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Transgender and Intersex

Transgender people are people who experience a mismatch between their gender identity and their assigned sex. Transgender people are sometimes called transsexual if they desire medical assistance to transitionfrom one sex to another. Transgender is also an umbrella term: it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine (people who are genderqueer, e.g. bigender, pangender, genderfluid, or agender), third gender, or cross-dressers.
Being transgender is independent of sexual orientation: transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, etc., or they may consider conventional sexual orientation labels inadequate or inapplicable.
The term “transgender” can also be distinguished from “intersex”. Intersex is a term that describes people born with physical sex characteristics “that do not fit the typical description of male or female bodies”.
The degree to which individuals feel genuine, authentic, and comfortable within their external appearance, and accept their genuine identity is called “transgender cong-ruence”.
Many transgender people experience “gender dysphoria”. Gender dysphoria is the medical term used to describe people who experience significant distress with the sex and gender they were assigned at birth. Some people with gender dysphoria seek medical treatments such as hormone replacement therapy, sex reassignment surgery, or psychotherapy. Not all transgender people desire these treatments, and some cannot undergo them for financial or medical reasons.
Transgender people face discrimination and unfair treatment in many cultures and situations.
So let’s talk about intersex! As an introduction; let’s discuss some embryology. Emryology is the science that studies the development of embryos and fetuses in the womb.

The external genitalia of males and females are undifferentiated at 4 and 6 weeks of pregnancy, and then start to differentiate at 10 weeks for males and 20 weeks for females. The final illustrations are the external genitalia at birth. It is important to realize that the same initial tissue makes up different structures in males and females.
Some people have different circumstances, that prevent them from developing along the same path that others do. The results of these developments may be “intersex individuals” who have sex characteristics of both males and females.
“Intersex” is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.

Let’s have a look at some images by dr. Frank Netter. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside. Or a person may be born with genitals that seem to be in-between the usual male and female types—for example, a girl may be born with a noticeably large clitoris, or lacking a vaginal opening, or a boy may be born with a notably small penis, or with a scrotum that is divided, so that it has formed more like labia. Or a person may be born with mosaic genetics, so that some of her cells have XX chromosomes and some of them have XY.
Though we speak of intersex as an inborn condition, intersex anatomy doesn’t always show up at birth. Sometimes a person isn’t found to have intersex anatomy until they reach the age of puberty, or find themselves infertile adults, or die of old age and are autopsied. Some people live and die with intersex anatomy without anyone (including themselves) ever knowing.

Which variations of sexual anatomy count as intersex?
In practice, different people have different answers to that question. Imagine the sex spectrum as the color spectrum. There are different wavelengths that translate into colors most of us see as red, blue, orange, yellow. In the same way, nature presents us with sex anatomy spectrums. Breasts, penises, clitorises, scrotums, labia, gonads—all of these vary in size and shape.

The “sex” chromosomes can vary a lot, too. But in human cultures, sex categories get simplified into male, female, and sometimes intersex, in order to simplify social interactions.

So, nature doesn’t decide where the category of “male”,“intersex”, and “female” begin and end. Humans decide. Humans decide whether a person with XXY chromosomes or XY chromosomes and androgen insensitivity will count as intersex.

There is no evidence that children who grow up with intersex genitals are worse off psychologically, than those who are altered.

In fact, there is evidence that children who grow up with intersex genitals do well psychologically. In other words, these surgeries happen before the age of assent or consent, are unnecessary. Parents often ask for these operations because they fear discrimination against their children.
“Ambiguous” genitalia are not diseased, nor do they cause disease; they just look “funny” to some uninformed people. And this no reason to cut a child’s body parts off. A better solution would be to increase the society’s awareness about intersex.

There is substantial evidence that people who have been treated under the “optimum gender of rearing” model have suffered harm, psychological and physical.

And parents consenting to intersex surgeries do not appear to be fully informed about the available evidence, about
1-alternatives available to them;
2-about the risks associated with surgeries,
3-or about the theoretical problems underlying the “optimum gender of rearing” approach.

For example, they are typically not told the evidence that gender identity may emerge to an important degree from prenatal hormonal actions on the brain—and thus, that you can’t “make” a child a maintain a particular gender identity in the long term by doing surgery on him or her in infancy.

The best way to be a better human is to learn something new about science every day. If we all accept each other with all our differnces, the world will be a much better place. Wishing you the best of health.

Vaginismus

Vaginismus is a condition where there is involuntary tightness of the vagina during attempted intercourse. The tightness is actually caused by involuntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles surrounding the vagina. The woman does not directly control or ‘will’ the tightness to occur; it is an involuntary pelvic response. She may not even have any awareness that the muscle response is causing the tightness or penetration problem.
In some cases vaginismus tightness may begin to cause burning, pain, or stinging during intercourse. In other cases, penetration may be difficult or completely impossible. Vaginismus is the main cause of unconsummated relationships. The tightness can be so restrictive that the opening to the vagina is ‘closed off’ altogether and the man is unable to insert his penis. The pain of vaginismus ends when the sexual attempt stops, and usually intercourse must be halted due to pain or discomfort.
Types of vaginismus
When a woman has never at any time been able to have pain-free intercourse due to this muscle spasm; her condition is known as primary vaginismus. Some women with primary vaginismus are unable to wear tampons and/or complete pelvic exams. Many couples are unable to consummate their relationship due to primary vaginismus.
Vaginismus can also develop later in life, even after many years of pleasurable intercourse. This type of condition, known as secondary vaginismus, is usually precipitated by a medical condition, traumatic event, childbirth, surgery, or life-change (menopause).
Vaginismus is a common cause of ongoing sexual pain and is also the primary female cause of sexless (unconsummated) marriages. Sexual pain can affect women in all stages of life; even women who have had years of comfortable sex. While temporarily experiencing discomfort during sexual intercourse is not unusual, ongoing problems should be diagnosed and treated.

Examples of Vaginismus – In the vaginismus condition, as the man approaches the woman, her PC muscle group involuntarily tightens the vaginal entrance making intercourse painfully impossible or penetration may be successful but may result in burning, discomfort, and pain.
So, is this problem t reatable?
Vaginismus is highly treatable and a full recovery from vaginismus is the normal outcome of treatment. Successful vaginismus treatment does not require drugs, surgery, hypnosis, nor any other complex invasive technique. Following a straight-forward program, pain-free and pleasurable intercourse is attainable for most couples.

Here’s a summary of how the treatment works in 4 steps:

Step 1 – Understanding Sexual Anatomy and Vaginismus Women often lack complete information about their body’s sexual anatomy, function, and the causes of sex pain. Confusion regarding problems with inner vaginal areas and vaginal muscles frequently lead to misdiagnosis and frustration. That’s why it’s very important to start solving the vaginismus problem with anatomy and physiology education. Step 2 – Sexual History Review & Treatment StrategiesEmotional reviews help detail any negative events, feelings, or memories that may collectively contribute to involuntary pelvic responses. Topics also include blocked or hidden memories and how to move forward when there have been traumatic events in a woman’s past. In some conservative communities the problem might be more common due to the fact that raising girls with the belief that sex is a taboo will make it more difficult for them to enjoy sexuality after marriage. Step 3 – Vaginal Tightness & The Role Of Pelvic Floor Muscles Learning how to identify, selectively control, exercise and retrain the pelvic muscles to reduce pain and alleviate penetration tightness and difficulties is an important step in vaginismus treatment. Step 4– Graduated Vaginal Insertions When used properly, vaginal dilators are effective tools to further help eliminate pelvic tightness due to vaginismus. Graduated vaginal insertion exercises allow women to comfortably transition to the stage where they are ready for intercourse without pain or discomfort. // The final step toward overcoming vaginismus includes penis entry with movement and freedom from any pain or tightness.
Have patience. Do not rush it. The treatment might take weeks or months but it will eventually help you get a normal sexual life. Use relaxation techniques. Focus on breathing deeply in and out. Listen to music and think of happy things. Keep remembering that sexuality is beautiful and fulfilling and a pure expression of love.
All the best to you.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder that affects the large intestine (colon).
Spastic colon is another term for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), The term “spastic” describes spasms of muscles in the small and large intestines. But this term spastic colon isn’t always accurate, because IBS may also be associated with decreased motility/movement of the intestine.
The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome vary from person to person. The most common symptoms are:
Abdominal pain or cramping
Feeling bloated
Gas
Diarrhea or constipation — sometimes in alternating bouts.
Mucus in the stool
For most people, IBS is a chronic condition. The symptoms might get better or worse or even disappear completely over time.
But there are symptoms that may indicate a more serious condition, such as:
Rectal bleeding
Abdominal pain that progresses or occurs at night
Weight loss
Diarrhea and constipation can aggravate hemorrhoids. Also, when you avoid certain foods, you may not get enough of the nutrients your body needs.
IBS may negatively affect your quality of life, leading to discouragement or depression.
Diagnosis
Because there are usually no physical signs to definitively diagnose IBS, your doctor will diagnose it by ruling out other conditions.
If you don’t respond to that treatment, you’ll likely require more tests. So, be ready for a lengthy process of diagnostic tests sometimes, like: Imaging tests:
and Laboratory tests:
Treatments and drugs
Because it’s not clear what causes irritable bowel syndrome, treatment focuses on the relief of symptoms so that you can live as normally as possible.
In most cases, you can successfully control mild problems of irritable bowel syndrome by learning to manage stress and making changes in your diet and lifestyle. If your problems are moderate or severe, you may need more than lifestyle changes. Your doctor may suggest medications.
Dietary changes:
Eliminating high-gas foods. items as carbonated beverages, vegetables — especially cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower — and raw fruits, should be avoided.
Eliminating gluten. Research shows that some people with IBS report improvement in diarrhea symptoms if they stop eating gluten (wheat, barley and rye).
Eliminating FODMAPs. Some people are sensitive to types of carbohydrates found in certain grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy products. You may be able to get relief from your IBS symptoms on a strict low FODMAP diet and then reintroduce foods one at time. Talk to your dietitian about it.

Fiber supplements.
Anti-diarrheal medications.
Anticholinergic and antispasmodic medications.
Antidepressants.
Antibiotics.
&
Counseling.
Lifestyle and home remedies
In many cases, simple changes in your diet and lifestyle can provide relief from irritable bowel syndrome. Although your body may not respond immediately to these changes, your goal is to find long-term, not temporary, solutions:
1- Chew very well on your food. Take the time to chew your food into smaller and smaller pieces until it’s essentially a liquid before swallowing. The interaction that your saliva has with your food is very important for the digestion process. It will make
2- Experiment with fiber. Although it helps reduce constipation, it can also make gas and cramping worse.So, the best approach is to slowly increase the amount of fiber in your diet over a period of weeks. Foods that contain fiber are whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans.
3- Avoid problem foods. Keep a food diary, find out what upsets your colon, and eliminate it from your diet. If certain foods make your signs and symptoms worse, don’t eat them. These may include alcohol, chocolate, caffeinated beverages such as coffee and sodas, medications that contain caffeine, dairy products, red meat, and sugar-free sweeteners such as sorbitol or mannitol.
If gas is a problem for you, foods that might make symptoms worse include beans, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. Fatty foods also may be a problem for some people. Chewing gum or drinking through a straw can lead to swallowing air, causing more gas.
Take care with dairy products. If you’re lactose intolerant, try substituting yogurt for milk. Or use an enzyme product to help break down lactose. Consuming small amounts of milk products or combining them with other foods also may help. In some cases, though, you may need to stop eating dairy foods completely. In this case, make sure to get enough protein, calcium and B vitamins from other sources.
Herbs. Fresh Peppermint and peppermint may provide short-term relief of IBS symptoms.
Probiotics. Probiotics are “good” bacteria that normally live in your intestines and are found in certain foods, such as yogurt, and in dietary supplements. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, you may not have enough good bacteria. Adding probiotics to your diet may help ease your symptoms.
Drink plenty of fluids every day. Water is best. Alcohol and beverages that contain caffeine stimulate your intestines and can make diarrhea worse, and carbonated drinks can produce gas. So, water and herba teas are your best options.

4- Eat at regular times. Don’t skip meals. If you have diarrhea, eating small, frequent meals makes you feel better. But if you’re constipated, eating larger amounts of high-fiber foods may help move food through your intestines.
5- Exercise regularly. Exercise helps relieve depression and stress, stimulates normal contractions of your intestines, and can help you feel better about yourself. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have a medical problem.
6- Use anti-diarrheal medications and laxatives with caution. In the long run, these medications can cause problems if you don’t use them correctly. So, always check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medications, and read the patient information leaflet. You will find it packed with your medicine.
Always remember that a healthy lifestyle is the key factor to overcome IBS. All the best.

Preparing for Surgery Part1

Facing surgery can be a frightening experience. You may be having questions, fears, and doubts. Research suggests that people who prepare mentally and physically for surgery have fewer complications, less pain and recover more quickly than others.
This episode is to guide you through the preparation process for surgery.

While emotional preparation is a necessary, preparing physically is also important for a successful surgical outcome. In the 2 weeks before your surgery, you should:
Stop smoking and alcohol drinking.
Eat a healthy diet.
Avoid aspirin, vitamin E, multivitamins, or other medications that interfere with blood clotting for a week before your surgery. Discuss it with your health care provider before stopping any medication.
Exercise regularly.

Some days before surgery, you’ll be asked to attend a pre-operative assessment, which may be an appointment with a nurse or doctor. You’ll be asked questions about your health, and some medical tests will be carried out.
Make sure that you inform your doctor about all the medications, vitamins and herbal supplements you take.
You’ll be given clear information on:
whether you need to stop eating and drinking in the hours before your operation
whether you should stop taking your usual medications before going into hospital
what to bring with you into hospital
how long you’ll be statying at the hospital
If your doctor has instructed you to fast before the operation, it’s really important that you don’t eat or drink anything – this includes light snacks, sweets and water. You need an empty stomach during surgery, so you don’t vomit while you’re under anaesthetic.
If you take insulin because of diabetes you’ll still need to avoid eating and drinking before surgery, but make sure your medical team is aware of your condition.

You’ll need to remove all body piercings, make-up and nail polish before your operation. This can help to reduce unwanted bacteria being brought into the hospital. Also, the doctors will need to see your skin and nails to make sure your blood circulation is healthy during the opeartion.

If you’re staying in hospital, you may wish to pack a hospital bag.

You may want to check with your hospital about their policy on the use of electronic devices during your hospital stay.

Let your surgeon know if you develop a cough, cold or fever a few days before surgery. They’ll advise whether your operation can go ahead.

You should avoid certain foods and dietary supplements before surgery.
having food in your system may cause nausea and vomiting, which can be dangerous. Some foods may complicate intestinal surgeries or cause diarrhea. In addition to this, Your doctor or surgeon will give you diet advice prior to surgery.
The night before your surgery, you should only drink beverages you can see through. Your body will digest these drinks quickly so your digestive system is cleared for surgery. Avoid juice with pulp, coffee with cream, cola and milk.
While fibrous foods are normally healthy for your body, you should not consume them prior to surgery. Fiber takes a longer period of time for your body to break down and your bowels need to be cleared out before surgery. Avoid high-fiber foods such as whole-wheat pasta, oatmeal, whole-grain bread, beans and lentils, artichokes, peas and broccoli, raspberries, pears, apples and oranges.
Your doctor may recommend that you stop taking any supplements one week before surgery.

Bartholin Gland Cyst

When I was a teenager, I had very little information about my body. My mother was too shy to open up and talk to me about my sexual develeopment. There was no Internet, and no books available to answer my questions.
One morning I was washing my body, them I usddently stumbled upon a very strange pea sized swelling right at the opening of my vagina. I was 14 or so. I was mortified. I was scared to tell my mother. I spent days trying to figure out what I’d done wrong, or thinking maybe I had cancer!

It turned out to be a Brtholon cyst.
What are the Bartholin glands?
The Bartholin glands are two small organs under the skin in a woman’s genital area. They are on either side of the folds of skin (labia) that surround the vagina and urethra. Most of the time, you can’t feel or see the Bartholin glands.
The Bartholin glands make a small amount of fluid that moistens the outer genital area, or vulva. This fluid comes out of two tiny tubes next to the opening of the vagina. These tubes are called Bartholin ducts.
What are Bartholin gland cysts?
If a Bartholin duct gets blocked, fluid builds up in the gland. The blocked gland is called a Bartholin gland cyst. These cysts can range in size from a pea to a large marble. If the Bartholin gland or duct gets infected, it’s called a Bartholin gland abscess.
Bartholin gland cysts are often small and painless. Some go away without treatment. But if you have symptoms, you might want treatment. If the cyst is infected, you will need treatment.
What causes a Bartholin gland cyst?
Things like an infection, thick mucus, or swelling can block a Bartholin gland duct and cause a cyst.
Infected Bartholin cysts are sometimes caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs). But they can also happen when you don’t have sex.
What are the symptoms?
You may not have any symptoms if the Bartholin gland cyst is small. But a large cyst or an infected cyst (abscess) can cause symptoms.
Symptoms of a cyst that is not infected include:
A painless lump in the vulva area.
Redness or swelling in the vulva area.
Discomfort when you walk, sit, or have sex.
Symptoms of an infected cyst include:
Pain that gets worse and makes it hard to walk, sit, or move around.
Fever and chills.
Swelling in the vulva area.
Drainage from the cyst.
How are Bartholin gland cysts diagnosed?
You may find a Bartholin gland cyst on your own. Unless it is causing symptoms, you may not know you have one.
An abscess is diagnosed based on signs of infection, such as fever or swelling, and pain in the vulva area.
In some cases, especially if you are older, your doctor may remove the cyst to make sure that it isn’t cancer or another problem.
How are they treated?
Some Bartholin gland cysts go away without treatment. You can take a nonprescription pain medicine to relieve pain. To help healing, soak the area in a shallow, warm bath, or a sitz bath.
A sitz bath is one in which the hips and buttocks are put in water. It is usually used to promote healing and symptom relief around the bottom, such as for hemorrhoids, or genitals, such as for pain following childbirth.
There are different types of sitz baths to choose from, many of which can be purchased at medical supply stores. A common type is a basin that fits on a toilet seat and is filled with water.

Don’t have sex while a Bartholin cyst is healing.
If the cyst is infected, it may break open and start to heal on its own after 3 to 4 days. But if the cyst is painful, your doctor may drain it. You may also need to take antibiotics to treat the infection.
To keep the cyst from closing and filling up again, your doctor may put a small drainage tube with a small balloon at one end inside the cyst. The balloon is inflated inside the cyst to keep the cyst open. After the gland has healed, the tube and balloon are removed.
For severe cysts that keep coming back, you may have surgery to remove the Bartholin gland and duct.
There is a procedure called marsu-pia-lization in which a pouch is created by making a cut over the cyst and stitching the sides together. This allows the cyst to drain.
Don’t be scared of your bartholin gland.
All the best.

Tips for Healthy Eyes

When you’re seeing well and have no irritation, it’s easy to forget about going to the eye doctor. Often, if you wait until you notice an eye problem, it can be too late.
I have 7 tips to help you protect your eye health.

1. Get Regular Eye Exams
Children should have their first eye exam between the ages of 6 and 12 months, then regular eye exams at school age. It’s important to detect visual problems that could impede a child’s ability to learn.
Adults, especially those over 40, should have yearly eye exams, particularly to prevent age-related ocular conditions including macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.
2. Let Your Eye Doctor Know Your Health History
Be sure your optometrist or ophthalmologist knows about what’s medically relevant. There’s a connection between illnesses in the body and eye issues. Hypertension, blood pressure and diabetes can all be detected by looking in the back of the eye.
3. Control the Air Quality in Your Home or Office
In the winter, the heating systems in homes and offices create dry air. Consider using a portable humidifier to keep the air moist, which will help prevent eye irritation caused by dryness. If you have a pet, keeping their hair off areas where you sit or lie down, like couches and chairs, is important as well. Pet hairs can track in other irritants from outside that can cause inflammation in the eyes.
4. Give Your Eyes a Break from the Computer Screen
Taking the following steps to protect your eyes:
Make sure your glasses or contact lenses are adequate for computer use.
Some people may need glasses to help with contrast, glare, and eye strain when using a computer.
Position your computer so that your eyes are level with the top of the monitor. This allows you to look slightly down at the screen.
Try to avoid glare on your computer from windows and lights. Use an anti-glare screen if needed.
If your eyes are dry, blink more.
Every 20 minutes, rest your eyes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds. At least every 2 hours, get up and take a 15-minute break.
5. Eat Right for Your Eyes
Dark leafy greens and dark berries can protect against macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 60. Foods rich in omega-3s, like walnuts and fresh cold-water fish, can reduce inflammation in the blood vessels of the eye.
6. Protect Your Eyes
Wear sunglasses with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. And protect your children’s eyes as well. Clean your contact lens case: After you put in your contacts, be sure that the case is empty of all solution: Dump it out, then rinse and dry the case before you store your lenses in it again. This will prevent bactria from growing in it. Choose good quality makup and never use it inside your eyes. Throw away mascara 3 months after the opening date.
7. Be Prepared While Travelling
While flying, your eyes might feel dry. If you are a frequent traveller, be ready with eye drops (artifical tears)
If you waer glasses or lenses, take an extra pair of lenses and your glasses, just in case. And while you’re on vacation, avoid swimming with your contact lenses, to avoid the effect of chemicals and bacteria in the water on them.

All the best to you.

Q & A | A Guy Who Hates Condoms

I hate condoms. Can’t I just risk it?
In this world, you will have to choose between protecting yourself, or catching a STD that could be very painful, embarrasing or even life-threatening. You may also want to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
If you’re sleeping with a new or casual partner and they’ve not been tested don’t risk anything. An hour of fun is just not worth a lifetime of suffering afterwards.

Blood Pressure

When you go the doctor to get your blood pressure measured, you will hear two numbers, for example; 120/80. What do those numbers mean?

In order to understand the subject of blood pressure, we first have to know some information about the circulatory system (cardiovascular system).

The circulatory system is made up of organs that work together: the heart; lungs; blood vessels; and blood.

The heart, blood, and blood vessels make up the cardiovascular component of the circulatory system.

The heart is a muscle the size of your fist. It constantly pumps blood through the blood vessels. The blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the body’s organs and drops off waste products to be filtered out by the kidneys, liver, lungs, and skin.

Each heart beat pushes blood out of the heart into the arteries, then the heart relaxes while getting ready for the next pumping beat. So, in fact we observe two actions here: contraction and relaxation.
The contraction is called systole, and the relaxation: diastole.

The blood pressure is the amount of pressure exerted on your artery walls by the blood flowing into them, under the effect of the heart’s pumping action. Now let’s see, if the heart contracts to push the blood forward, this must be causing a higher pressure on the artery walls than when it relaxes, right? Exactly! So there are actually two readings for the blood pressure in one person: one while the heart contracts, which causes the higher pressure value: called systolic pressure; and the other when the heart relaxes/rests, called the diastolic pressure.

The systolic pressure is the upper/higher one, and the diastolic is the lower one.

Now let’s have a further look at the measurement unit of blood pressure. We say for example that my blood pressure is 120/80 mm of mercury. Which means that the blood presses on the walls of the arteries with the same pressure of a 1-mm thick column of mercury with the height of, say 120 mm, which is “the value we read”.

A sphygmomanometer and a stethoscope are devices used to record your blood pressure.

A sphygmomanometer consists of an inflatable cuff, a measuring unit (the mercury manometer, or aneroid gauge), and a mechanism for inflation which may be a manually operated bulb and valve or a pump operated electrically.

The cuff is normally placed to fit around an upper arm, at roughly the same vertical height as the heart while the subject is seated with the arm supported. It is essential that the correct size of cuff is selected for the patient. For clinical measurements it is usual to measure and record both arms in the initial consultation to determine if the pressure is significantly higher in one arm than the other. The cuff is inflated until the artery is completely occluded.
Using a stethoscope, we listen to the brachial artery at the elbow, the examiner slowly releases the pressure in the cuff. As the pressure in the cuffs falls, a “whooshing” or pounding sound is heard (see Korotkoff sounds) when blood flow first starts again in the artery. The pressure at which this sound began is noted and recorded as the systolic blood pressure. The cuff pressure is further released until the sound can no longer be heard. This is recorded as the diastolic blood pressure. We can also palpate/feel the radial pulse to make sure of the lower reading.
The top number (the systolic blood pressure) is considered a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people above 50 years of age. In most people, systolic blood pressure rises steadily with age due to increasing stiffness of large arteries and long-term build-up of plaque due to unhelathy eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle.
A single high reading does not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure. However, if readings stay at 140/90 mm Hg or above (systolic 140 or above OR diastolic 90 or above) over time, this is a sign that you should start a treatment program. Such a program almost always includes lifestyle changes and often prescription medication for those with readings of 140/90 or higher.
If, while monitoring your blood pressure, you get a systolic reading of 180 mm Hg or higher OR a diastolic reading of 110 mm HG or higher, wait a couple of minutes and take it again. If the reading is still at or above that level, you should seek immediate emergency medical treatment for a hypertensive crisis.
Starting at age 20, it is recommended to do a blood pressure screening every 2 years.

Even if your blood pressure is normal, you should consider making lifestyle modifications to prevent the development of HBP and improve your heart health.
For more on blood pressure, please tune into iUnerstand.tv (afham.tv)
All the best.