High Systolic Blood Pressure – What is it?
What is high systolic blood pressure? This question is often asked since the term, ‘Systolic,’ may be foreign to people affected by high blood pressure. A systole is the force which drives blood from the heart. Which differs from a diastole, which is the period of time when the heart muscles relax, allowing blood to refill the heart. The heart is made up of four chambers consisting of the left and right atrium or ventricle. The right atrium and ventricle work together in alternating systole and diastole roles. The same is true for the left side of the heart. The maximum Systolic pressure and the minimum Diastolic pressure number components make up a person’s blood pressure.
The blood pressure is at its highest point at the heart and lowers the farther away from the heart. This can vary with how your body is being affected by gravity. This is why the common place to measure blood pressure is on the brachial artery, which is about on the same level as someone’s heart if the person is sitting up. Blood pressure is normally measured as millimeters of mercury with systolic over diastolic.
What Causes High Systolic Blood Pressure?
Three Physical factors:
Blood Resistance – As your blood is circulated throughout your body the vessels and veins may have built up plague or debris on their walls. This increases the resistance that your blood faces as it pushes by these lower diameter spots. This is a huge reason for a increase blood pressure.
Blood in circulation – The amount of blood that your body currently circulates throughout your body will create your normal blood pressure. The bigger you are in mass the more blood your body needs to circulate. This means your heart and vessels have to work harder to transport the blood to your extremities.
Blood Viscosity – The thickness of your blood determines how high your blood pressure will be. The thicker the blood the more resistance the blood will face while being circulated throughout your body. As stated above, more resistance your blood faces the higher your blood pressure will be.
What are External Factors of High Systolic Blood Pressure?
Age – Statistically as a person ages his blood pressure will rise over time. This correlation happens because as someone ages they are exposed to risks: obesity, salts, alcohol, and other factors. These factors can be reversible though, and not everyone has exposed themselves to these risks yet still has an increased blood pressure. This can lead to a serious health issue, since if it isn’t dietary that means it’s physical. Damaged or injured arteries can elevate your blood pressure and is the leading problem is older people. The risk factor for this problem can be reduced by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, while limiting your process foods intake.
Diet – In many studies salt intake is directly linked to high blood pressure. Why does salt increase blood pressure? Salt stimulates the kidneys to maintain more fluids within the body. The kidney then proceeds to take fluid out of your blood stream through osmosis. This can lead to kidney disease and damaged vessels leading to the kidney.
Alcohol – Does it Increase Blood Pressure? Yes.
Every time you drink alcohol your blood pressure slightly increases. A binge drinker, someone who drinks (5 or more) drinks in a sitting, will impact their blood pressure. Its effect depends on physical factors: age, weight, and sex.
Now alcohol can be beneficial for your blood pressure at the same time in small quantities. Alcohol can boost levels of good cholesterol which helps your body circulate blood. Since your blood can circulate more efficiently it can lower your blood pressure in the long run.
The beneficial amount of alcohol is different from person to person so it’s best to consult your doctor first.
State of fitness – Overweight people put a daily strain on their body which is often sustained over many years. This drastically strain effects your cardiovascular system negatively. Your heart has to work overtime to circulate blood to every extremity of the body caused by the increased surface area. This puts your entire cardiovascular system under daily stress which over time will weaken the vessels of the body. Beside, most overweight people often have poor diet choices which lead to plague in the vessels. This resistance plus the strain on your heart is a deadly combination which left untreated leads to heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Physical Activity will lower blood pressure if sustained over a period of time. Also adequate activity lowers your risk for heart disease, stroke, and obesity. These diseases are all linked to high blood pressure, that’s why fitness is just as important as your diet.
Even someone who isn’t obese, but lives a sedentary life-style, which is common these days, could significantly improve their high systolic blood pressure.