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As described by Cleveland Clinic Institute (2010), blood enters into the heart through the vena cava veins (both superior and inferior) on the right side of the heart. Here, de-oxygenated blood is emptied from the whole body into the right atrium. Then it flows to the right ventricles through tricuspid valve. This blood flows to the lungs through pulmonary artery for oxygenation and then flow back to the heart through the left Pulmonary vein that empties it into the left atrium. Here it flows to the lungs from pulmonary artery to the capillary vessels (Cleveland Clinic Institute). The air flows from tiny air sacs in the lungs into the blood through the capillary walls. At the same time, carbon dioxide and other waste products flows from the blood to the air sacs through the capillary walls. The oxygenated blood then flows into the heart through the pulmonary vein. From left atrium, blood flows to the left ventricle through matrial valve that prevents its back flow. Through the aorta, the blood flows to the whole body (Cleveland Clinic Institute).
Blood pressure according to American Heart Association (2010) is the force exerted by the blood when pushing against the walls of the arteries after being pumped from the heart either to the body or the lungs. As stated by American Heart Association (2010), Systolic pressure is the force exerted by the blood on the walls of arteries when flowing from the heart into the arteries while diastolic pressure is the force exerted by the blood on the walls of the veins when the heart relaxes allowing the blood to flow back into the heart through pulmonary veins (American Heart Association).
My blood pressure was measured in millimeters of mercury with the first numbers indicating the systolic blood pressure while the second ones representing the diastolic blood pressure. When measuring my blood pressure, the doctor used a sphygmomanometer which was wrapped tightly around my upper arm to cut off blood flow into the blood vessels. Then a stethoscope was placed at the elbow over the branchial artery and then the air in the cuff was gradually removed. The doctor listened through the stethoscope until he heard the heart beats and at this point the cuff pressure matched that in the artery (SBP). Then the air in the cuff was slowly removed until the sound stopped (DBP). My blood pressure values were 117/82 mm Hg. According to Cleveland Clinic Institute (2010), the normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg hence my systolic blood pressure (SBP) was less while my diastolic blood pressure was slightly above the average blood pressure (American Heart Association).
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My average blood pressure has occurred as a result of proper diets especially in consumption of sodium. Limiting consumption of diets with high sodium like smoked meat, canned foods, cured meat and condiments has helped a lot as sodium increases blood pressure. In addition, through participating in aerobic exercises and supplementing my diets with fish oils, I have been able to keep my blood pressure at an average level as recommended by American Heart Association (2010). Further, through consuming average amount of alcohol (two drinks a day) I have been able to maintain my average blood pressure. In addition, I have avoided smoking tobacco products and other secondhand smoke containing nicotine. According to American Heart Association (2010), nicotine contained in tobacco raises blood pressure by 10 mm Hg therefore by avoiding it I have been able to avoid high blood pressure (American Heart Association).
It is very important to know whether you have high blood pressure because there are no symptoms and hence one can only know whether he/she has it through medical check up. As indicated by American Heart Association (2010) there are certain diseases that are as a result of high blood pressure which include heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and kidney disease (American Heart Association).
High and low blood pressures are mostly as a result of lifestyles and diets and they can lead to serious health complications. Average blood pressure should be maintained through exercises and proper diets and at the same time regular check ups are recommended as high blood pressure has no symptoms.