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Wednesday, January 14, 2009 D Fearnley, Community Member, asks

Q: I have a BP of 178/89 is this acceptable

I have been suffering with Headaches at the base and rear of the head . I am also waking a number of times throughout the night and have difficulty getting back to sleep. I am aged 79.
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Answers (1)
Lisa Nelson, Health Pro
1/14/09 2:36pm

Hi D,


The Joint National Committee defines four blood pressure categories.


Very High Range - Stage 2 Hypertension

Systolic (top) blood pressure 160 mm Hg or high

Diastolic (bottom) blood pressure 100 mm Hg or higher

            If in this range you have hypertension (high blood pressure).


High Range - Stage 1 Hypertension

Systolic (top) blood pressure 140 - 159 mm Hg

Diastolic (bottom) blood pressure 90 - 99 mm Hg

If in this range you have hypertension (high blood pressure).


Caution Range - Prehypertension

Systolic (top) blood pressure 120 - 139 mm Hg

Diastolic (bottom) blood pressure 80 - 89 mm Hg

            Take action!


Normal Range - Normal

Systolic (top) blood pressure below 120 mm Hg

Diastolic (bottom) blood pressure below 80 mm Hg



A systolic blood pressure of 179 puts you in the very high range and requires immediate attention.  Even though your diastolic (bottom number) is considered prehypertensive. 


I recommend you consult your MD about your symptoms (headaches and insomnia) and to develop the best treatment plan.


All the best,


Lisa Nelson, RD

Diet to Lower High Blood Pressure Naturally

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By D Fearnley, Community Member— Last Modified: 11/15/10, First Published: 01/14/09