As with all things in medicine, there is much debate about ideal blood pressure goals. 120/80 or under 140/90?
And as with all things in medicine, it’s an individualized approach. Some patients have enough risk that a 120/80 value makes the most sense.
The current standards consider normal values to be under 120 systolic and under 80 diastolic values.
Avoiding hypertension is an important part of ensuring proper Heart Health and avoiding strokes, heart attacks, erectile dysfunction, heart failure, and kidney disease.
One common problem we see in Western Medicine is that kidney disease is diagnosed too late with rather vague guidelines for renal function. Better tests than serum creatinine are available.
Current Approach to Blood Pressure Checks
My patients have their blood pressure checked when they come into the clinic. Or worse, they check their BP at home when they have a headache, feel dizzy, or have nausea.
At best, in this current approach, we measure someone’s blood pressure only 2-3 times per year. At worst, we check blood pressures when they likely will be high due to pathologic factors.
So, the old method is outdated – too little data or dirty data from which a proper decision cannot be made.
Average Blood Pressure Readings
In comes the average blood pressure. This is a far better approach and method to guestimate someone’s baseline blood pressure.
Baseline, meaning this is the blood pressure they are walking around with when not stressed, when not doing a strict meditation routine.
The goal for this blood pressure should definitely be low – closer to 120/80. This is according to the SPRINT trial.
The average blood pressure can be taken with a cuff which you set to inflate every 30 minutes using a timer. Your doctor can also prescribe an ambulatory blood pressure monitor, which achieves the same automatically.
Interventions That Lower the Blood Pressure
When you’re stressed, your blood pressure goes up. Logically, if you can calm yourself down, your blood pressure should and does indeed decrease.
Blood pressure goals can be achieved with lifestyle changes alone. Weight loss, dietary changes, stress management, better sleep, and correcting underlying pathology such as sleep apnea.
The next step is medications. There is a lot of fear when it comes to medications. It’s understandable. Big pharma can’t always be trusted – perhaps. But they do some good, as well.
It’s important to understand that any chemical is a tool, and when used correctly by the right people, it could be a proper solution.
Otherwise, to achieve the desired blood pressure goals, herbal medications or supplements can also be tried.