My Lower Blood Pressure Numbers Are Always Lower Than 80, No Matter What The Top Numbers Are.

Question

Asked by Peabody

My Lower Blood Pressure Numbers Are Always Lower Than 80, No Matter What The Top Numbers Are.

My lower numbers are always under 80 generally. With the first check, after sitting quietly for 5 to 8 minutes, my numbers on top are high 140s or so, and lower number generally under 80.

I can check again after about another 6-8 minutes or so of rest, and upper number usually drops to upper 120s or lower mid 130s generally, such as 132/74.

At times after sitting quietly for a few minutes more, a 3rd check could be in the teens..say, 118/76...but bottom number generally always stays below 80. I question these numbers in the 70s on the average.

A high reading, and usually the first check is 140/72, 149/71 etc and best lower readings are 128/68, 130/74 etc. Any ideas on the lower numbers being below 80?

Answer

Hi Peabody,

The fact that your diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) stays below 80 is good.

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
Perfect!

Your systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings are measuring to different pressures against your vessel walls. Systolic is the pressure when your heart contracts and diastolic is the pressure between heart beats. Your various readings indicate the pressure between beats is fairly constant while the pressure when the heart contracts varies. I recommend discussing with your physician to determine the best treatment approach.

All the best,

Lisa Nelson RD

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Answered by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN