Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps out blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When your heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is the diastolic pressure. Your blood pressure reading uses these two numbers, the systolic and diastolic pressures. Usually they are written one above or before the other. A reading of • 120/80 or lower is normal blood pressure • 140/90 or higher is high blood pressure • Between 120 and 139 for the top number, or between 80 and 89 for the bottom number is prehypertension Classification Systolic pressure Diastolic pressure mmHg kPa mmHg kPa Normal 90–119 12–15.9 60–79 8.0–10.5 Prehypertension 120–139 16.0–18.5 80–89 10.7–11.9 Stage 1 140–159 18.7–21.2 90–99 12.0–13.2 Stage 2 ≥160 ≥21.3 ≥100 ≥13.3 Isolated systolic hypertension ≥140 ≥18.7 <90 <12.0 Source: American Heart Association (2003).[5] High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, but it can cause serious problems such as stroke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure. There are two types of hypertension from a western medicine perspective. Primary hypertension has no known cause. It typically arises in middle age and has associated risk factors such as obesity, high cholesterol/salt/alcohol intake, smoking, diabetes, etc. Secondary hypertension is associated with a known cause which may be pregnancy, kidney disease, blood vessel abnormalities, endocrine disorders, etc In TCM hypertension is not an identified pathology per se but is effectively treated. Patients with hypertension will likely have a diagnosis involving LV wind with LV a/or KD involvement. As the liver controls the blood in TCM, circulation issues generally arise from a disharmony of the Liver. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are effective in treating hypertension especially in the beginning stages in conjunction with diet and exercise. Diet and exercise is extremely important in keeping blood pressure down. Maintaining a low sodium, low sugar diet is important with lots of leafy greens and other vegetables. Also drinking plenty of water and eliminating the consumption of alcohol as well as smoking. References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_blood_pressure http://www.yinyanghouse.com/tcmtheory_hypertension_treatment


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