When you’re trying to understand arterial blood pressure, it helps to know some basics about your body. You have a large network of blood vessels in your body. Some lead to the heart from your various organs and tissues. These are called veins.
Other blood vessels come away from your heart and take blood rich with oxygen to the rest of your body. These are called arteries. Arteries have a higher blood pressure than veins because they come directly from the ventricles of the heart to the aorta – the largest artery in the body.
When your arterial blood pressure is too low, blood can’t get easily from the heart to the other organs of the body. This puts strain on the heart as it has to pump faster and harder in order to deliver oxygen to the body.
If your arterial blood pressure is too high, you’re at risk for heart disease. The walls of the arteries can become damaged when you have high pressure on their walls for an extended period of time.
This leads to a disease called atherosclerosis – hardened arteries. Hardened arteries don’t stretch like elastic when your heart pumps. That leaves you more vulnerable to problems such as aneurisms, heart attacks, and stroke.
Hardened arteries also begin to collect cholesterol from the bloodstream. Over time this can cause a narrowing or blockage of your arteries. Eventually this can cause a heart attack, but even before that it can cause chest pain and other heart disease.
Your arterial blood pressure can be affected by many factors. It can be affected by the amount of blood you have in your body, the amount of blood your heart pumps at every beat, and how fast your heart is pumping.
In order to make sure you have healthy arterial blood pressure, it’s important to check it regularly. Your doctor will check your blood pressure for you each time you go for an appointment. However, this is probably not enough.
You should make it a habit to check your blood pressure every month or so. Many pharmacies have blood pressure monitors you can use. If that’s not convenient you may consider purchasing your own blood pressure monitor for use at home.
You may think that high blood pressure isn’t such a big deal, but you’d be wrong. Why is blood pressure so important? High arterial blood pressure is the number one risk factor for heart disease and stroke – so don’t ignore this extremely important health statistic.
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