“Dr. Sam – my blood pressure levels are all over the place and my doctor has me on various drugs to lower it. Before the drugs, I was around 160-180 systolic and with the drugs I’m around 120-150. Sorry, I don’t remember the bottom number. Unfortunately, I feel horrible with the lower blood pressure, shouldn’t I feel better? Honestly, I felt fine with the higher blood pressure. What’s the best BP levels for me?”
This is a very important question because ⅓ of adults over the age of 20 have blood pressure problems. And the older we get, the worse the numbers become.
For example, over 60% of the population over the age of 65 has blood pressure problems. For women, it’s even worse because of menopause.2,3
Sadly, 70% of the population doesn’t even know they have a blood pressure problems, which greatly increases your risk of death by 43%, in addition to other health ailments.2,3
Now, before I get to Linda’s question, here’s a quick chart on blood pressure levels.
As you can see, anything in the red that’s over 140/90 is considered “high” blood pressure. The yellow zone is better, but still a problem.
The ideal range is in the green, which is LESS than 120/80. I prefer around 110/70.
Now, the reason I like it lower is that studies1 have found that lower than 120 mmHg Systolic (top number) caused
- 43% lower risk of cardiovascular events
- 38% lower “heart failure”
- 27% in fewer deaths
So lower is better, as long as you feel fine… and preferably done naturally – through specific diet, exercise, and supplements.
Now, getting back to Linda’s question – she feels worse with the “lower” numbers because of the prescription drugs. So, that’s the first thing I want to point out.
Secondly, she stated that she “felt fine” when her levels were higher. This is another problem with blood pressure. You feel fine because there aren’t any real symptoms. That’s why it’s known as the “silent killer”.
So if you want to live longer, lowering your blood pressure levels below 120/80 is a huge benefit and a necessity for total health. I would try to do it naturally.
- Sprint Research Group, Wright JT, Jr., Williamson JD, et al. A Randomized Trial of Intensive versus Standard Blood-Pressure Control. N Engl J Med. 2015;373(22):2103-16.