I was recently asked How Blood Pressure was measured and what those numbers mean. I wanted to make sure that you understood this as well, because it’s important to know as much as you can so that you can be better equipped to control your blood pressure.
What is Hg?
Hg is the chemical representation for the element Mercury. Mercury was the silvery substance widely used in medicine as well as in other industries (the mad hatter was “mad”, or insane, because of mercury poisoning from working with so much of it with bare hands).
Mercury was commonly used in dynamic measurement instruments, like thermometers and manometers. A thermometer is an instrument used to measure temperature and a manometer is an instrument used to measure pressure. Mercury was used in these instruments because it wouldn’t evaporate like water, it had a lower freezing point (so it wouldn’t freeze easily in cold temperatures, therefore it could correctly measure the temperature), and it has a high visibility (the silvery color was easy to see).
The measurement “mm” stands for Millimeters. It is a unit of length measurement in the metric system. It is a smaller unit of measurement, so it allows the user to measure more subtle changes.
Put these two together and you have the perfect way to measure blood pressure.
The fluid in your arteries exerts a certain amount of pressure against the vessel walls. The blood pressure machine can sense the amount of resistance against the cuff and is displayed by how much the mercury would rise or fall in the manometer.
These days, mercury is not used as much, but the measurement is still used as a standard. So when you see a blood pressure reading like 120/80 (read as 120 over 80) or some other set of numbers, you know what it means.
Need Help Lowering Your Blood Pressure?
If you’d like support creating a plan to lower your blood pressure naturally and holistically, make an appointment for your FREE 15 minute consultation. Let’s talk about how I can help you achieve your health goals. www.DrTursha.com/Free15