Perhaps trying to figure out what ideal blood pressure is, is a fool’s search, but I am such a fool. When I read about health recommendations on such things as personal weight, or BMI, or exercise, or what to eat, there is a massive amount of documented information, and most of it is directly contradicted by some other well-documented information. The same problem applies to blood pressure.
Until as recently as 1977, when the first official guidelines were formulated for blood pressure, doctors were saying systolic blood pressure should be 100 plus your age. Then the accepted goal was changed to 140/90 but just this March 2019 the new goal, based on research using new drugs, was declared to be below 120/80. One might wonder who paid for that research based on manipulating blood pressure with drugs?
About twenty years ago, when I occasionally drove a 96-year-old friend of mine to visit her doctor, she came out one day saying everything was fine because her blood pressure was 196 which she was told was just perfect for her age.
That sounded ridiculous to me, but what am I to do? What’s any ordinary person to do, when a doctor makes a statement, but submit? What I did do with this present post is to find what appear to be sources of authoritative information, choose those with boundaries and then pick the middle number between the boundaries. That’s how the title of this blog post was created. That method generates an exact number.
However, it is obvious that every one of the 7.7 billion people on the planet at this time, or any time, will have unique qualities that will push their needs away from any fixed ideal number. The problem is no one knows what their ideal number really is, and furthermore, that number changes every minute because the demands on one’s body change every minute depending on the exact thing that it is encountering. That new situation constantly requires an adjustment, which the body was designed to optimize by the process of survival and reproduction of the generally best adapted of one’s ancestors.
Our clearly human ancestors have been around for a hundred thousand years, or five million years if we include chimps, or half a billion years if we include those with blood flow systems. Thus, there has been plenty of time for what became our species to experiment with optimizing their DNA and to genetically load our living DNA with what works, and to let get weeded out what didn’t work as well. The shortened idea of that line of reasoning is that if you are alive now, and reading this, you are a survivor of that process. Yippee.
Unfortunately, no matter who you are and how perfect, or imperfect, you appear to yourself, or to other people, your body is trying to move toward what it considers to be perfect. The myriad processes that got you here have programmed you to strive for that better place. Thus, there are something like 7.7 billion people right now trying to adapt to what their body thinks is ideal.
Perhaps you see the problem with such a bounty of bodies seeking perfection, and yet there is no clear published ideal of perfection to be aimed for with our voluntary lifestyle, only … below 120/80. There is no statement of how far below that recently declared upper level. Below systolic of 95 can be an indicator the person is dying, if their pressure is usually much higher, and that’s close to my stated near ideal systolic. Hmm? However, there can be generated a central point for a very healthy person that is probably close to an ideal and which would rarely be far enough away from their genetically perfected ideal to create a problem.
Using that line of inquiry, the Ideal blood pressure for someone who has recently walked, but is now sitting and rested for five minutes is 105/70. Adding or subtracting 5 points from those numbers would mean that 110/70 to 100/70, or 105/75 to 105/65 would be so close to the unknowable ideal as to be undetectable and insignificant. Strangely, this method of choosing an ideal would mean by the pre-1977 rule of thumb, 100 plus your age that our ideal would be the blood pressure of children.
Even with this broad definition of what is acceptably close enough to an ideal blood pressure to be called near-ideal, there don’t seem to be many Americans who presently qualify. A year ago I squeezed into that zone occasionally and did so more consistently when I weighed ten pounds less than what I presently weigh. That becomes a motivation for me to get seriously back into line with my intermittent fasting way of life. That is easy to do. I just limit all eating to a six-hour window. After staying within those time limits for a week my body is not hungry and is perfectly comfortable all the time.
105/70 may not be the ideal blood pressure, but it is close enough to be called near ideal blood pressure.