What is a High Diastolic Blood Pressure and What does it Mean?

Your blood pressure can be an important indication of your overall cardiovascular health. A normal blood pressure reading is a sign that your blood vessels are all in good working condition, while an elevated reading could mean a potential health problem. Chronic high blood pressure puts a strain on your blood vessels and heart, and increases your risk of a stroke, heart attack or kidney disease. Because of these risk factors, it is very important to have your blood pressure checked regularly, at least once a year, and to talk to your doctor if your numbers begin to rise. You should also know what a normal blood pressure number looks like, and when you should begin to worry. There are two numbers that you need to be concerned with when it comes to your blood pressure. The first is the systolic pressure or the measurement of the blood pressure when your heart is beating. The other is the diastolic pressure which indicates the amount of blood pressure when the heart is at rest. If you have a high diastolic blood pressure, chances are that your systolic pressure is high as well, although the reverse is not always the case.

What is Considered a High Diastolic Blood Pressure?

Your blood pressure reading will always be shown as two numbers together, such as 120/80. The second number is the diastolic reading. If your lower number rises between 80 and 89, you are considered to have borderline high diastolic blood pressure, or pre-hypertension. If your number goes up above 90, it is considered to be a high diastolic blood pressure, and may require treatment to bring the number back down. On the other hand, a top number of 130-139 is considered borderline high, and a number over 140 is high. In most cases, when the systolic pressure rises, there will be a high diastolic blood pressure as well. However, there are some instances where the systolic pressure will rise on its own, while the diastolic number remains normal. This is called isolated systolic high blood pressure, and is generally seen in elderly patients.

If you have a high diastolic blood pressure, you will need to take steps to bring your blood pressure back down to a normal level, to reduce your risk of other health issues in the future. These steps can include lifestyle changes, such as following a healthy diet, getting daily exercise and kicking the smoking habit. In some cases medication will also be required to lower high diastolic blood pressure as well. It is important to note that medication will not actually "cure" high blood pressure, but merely control it as long as you are taking the medication. For this reason, most patients who begin taking medication for high blood pressure will be on it for life.

A high diastolic blood pressure is an important health concern that should be discussed with your doctor. To help prevent the health risks that accompany high blood pressure, make sure that you have your blood pressure monitored regularly, and talk to your doctor about any changes to your readings.