Blood pressure, or hypertension, is very common. Or is it?
Our view on an issue is based on standards. Standards become the basis of opinion on whether we fit in or not. How standards are set, obviously, is extremely important.
So let's take a look at blood pressure.
In 2017, the standard of what it means to have blood pressure changed. From 140/90 systolic and diastolic being the benchmarks of what it meant to have high blood pressure, the standard was lowered to 130/90.
For people beyond the age of 50, the standard still remains 150/90, which I will get to in a bit.
So why did they lower the standards?
From the publications available, it seems that it was done largely as an early diagnosis or warming. The idea was not to medicate yourself but to start thinking of blood pressure as a problem if your levels were 130/90.
Of course, if you tell a human being not to worry, they will only worry some more. This is what happened with hypertension. We all started to worry the minute our blood pressure went above 120/80.
What about the folks above 50?
It seems that the body needs more pressure to deliver blood to the brain. This is medical speak for "it is normal to have blood pressure up to 150/90."
So should you dismiss a high reading if you are over 50?
Again, the answer is not obvious. If you have other symptoms such as elevated weight, fatigue, headaches, Type 2 diabetes, a weak kidney, and so on, you should take your hypertension more seriously.
But if you are otherwise in great shape, you live a healthy lifestyle, your nutrition is good, your sleep is fine, and you are not chronically stressed, it may be less of a cause for concern.
This is what happens when you focus on one variable and ignore everything else.
Your goal at all points in time is to bring your blood pressure to normal levels. Just don't obsess in case it is out of range, but everything else is fine.
NB: It is not my intention to make you take blood pressure lightly. Hypertension is a serious condition and needs to be taken seriously. Just make sure you have the complete information when you evaluate your condition.
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