You’ve probably had your blood pressure taken at a doctor’s visit, but you might not know what is actually being measured. When the health care professional shares your blood pressure numbers, it represents the force at which blood is pumping through your arteries when your heart beats, in the following format:3
- Systolic pressure: The first or top number, which represents the pressure as your heart beats and pushes blood through the vessels.
- Diastolic pressure: The second or bottom number, which represents the pressure when the vessels relax between heartbeats.
The American Diabetes Association suggests the following interpretation of results:3
- Healthy blood pressure: below 120/80
- Early high blood pressure: between 120/80 and 130/80
- High blood pressure: 130/80 or higher
High blood pressure is a “silent,” but prevalent problem within the diabetes community– people with diabetes are twice as likely to have high blood pressure, but they may not even know they have it unless they’ve been checked for it.4 On top of that, when left untreated, high blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, eye problems, and kidney disease– it will not simply go away on its own.3 That is why, as a person with diabetes, it is important to have your blood pressure checked at each regular doctor visit, and ensure you’re not at risk of developing additional complications.