Your vital signs show how well your body is functioning. They are usually measured at doctor's offices, often as part of a health checkup, or during an emergency room visit. They include
- Blood pressure, which measures the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Blood pressure that is too high or too low can cause problems. Your blood pressure has two numbers. The first number is the pressure when your heart beats and is pumping the blood. The second is from when your heart is at rest, between beats. A normal blood pressure reading for adults is lower than 120/80 and higher than 90/60.
- Heart rate, or pulse, which measures how fast your heart is beating. A problem with your heart rate may be an arrhythmia. Your normal heart rate depends on factors such as your age, how much you exercise, whether you are sitting or standing, which medicines you take, and your weight.
- Respiratory rate, which measures your breathing. Mild breathing changes can be from causes such as a stuffy nose or hard exercise. But slow or fast breathing can also be a sign of a serious breathing problem.
- Temperature, which measures how hot your body is. A body temperature that is higher than normal (over 98.6 degrees F) is called a fever.
Source: MedLinePlus (NIH)1
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Vital Signs: The signs of life that may be monitored or measured, namely pulse rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, and blood pressure.2
Read about these related anatomy topics:
Read about these related symptoms:
- Pressure: Pressure is a general symptom description that can mean a number of different symptoms. In particular, in may refer to either a physical symptom or to a mental symptom of
... More on Pressure »
- Pulse rhythm symptoms: Pulse rhythm symptoms are where the pulse has an unusual pattern. It may be faster (tachycardia), slower (bradycardia), an irregular heartbeat, or have some other pattern. Disorders of the heart
... More on Pulse rhythm symptoms »
- Weight symptoms: Weight symptoms refer to gain or loss of body weight. Weight loss has various causes ranging from harmless (e.g. recent changes in activity or eating habits) to serious (e
... More on Weight symptoms »
- Nasal congestion: Nasal congestion refers to the well-known situation of having a runny nose and/or a blocked nose. Other common descriptions included a “stuffed nose” or “stuffy nose”. Medical names
... More on Nasal congestion »
- Breathing Difficulty: Breathing difficulty, also called “dyspnea”, refers to any kind of difficulty with breathing, including any pain or discomfort on breathing. Although it can have simple causes (e.g. poor physical
... More on Breathing Difficulty »
Related Symptom Topics
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- Source: MedLinePlus (NIH): medlineplus.gov/ vitalsigns.html
- Source: MeSH (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.