cuff. The first pumping sound your doctor hears is recorded as the systolic pressure, and the last sound is the diastolic pressure.

    Blood pressure check

    illustration

  • Blood pressure

    Blood pressure

    Blood pressure is the force applied against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood through the body. The pressure is determined by the force and amount of blood pumped and the size and flexibility of the arteries.

    Blood pressure

    illustration

  • Exercise can lower blood pressure

    Exercise can lower blood pressure

    Reducing your weight by just 10 pounds may be enough to lower your blood pressure. Losing weight can help to enhance the effects of high blood pressure medicine and may also reduce other risk factors, such as diabetes and high bad cholesterol.

    Exercise can lower blood pressure

    illustration

  • Monitoring blood pressure

    Monitoring blood pressure

    Hypertension is a disorder characterized by chronically high blood pressure. It must be monitored, treated and controlled by medicines, lifestyle changes, or a combination of both.

    Monitoring blood pressure

    illustration

  • Effects of age on blood pressure

    Effects of age on blood pressure

    Blood vessels become less elastic with age. The average blood pressure increases from 120/70 to 150/90 and may persist slightly high, even if treated. The blood vessels respond more slowly to a change in body position.

    Effects of age on blood pressure

    illustration

  • Intracranial pressure monitoring

    Intracranial pressure monitoring

    Intracranial pressure monitoring is performed by inserting a catheter into the head with a sensing device to monitor the pressure around the brain. An increase in intracranial pressure can cause a decrease in blood flow to the brain causing brain damage.

    Intracranial pressure monitoring

    illustration

  • Increased intracranial pressure

    Increased intracranial pressure

    Increased intracranial pressure is almost always indicative of severe medical problems. The pressure itself can be responsible for further damage to the central nervous system by decreasing blood flow to the brain or by causing the brain to herniate (push through) the opening in the back of the skull where the spinal cord is attached. Causes of increased intracranial pressure may include bleeding into the subdural space (subdural hematoma).

    Increased intracranial pressure

    illustration

  • Stopping bleeding with pressure and ice

    Stopping bleeding with pressure and ice

    Bleeding from most injuries can be stopped by applying direct pressure to the injury. This keeps from cutting off the blood supply to the affected limb. When there is severe bleeding, where a major artery has been severed, pressure may be insufficient and a tourniquet may be necessary.

    Stopping bleeding with pressure and ice

    illustration

  • White blood cell count  - series

    White blood cell count - series

    Presentation

  • Blood pressure - Animation

    Blood pressure

    Animation

  • Blood pressure - Animation

    Normal blood pressure is important for proper blood flow to the body's organs and tissues. The force of the blood on the walls of the arteries is called blood pressure. Blood pressure is measured both as the heart contracts, which is called systole, and as it relaxes, which is called diastole. Normal blood pressure is considered to be a systolic blood pressure of 115 millimeters of mercury a diastolic pressure of 70 millimeters of mercury, stated as "115 over 70". If an individual were to have a consistent blood pressure reading of 140 over 90, he would be evaluated for having high blood pressure. If left untreated, high blood pressure can damage important organs, such as the brain and kidneys, as well as lead to a stroke.

  • Tracking your blood pressure at home - Animation

    Tracking your blood pressure at home

    Animation

  • Tracking your blood pressure at home - Animation

    Following your blood pressure at home has gotten a lot easier in the last few years. I'm Dr. Alan Greene. I'd like to share with you a little bit about that. Not too long ago when you wanted to follow your blood pressure at home, you had to have the old fashion sphygmomometer, and the device was a complex as that word sounds. You had to pump something up, and put a stethoscope in your ears, and fumble all these different tubes and even so wouldn't get a very accurate reading. Now, there are simple, high quality, digital blood pressure cuffs. They're easy to use at home. They're built so they snap on the arm very easily, just press a single button, and the chip inside does the work for you. It blows it up, it gives you the reading, and some of the newer models even connect it to your PC and track the readings for you. Now, how accurate are they? They're really pretty good. I wouldn't trust a single reading that much if you get one that's high or low. I wouldn't be either reassured or panicked. But, I would trust the pattern of readings. So, if you have one that tracks it for you, that's great, if not, just write them down what date and time you took it and see what the pattern is over time. If there's anything of concern, be sure to report it to your physician. Normal blood pressure is important for proper blood flow to the body's organs and tissues. The force of the blood on the walls of the arteries is called blood pressure. Blood pressure is measured both as the heart contracts, which is called systole, and as it relaxes, which is called diastole. Normal blood pressure is when your blood pressure is lower than 120/80 mm Hg most of the time. If a person were to have a consistent blood pressure reading of 130 over 80, that person would be evaluated for having high blood pressure. If left untreated, high blood pressure can damage important organs, such as the brain and kidneys, as well as lead to a stroke.

  • Essential hypertension - Animation

    Essential hypertension

    Animation

  • Essential hypertension - Animation

    Carrying a lot of extra weight around your middle or sprinkling too much salt onto your food at each meal can cause high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension. Stress and your genes can also bring your blood pressure up. Sometimes when your blood pressure is high, your doctor might not be able to find any direct cause for it. That's what's called essential hypertension. When your doctor talks to you about your blood pressure, he's referring to the force of your blood pushing against your artery walls. The top number in your blood pressure is called the systolic blood pressure. That's the pressure in your blood vessels while your heart is pumping. The bottom number is called the diastolic blood pressure and that's the pressure when your heart rests between beats. You want your blood pressure to stay at 120 over 80 or less. A blood pressure of 140 over 90 or more is considered high. Why is high blood pressure a problem, you ask? Well, you can think of high blood pressure as being like a river that's rushing too hard, eventually it's going to damage its banks. With high blood pressure, the extra force of your blood pushing against your artery walls eventually damages them. It can also damage your heart, your kidneys, and other organs. So, how do you know if you have high blood pressure?Often you don't know, because high blood pressure doesn't have symptoms like a fever or cough. Usually there are no symptoms at all, and you won't be able to find out that you have high blood pressure unless you've had it checked, or you've developed complications like heart disease or kidney problems. You can check your blood pressure yourself with a home monitor, or have it checked at your doctor's office. If it's high, you and your doctor will set a blood pressure goal. You can achieve that goal in different ways, like eating a healthy diet, exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, quitting smoking, eating less than 1,500 milligrams of salt per day, and using programs like meditation and yoga to relieve your stress. But if these lifestyle changes aren't enough, your health care provider might prescribe one or more medicines to lower your blood pressure. The reason why doctors are so serious about a patients' blood pressure is that having uncontrolled blood pressure can cause a lot of serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and loss of vision. When it comes to your blood pressure, it's best to be proactive. Call your doctor for a check-up if you haven't had one in a while, and get your blood pressure checked. If it's high, follow your doctor's advice for bringing it back into a healthy range.

  • Hypertension - Animation

    Hypertension

    Animation

  • Hypertension - Animation

    If your doctor told you that you have high blood pressure, you may have wondered, what's the big deal? Well high blood pressure IS a big deal, because it can lead to a heart attack, stroke, vision loss, and kidney disease, sometimes before you even realize you have it. When you have high blood pressure, you'll want to control it before it can lead to these dangerous complications. Let's talk about high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension. Blood pressure measures the force at which your blood rushes against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps it through your body. The higher the force, meaning the higher your blood pressure, the harder your heart has to work. High blood pressure damages not only your heart but also your arteries. When your doctor or nurse measures your blood pressure, you'll see two numbers. The top number is called systolic blood pressure. That's the force of blood in your arteries whenever your heart beats. The bottom number measures diastolic blood pressure, or the force of blood in between heartbeats.   You're more likely to have high blood pressure if you don't exercise regularly, you're obese, you eat too much salt, you have diabetes, you smoke, or you have a family history of high blood pressure. Most of the time, you won't know that you have high blood pressure. That's because high blood pressure usually doesn't cause symptoms. Unless you get your blood pressure checked, you may have no idea there's a problem until you develop heart disease or another complication. If your blood pressure is high, a few simple lifestyle changes can help bring it back down, and prevent its complications. Eat a heart-healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy, avoid fatty, salty, and sugary foods, exercise at least 30 minutes a day, limit salt to 1,500 milligrams or less a day, that's less than a teaspoon per day, and if you smoke, now is the perfect time to quit. Ask your doctor for tips on how to kick the habit. If these measures don't work, your doctor may prescribe one or more medicines to control your blood pressure. Because high blood pressure can sneak in without warning, stop it before it starts. Stay healthy, and have your blood pressure checked at least once a year. If you already have high blood pressure, follow your doctor's advice to get it under control.

  • High blood pressure tests

    High blood pressure tests

    Routine lab tests are recommended before beginning treatment of high blood pressure to determine organ or tissue damage or other risk factors. These lab tests include urinalysis, blood cell count, blood chemistry (potassium, sodium, creatinine, fasting glucose, total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol), and an ECG (electrocardiogram). Additional tests may be recommended based on your condition.

    High blood pressure tests

    illustration

  • Blood pressure check

    Blood pressure check

    To measure blood pressure, your doctor uses an instrument call a sphygmomanometer, which is more often referred to as a blood pressure cuff. The cuff is wrapped around your upper arm and inflated to stop the flow of blood in your artery. As the cuff is slowly deflated, your doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to the blood pumping through the artery. These pumping sounds register on a gauge attached to the cuff. The first pumping sound your doctor hears is recorded as the systolic pressure, and the last sound is the diastolic pressure.

    Blood pressure check

    illustration

  • Blood pressure

    Blood pressure

    Blood pressure is the force applied against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood through the body. The pressure is determined by the force and amount of blood pumped and the size and flexibility of the arteries.

    Blood pressure

    illustration

  • Exercise can lower blood pressure

    Exercise can lower blood pressure

    Reducing your weight by just 10 pounds may be enough to lower your blood pressure. Losing weight can help to enhance the effects of high blood pressure medicine and may also reduce other risk factors, such as diabetes and high bad cholesterol.

    Exercise can lower blood pressure

    illustration

  • Monitoring blood pressure

    Monitoring blood pressure

    Hypertension is a disorder characterized by chronically high blood pressure. It must be monitored, treated and controlled by medicines, lifestyle changes, or a combination of both.

    Monitoring blood pressure

    illustration

  • Effects of age on blood pressure

    Effects of age on blood pressure

    Blood vessels become less elastic with age. The average blood pressure increases from 120/70 to 150/90 and may persist slightly high, even if treated. The blood vessels respond more slowly to a change in body position.

    Effects of age on blood pressure

    illustration

  • Intracranial pressure monitoring

    Intracranial pressure monitoring

    Intracranial pressure monitoring is performed by inserting a catheter into the head with a sensing device to monitor the pressure around the brain. An increase in intracranial pressure can cause a decrease in blood flow to the brain causing brain damage.

    Intracranial pressure monitoring

    illustration

  • Increased intracranial pressure

    Increased intracranial pressure

    Increased intracranial pressure is almost always indicative of severe medical problems. The pressure itself can be responsible for further damage to the central nervous system by decreasing blood flow to the brain or by causing the brain to herniate (push through) the opening in the back of the skull where the spinal cord is attached. Causes of increased intracranial pressure may include bleeding into the subdural space (subdural hematoma).

    Increased intracranial pressure

    illustration

  • Stopping bleeding with pressure and ice

    Stopping bleeding with pressure and ice

    Bleeding from most injuries can be stopped by applying direct pressure to the injury. This keeps from cutting off the blood supply to the affected limb. When there is severe bleeding, where a major artery has been severed, pressure may be insufficient and a tourniquet may be necessary.

    Stopping bleeding with pressure and ice

    illustration

  • White blood cell count  - series

    White blood cell count - series

    Presentation

Review Date: 12/21/2018

Reviewed By: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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