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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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My blood pressure 138/63.i am worried?

im not what you would call obese but im slightly overweight. i have a very strange diet that in some places is very healthy and some is very unhealthy. i drink about 1 litre of orange juice a day and i eat about 3bits of fruit a day. but i eat chips every day and i put a lot of salt on them. however im a vegetarian and i eat 5 vegetarian sausages a day and there pretty much made of vegetables. also i do quite a lot of exercise, i play badminton for 2 hours a week and i walk about a mile a day and i cycle every Sunday for about 4 hours. ive got loads of friends you retard im just trying to be more healthy im in uk i mean chips as in what you would call fries.
Thu, 17 Dec 2009
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  User's Response
Hello, You've had lots of answers but maybe there's room for one more. The main indicator of 'high blood pressure' is the second reading, your 63. This 63 is excellent, and indicates that you have no spasm or obstruction of your small blood-vessels. 63 is even better than a previous answerer quoted as normal, (70). The first reading, your 138, is slightly higher than average, but I think that is almost certainly due to your being a bit anxious when you took your blood pressure. I do not agree at all with the answerer who said that you have 'isolated systolic high blood pressure.' No doctor would diagnose this on the basis of just one blood-pressure measurement, it would take a series of measurements over several weeks. In the nicest possible way, I think formerly_bob is completely wrong in his opinion. I don't know if you understand how 'blood pressure' works, and perhaps a short reminder might help. Obviously your heart is the pump which 'generates' your blood pressure, and if it stopped beating completely your blood pressure would fall to zero over zero. But there's another factor. The heart pumps blood out directly into the biggest artery in the body, called the aorta. Now let's say someone was able somehow to put a metal clamp on the aorta to stop the flow of blood. The heart would still try to pump blood, but it would now have no-where to go. The exit pipe of the heart, would have been completely blocked. In this situation the blood pressure would rise to a very high level, like 300. So there are *two* factors which control the blood-pressure: firstly, how hard the heart is pumping, and secondly, how fast the aorta is emptying. High blood-pressure is a problem of how fast the aorta can empty, not a problem of how hard the heart can pump. The exact reason that the aorta cannot empty properly in real life, is because the very smallest arteries the aorta empties into (like into a 'tree'), are in spasm or are obstructed for some other reason. There is, as I say, just no sign at all of this in your case. I don't know whether you know what a 'rotary pump' is. Here is a picture of one.... There are no valves in this sort of pump... so long as the handle is kept turning, the flow is one-way-only. The heart is not a rotary pump, it is an 'intermittent' pump. It pumps on each heart-beat, then has to refill. Because it has to refill, there needs to be at least one valve, so it does not refill from the blood it has just pumped... here is a picture of the 'aortic valve' which does this... Because the heart pumps - refills - pumps - refills, there are TWO blood pressures, one for when it's pumping, (your 138), and one for when it's refilling, (your 63). These are written as 138/63, as you know. Spoken as one thirty-eight over sixty-three. There is nothing at all wrong with your 'refilling pressure,' it is extremely normal. The 'pumping pressure' is a bit higher than ideal, (ideal is 120), but temporary anxiety is quite capable of causing that. I think there is nothing for you to worry about. I hope this is of some help, Best wishes, Belliger (retired uk gp)
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