Diastolic Blood Pressure
As blood is pumped from your heart into your blood vessels, enough diastolic blood pressure is created to send it to all other parts of your body. As blood vessels travel away from the heart, they branch off and gradually get smaller, just like tree branches. One branch may go to the brain, while another may go to your kidneys. Diastolic blood pressure keeps the blood flowing through all these branches so your body's cells get the oxygen and nutrients they need and waste matter can be removed.
If the diastolic pressure is too low (known as hypotension or low blood pressure), the blood is not able to bring oxygen and nutrients to all the body's cells and remove waste matter. This can cause the cells to die. The diastolic blood pressure is considered low when the blood pressure reading is below 60.
If the diastolic blood pressure is too high, a person is said to have high blood pressure, which is also known as hypertension. High blood pressure means that the diastolic blood pressure reading is higher than 90.
In people with high blood pressure, the small blood vessels in the vital organs are most affected over time. These blood vessels become scarred, hardened, and less elastic, which means that they are more likely to get blocked or rupture (leading to organ damage or even organ failure). This may happen as you get older, whether or not your blood pressure is too high. High blood pressure can speed up this process, so maintaining a normal blood pressure is a vital part of reducing the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or organ damage.
A person with a diastolic blood pressure reading between 80 and 89 has a condition called prehypertension.
About 1 percent of people with high blood pressure do not seek medical care until their high blood pressure symptoms are severe. This is known as malignant hypertension. In malignant hypertension, the diastolic blood pressure often exceeds 140 mmHg. People with malignant high blood pressure symptoms may experience:
When the diastolic blood pressure becomes this severe, emergency hospitalization and lowering of blood pressure are required to prevent brain bleeding or stroke.