September 10th, 2012
August 8th, 2012
November 10th, 2010
Kim T. Tran, M.D.
DiastoleWhen the doctor takes your blood pressure, the reading is written like a fraction: one number on top called the systolic number and one on the bottom called the diastolic number. The systolic number measures the pressure inside your blood vessels at the moment your heart beats. Diastolic blood pressure measures the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart is resting in between heartbeats.
If the diastolic blood pressure reading is below 60, then your blood pressure is considered low; if it's higher than 90, then it's considered high. A reading in between those two numbers represents a healthy blood pressure. It's important to remember, however, that even if the diastolic number is in the normal range, the systolic number must be as well.
Importance of Diastolic Blood Pressure
It's been stated before that only systolic blood pressure is important, however that isn't completely true. Both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure represents health or potential issues. When discussing diastolic blood pressure, it's important to understand the amount of energy stored in the walls of the arteries. As the diastolic pressure forces blood through the arteries, the artery walls either return the energy or hold on to it. Healthy arteries are able to restore their original diameter during diastolic pressure, whereas unhealthy arteries cannot.
Factors that affect Diastolic Blood Pressure
There are several factors that affect diastolic blood pressure, including the amount of blood in your body, how much blood is pumped into your arteries with each beat and your heart rate. As your body goes through different changes, whether it’s stress or intense exercise, the diastolic blood pressure will change to meet your muscles' oxygen demand. Other factors that affect diastolic blood pressure include: body position, diet, weight loss, smoking and alcohol use and poor sleeping habits.
If you think you may suffer from high blood pressure, contact your doctor immediately. Because the symptoms of high blood pressure aren’t always apparent, the condition can worsen and cause irreparable harm before you even realize you have it.