Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Under Pressure

Libi Astaire

Blood pressure is a normal part of your body’s functioning. But since you can have too much of a good thing, it’s never too early to start keeping your numbers under control.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I blame it on my health fund. All I wanted was a flu shot. But the nurse on duty insisted on first checking my blood pressure. “It’s routine,” she assured me. Indeed, it was. After checking my blood pressure twice, she went back to her computer to check my medical records and then, in typical Israeli fashion, started to yell at me. Didn’t I know I had high blood pressure? Didn’t my doctor know? Why wasn’t I doing anything about it? Did I want to have a stroke, chas v’shalom? Or a heart attack? After we had both calmed down, I got my flu shot — and a prescription to purchase a blood pressure monitoring machine, so I could check my blood pressure levels at home. When I got home, though, my first stop was my computer. Was my blood pressure really that bad? And, if so, why didn’t I know it?   Meet Your Blood Pressure Contrary to what many think, “blood pressure” isn’t a sign of bad health. It’s a natural process of the body. Each heartbeat pumps blood through your body, bringing energy and oxygen to your body’s muscles. A heartbeat is a two-pronged activity. First, the heart squeezes and pushes the blood through your arteries; this forces your blood pressure to go up. Then the heart relaxes and your blood pressure goes down. A reading of your blood pressure is therefore comprised of two numbers. The first number, known as the systolic blood pressure level, is the highest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart is squeezing. The second one, your diastolic level, is your blood pressure’s lowest level when the heart is relaxing. A “normal” or “optimal” reading is 120/80mmHg or less.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Top-Down Theory
Shoshana Friedman Our true currency, the accomplishments we value most
Strive for What Binds Us
Yonoson Rosenblum The chareidi community represents something of an oasis
Embracing Victimhood
Eytan Kobre Combating the allure of victimhood
The Kids Are Going to Camp, the Parents Are Going Broke
Miriam Klein Adelman Mindy has to feel good; it doesn’t matter that I feel ba...
Work/Life Solutions with Carlos Wigle
Moe Mernick “Rejection is Hashem’s protection” 
How to Create a Simple 900-Page Novel
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman All of us can reset the titles of our own lives
Stand There or Do Something
Baruch S. Fertel, MD, MPA, FACEP It’s called collaborative care, and it works miracles
I'm Here — Are You Ready?
Riki Goldstein Upbeat and catchy, but still makes listeners think
Back in Time
Riki Goldstein "I wish I could recapture that excitement"
Mixed Messages
Riki Goldstein The unsung craftsmen who give albums their special touch
Go in Peace
Faigy Peritzman Inner peace makes us vessels for blessing
All Work and No Play
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A life only about doing your duties loses all its color
Dying to Believe
With Rav Moshe Wolfson, written by Baila Vorhand Emunah peshutah is the force behind Jewish continuity