What Do My Vital Signs Actually Mean?
Every medical appointment starts with the taking of your vitals. Why is that? Do you know what they mean?
At LFHC we want you to know why we start with your vitals and what they should mean to you!
Each of these are a measurement that indicates how your body is doing. Everyone is different and ranges fluctuate, if we take vitals at each visit, we are better able to determine what your baseline is. So, if you do come in sick – we are better able to determine how your body is responding to your illness.
The heart flexes and relaxes to move blood throughout our body. When flexed, the heart is under a higher amount of pressure. The top number reflects the pressure your heart is under when flex. The bottom number is the pressure your heart is under when relaxed. It is important to know how much stress your heart is under on a regular basis. That is why the bottom number is so important. Like all muscles, your heart needs to be able to relax. High pressures for extended period of time wear out and weaken the heart muscle. If weak, it pumps less efficiently.
Normal Range: 120 / 80 per the American Heart Association
Heart rate tells us how many times your heart flexes in a minute. This gives us an idea of how hard your heart is working. The heart is evaluated for regularity, rhythm and rate.
Normal Range: 60 – 100 beats per minute per the American Heart Association
We all know we need oxygen. After we breath, the oxygen is transported throughout our body in the blood. The small reader we attached to your finger is called and oximeter and gives us the % of oxygen circulating in your blood.
Normal Range: 95-100% per the American Heart Association
Body temperature gives and indication to many things such as infection and thyroid function.
Normal Range: 97.8-99 degrees F per the American Heart Association
Weight & Height / Body Mass Index:
Height and weight need to be evaluated together. Body Mass Index(BMI) is derived from a calculation of these measurements. However, it is important to note that BMI does not take into consideration your overall build. Are you muscular vs slight in frame….? Never look at one of these measurements without looking at your overall body composition.
Normal Range: 18.5-25 per the CDC