Diastole vs. Systole: Understanding Blood Pressure

If you’ve ever been to the doctor and had your blood pressure taken, you may have wondered what all those numbers meant. Diastole and Systole are two of the most critical numbers regarding blood pressure, and understanding them is key to keeping track of your health. In this blog post, we will discuss what Diastole and Systole are, diastole-vs-systole in terms of your blood pressure health. We’ll also cover how to read a home blood pressure monitor so that you can keep track of your numbers on your own!

What is Diastole in blood pressure numbers?

Diastole is the lower number of the two when your blood pressure is taken. This number represents the pressure in your arteries when your heart is at rest, between beats.

What is Systole in blood pressure numbers?

Systole, on the other hand, is the higher number and represents the pressure in your arteries when your heart contracts.

What are the differences between Diastole vs. Systole?

The main difference between Diastole and Systole is that Diastole represents the pressure in your arteries when your heart is at rest, while Systole means the pressure in your arteries when your heart contracts. Therefore, Diastole is always the lower number, while Systole is always the higher number.

Why you need to understand Diastole and Systole

It’s crucial to understand Diastole and Systole because they are two of the most critical numbers regarding blood pressure. Keeping track of your blood pressure numbers can help you spot potential health problems early on before they become serious.

Standard and high blood pressure numbers

Normal resting blood pressure should be around 120/80, with the Diastole being the lower number. However, if your Systole is consistently above 140 or your Diastole is above 90, this could indicate high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. High blood pressure can lead to serious health complications like heart disease and stroke, so it’s essential to keep an eye on your numbers and see a doctor if you are concerned.

Normal and high blood pressure range

High blood pressure risks?

These need to be in a healthy range regardless of high or low blood pressure. Diastole should be 80 or lower, and Systole should be 120 or lower. Anything above these levels increases your risk for heart disease, stroke, and kidney problems.

Risks are more significant if:

  • Diastole is above 90
  • Systole is 140 or higher
  • You’re a man over age 45
  • You’re a woman over age 55
  • You have diabetes
  • You have heart disease
  • You have kidney disease

Low blood pressure risks?

If your blood pressure is too low, you may experience:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Dehydration and unusual thirst
  • Depression
  • Lack of concentration
  • Cold, clammy, pale skin
  • A heartbeat that seems irregular or slow (bradycardia)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath

If you have any of these symptoms and suspect you have low blood pressure, seek medical attention. It could be a sign of an underlying condition.

Treatment for high blood pressure

Treatment for high and low blood pressure

There are ways to treat high blood pressure. The first steps should be lifestyle changes, they may include things like:

  • More physical activities
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Reducing sodium intake
  • Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink
  • Quitting smoking
  • Managing stress
  • Keep track of your blood pressure at home

If you have been making these changes for a couple of months and your blood pressure remains high, your doctor may prescribe medication.

Medications may include:

  • Water pills (diuretics)
  • ACE inhibitors
  • ARBs
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Beta-blockers
  • Vasodilators
  • Aldosterone antagonists
  • Renin-inhibitors

Your doctor will work with you to find the best combination of medications to treat your high blood pressure.

Treatment for low blood pressure

If you have been diagnosed with low blood pressure, treatment will be based on the underlying cause.

For example, you will be treated with fluids if you are dehydrated. If you have an endocrine problem, your doctor will treat the condition. If medications are causing low blood pressure, your doctor may adjust the dosage or discontinue the drug.

In some cases, no treatment is necessary. For example, if you have low blood pressure due to pregnancy, it will resolve after you have your baby.

If you faint frequently, your doctor may recommend increasing your salt intake or wearing compression stockings to improve blood circulation.

Compression stockings gently put pressure on your legs and help reduce blood pooling.

If you have low blood pressure and experience anxiety, your doctor may recommend counseling to help you manage your stress.

How to read a home blood pressure monitor

If you want to keep track of your blood pressure at home, you can do so with a home blood pressure monitor. These monitors are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. To take your blood pressure at home, wrap the cuff around your upper arm and wait for the machine to give you a reading. The top number is your Systole, while the bottom number is your Diastole.

By understanding Diastole and Systole, you can better keep track of your blood pressure and overall health. Be sure to see a doctor if you are concerned about your numbers, and use a home monitor or wrist monitor to keep track of your numbers.

Final thoughts

When it comes to Diastole vs. Systole, it’s essential to understand the difference between the two. Diastole is the resting phase of the heart when blood pressure is at its lowest. Systole is when the heart contracts and pumps blood around the body. The Diastolic blood pressure is the reading when your heart is at rest, and the Systolic blood pressure is the reading when your heart contracts. Therefore, the Diastolic number should be lower than the Systolic number.

The ideal Diastolic number is between 80-90 mmHg, and the perfect Systolic number is between 120-140 mmHg. Anything lower than 80 mmHg Diastolic or above 140 mmHg Systolic is considered high blood pressure. If your Diastolic number is consistently low (hypotension), it could signify dehydration, heart problems, or endocrine issues. On the other hand, if your Systolic number is always high (hypertension), it could be a sign of stress, obesity, or heart disease.

If you’re ever unsure of your Diastolic or Systolic blood pressure readings, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor. They’ll be able to help you understand what the numbers mean and how to treat any high or low readings. And, if you’re curious about how to read a home blood pressure monitor, most manuals will have clear instructions on how to do so.

Knowing your Diastolic from your Systolic blood pressure is integral to keeping track of your overall health. So be sure to stay on top of your numbers and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

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About ASmith

Adam Smith is the main researcher and contributor at Mobility Medical Supply. Adam has many years of research in public data, and software security. With Mobility issues within Adam's family, he decided to dedicate in-depth guides on mobility products to anyone looking to improve movement and gain independence.