What Can I Do If My Blood Pressure Goes Up Right Before Doctors Visits
Have you ever heard of white coat syndrome? Its what happens when you typically have normal-ranged blood pressure but significantly higher blood pressure in medical settings like hospitals or doctors offices. This is often caused by feeling nervousness or anxiety around medical settings. Unfortunately, this means your health provider might think your blood pressure is higher than it really is.
White coat syndrome isnt uncommon. In fact, one study suggests that 15% to 30% of people who have high blood pressure readings might suffer from white coat syndrome. In cases like these, some patients wonder whether its possible to quickly lower their blood pressure before a reading. If youre in this situation, the safest and most effective thing you can do is try your best to relax.
Here are a few relaxation methods you can try:
If you or your doctor suspect white coat syndrome, your doctor may send you home with a blood pressure monitor that will check your blood pressure periodically throughout a normal day. This gives a more accurate reading of what your blood pressure really is and helps the doctor figure out whether the stress of a physical trip to a medical facility is affecting you.
Which Blood Thinner Is Best For You
Its hard to say one is better or worse, because there isnt that much data comparing them to one anotherweve mainly compared them against warfarin, says Jonathan Halperin, M.D., a professor of cardiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
But there are differences you may want to ask your doctor about. For instance, apixaban was associated with the lowest risk of major bleeding in a 2016 study published in the journal Chest, and the lowest risk of gastrointestinal bleeding in elderly adults compared with dabigatran and rivaroxaban in a study published in the journal Gastroenterology in 2017.
Dabigatran carries an approximately 10 percent risk of heartburn so severe that patients have to switch drugs, Noseworthy says. And it cant be crushed, a problem if you have difficulty taking pills.
What Can I Expect If I Have This Condition
Since high blood pressure doesnt cause many symptoms at first, you probably wont feel any different with a high blood pressure diagnosis. But its important to follow your providers instructions to bring your blood pressure down so it doesnt cause serious illnesses later in life.
How long does high blood pressure last?
If you have primary high blood pressure, youll need to control it for the rest of your life.
If you have secondary high blood pressure, your blood pressure will most likely come down after you receive treatment for the medical problem that caused it. If a medication caused your high blood pressure, switching to a different medicine may lower your blood pressure.
What is the outlook for high blood pressure?
You can get seriously ill if you dont treat your high blood pressure. However, if you take the medicines your provider ordered, you can control your blood pressure. Exercising and eating healthy foods also helps lower your blood pressure.
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Treating High Blood Pressure
Treatment for high blood pressure will depend on your blood pressure levels and your associated risk of developing a cardiovascular disease, such as a heart attack or stroke.
There are seven main risk factors for developing a cardiovascular disease. These are:
- having a high level of cholesterol in your blood
- having a family history of cardiovascular disease .
Eliquis Side Effects And How To Avoid Them
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Eliquis is a brand-name blood thinner that reduces the risk of a stroke or blood clots in people with a condition known as atrial fibrillation . It also helps reduce blood clots in those whove recently had hip or knee replacement surgery. Your healthcare provider may prescribe Eliquis to treat or prevent pulmonary embolism , which are blood clots in the lungs, or deep vein thrombosis blood clots most commonly in the legs. As a blood thinner, Eliquis is associated with some serious side effects. Your healthcare provider will determine whether its right for you, but here are some Eliquis side effects to be aware of.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Provider
- Are there supplements or non-prescription medicines that I shouldnt take?
- Can I keep taking these medicines if I get pregnant?
- What kinds of exercise should I do?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
If you dont treat high blood pressure, it can put you at risk for developing serious illnesses later in life such as heart attack, kidney failure and stroke. But if you follow your providers instructions, you can control your blood pressure. Be sure to take any medicines your provider ordered as instructed. Keep taking them even if your blood pressure numbers begin to fall into the normal range. Living a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy foods, watching your weight and getting regular exercise is also a great way to help control your blood pressure.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/21/2021.
Eat More Foods High In Magnesium
A small study in the International Journal of Hypertension found magnesium supplementation can reduce blood pressure in small amountsNguyen H, Odelola OA, Rangaswami J, Amanullah A. A Review of Nutritional Factors in Hypertension Management. International Journal of Hypertension. 2013 698940. . Talk to your doctor before taking magnesium supplements, especially if you have kidney disease. You can also safely incorporate high-magnesium foods into your diet. Dr. Desai recommends foods like leafy green vegetables and unsalted almonds.
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How Does Eliquis Affect Inr
Eliquis can increase your international normalized ratio .
INR is used to describe the results of a lab test called prothrombin time . PT monitors your bloods ability to clot while youre taking a different anticoagulant drug called warfarin . The dosage of warfarin is adjusted based on your INR.
However, unlike warfarin, your Eliquis dosage doesnt need to be adjusted based on your INR. Therefore, you wont have your INR checked while youre taking Eliquis. However, if youre switching between Eliquis and warfarin, your doctor may measure your INR before you make the switch.
If youre switching from warfarin to Eliquis, your INR should be below 2.0. If youre switching from Eliquis to warfarin, your doctor will determine the appropriate INR level for switching.
Primary High Blood Pressure
While the specific cause of primary high blood pressure remains unknown, there is compelling evidence to suggest that a number of risk factors increase your chances of developing the condition.
These risk factors include:
- age – the risk of developing high blood pressure increases as you get older
- a family history of high blood pressure – the condition seems to run in families
- being of Afro-Caribbean or South Asian origin
- high-fat diet
- high amount of salt in your diet
- lack of exercise
- excessive alcohol consumption
A number of health conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease, have also been linked to an increase risk of developing primary high blood pressure.
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What Patients Need To Know About Blood Thinners
Blood thinners, or anticoagulants, can be a lifesaving medication for many people. They prevent blood from getting too thick and prevent clots from forming, which can reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack. They can also help slow the growth of any existing clots.
There are many types of prescription blood thinnerssome that have been available for decades and some that are newer medications. A variety of factors can impact which blood thinner should be used, and your Oklahoma Heart Hospital physician will prescribe the best option for your specific needs. Some options for blood thinners include warfarin , Lovenox, Heparin, Pradaxa, Eliquis, and Xarelto.
Do Compression Socks Raise Low Blood Pressure
“Compression socks increase the blood return to the heart, which helps to raise the overall blood pressure,” says Keyes. This is critical for anyone who is experiencing blood pooling in the legs, which frequently occurs with orthostatic hypotension.
However, Keyes says it’s important to talk to your doctor before wearing compression stockings, since they may not be recommended in the presence of other health conditions, such as certain forms of heart failure and peripheral vascular disease.
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How Does Blood Pressure Work
Blood pressure is the force against blood vessel walls as the heart pumps blood. When the heart squeezes and pushes blood into the vessels, blood pressure goes up. It comes down when the heart relaxes.
Blood pressure changes from minute to minute. It’s affected by activity and rest, body temperature, diet, emotions, posture, and medicines.
Keep Your Md Updated On Lifestyle Changes
Your lifestyle will play a role in your doctors decision to prescribe blood thinners or not. Most people who take a blood thinner on an empty stomach at the same time every day and follow a relatively stable diet will do fine, Dr. Garcia says. But he also recommends drinking alcohol only in moderation. Binge drinking could cause drastic fluctuations in how long it takes your blood to clot, and could also lead to falls or accidents, which could increase the risk of blood thinner side effects, like excessive bleeding. Elderly people who live alone are at increased risk for falling and injuring themselves, so blood thinners may not be right for them. Instead, Garcia says, doctors may recommend an aspirin.
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Sudden Spike In Blood Pressure Can Be Serious
Blood pressure is a measurement of the force that blood applies to your arterial walls as it pumps from your heart throughout your body. It also represents how hard your heart is working to push the blood. When blood pressure is higher, it means the heart must work harder to push blood through your system. In turn, the risk of heart disease or heart attack increases.
According to 2014 data, high blood pressure accounts for roughly 1,100 deaths every day in the United States, and only about half of all people with high blood pressure have it under control.
Disturbingly, most people may not even be aware that they have the condition, or are at least on the verge of becoming hypertensive. Some risk factors for high blood pressure include:
- Eating a high sodium/low potassium diet
- Not getting enough exercise/physical activity
- Overactive thyroid
- Overactive adrenal glands
A normal blood pressure is in the range of 120 mmHg/80 mmHg . The higher number represents systolic blood pressure and the lower represents diastolic. Prehypertension arises when systolic and diastolic pressures exceed these numbers, and hypertensionor high blood pressurearises when blood pressure reaches 140 mmHg/90mmHg.
Sometimes, however, something causes blood pressure to spike unexpectedlyand the higher your resting blood pressure is, the greater your risk of suffering a severe cardiac event becomes. Therefore, knowing how to lower blood pressure fast is very important.
Other Factors That Can Affect Your Blood Pressure
Now you know that blood pressure after eating may increase or decrease. It is also important to know other factors that can also affect blood pressure readings. These include:
1. Small Blood Pressure Cuff
You have to make sure that when your blood pressure is measured, the size of cuff fits your arm circumference. If you use a cuff that is too small, it can lead to an error blood pressure reading which will increase 10-40 mm Hg for the systolic result.
2. Cuff Placed over Clothing
It is very important that the cuff of the blood pressure machine is placed directly on the arm and not over clothes. Putting the cuff over clothes can cause the blood pressure readings to increase 10-50 mm Hg.
3. Inadequate Rest Before Measurement
To measure blood pressure accurately, the patient must sit in a comfortable chair for around five minutes before measurement. The atmosphere should be calm and peaceful, and no physical activity should be carried out prior to the measurements.
4. Improper Position
The feet, arms, and the back should be properly positioned while taking the blood pressure measurements. It is estimated that an unsupported back can increase the diastolic measurements by 6 mm Hg, while crossing of the legs will also result in a similar increase. What’s more, putting your arms below your heart level will cause a lower reading result.
5. Heightened Emotions
10. Urge to Urinate
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Eat Healthy High Protein Foods
A long-term study concluded in 2014 found that people who ate more protein had a lower risk of high blood pressure. For those who ate an average of 100 grams of protein per day, there was a 40 percent lower risk of having high blood pressure than those on a low protein diet .
Those who also added regular fiber into their diet saw up to a 60 percent reduction of risk.
However, a high protein diet may not be for everyone. Those with kidney disease may need to use caution. Its best to talk with your doctor.
Its fairly easy to consume 100 grams of protein daily on most types of diets.
A 3.5-ounce serving of salmon can have as much as 22 grams of protein, while a 3.5-ounce serving of chicken breast might contain 30 grams of protein.
With regard to vegetarian options, a half-cup serving of most types of beans contains 7 to 10 grams of protein. Two tablespoons of peanut butter would provide 8 grams .
These supplements are readily available and have demonstrated promise for lowering blood pressure:
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid
A meta-analysis of fish oil and blood pressure found a mean blood pressure reduction in those with high blood pressure of 4.5 mm Hg systolic and 3.0 mm Hg diastolic .
This protein complex derived from milk may have several health benefits in addition to possibly lowering blood pressure .
How Blood Pressure Is Controlled
When the heart contracts, the blood inside the left ventricle is forced out into the aorta and arteries. The blood then enters small vessels with muscular walls, called arterioles. The tone in the muscular walls of the arterioles determines how relaxed or constricted they are. If narrowed, they resist flow.Reduced flow of blood is detected in the brain, the kidneys and elsewhere. Nerve reflexes are stimulated and hormones are then produced. The heart is induced to beat more forcefully so that blood pressure is maintained at a higher level, to overcome the restricted flow through the arterioles. The achievement of good flow eases possible problems for function of the brain and kidneys.These adjustments occur normally. However, in some people the adjustments become fixed and high blood pressure persists. These people have developed hypertension.
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Tips For Making Healthy Lifestyle Changes
If you suffer with high blood pressure, its easy to feel intimidated by the changes you need to make in order to improve your health. While some people may only need to work on one or two areas to reduce their blood pressuregetting more exercise or quitting smoking, for examplemost of us find that we need to improve our habits in at least 3 or 4 areas. But even if you smoke, drink heavily, are overweight, stressed out, sedentary, and eat nothing but junk and processed food, that doesnt mean you have to tackle everything all at once. Making lots of different lifestyle changes at the same time can be overwhelming. And when we feel overwhelmed, its easy to opt for doing nothing rather than doing something.
Start gradually and make one or two changes to begin with. Once those changes have become habit, you can tackle one or two more, and so on. For example, you may decide to start by giving up smokingand adopting some relaxation techniques to help with the stress of quittingthen move on to losing weight or improving your diet.
Lose the all or nothing thinking. Doing something, no matter how small, is always better than doing nothing. If youre eating healthy food during the week, for example, then resorting to takeouts at the weekends, your blood pressure and overall health will still be in better shape than if you were eating takeout every day.
How To Get Blood Pressure Down To 120
A new study links reducing blood pressure with lower risk of heart attack and stroke
Exercising and reducing salt can get blood pressure into the normal range
Patients taking several blood pressure medications may be able to add more
Doctors have long known that systolic blood pressure below 120 was considered normal and meant a lower risk of heart disease and kidney problems. But they would often only treat patients if that top number crept above 140, the threshold for officially having high blood pressure.
Recent findings from a large National Institutes of Health study now suggest that its worth treating patients in that prehypertension gray area of 120 to 140, in order to bring them down into the normal range.
The findings, which have not yet been published and are still preliminary, found lower rates of heart attack, stroke and death among people with high blood pressure who brought that top number down to 120. In order to reach that goal, study participants in the 120 group took an average of three blood pressure medications, whereas the 140 group took two medications.
This is notable because there a lot of people out there with blood pressure in the 130s that we might previously have left alone, but if the results of this trial as we think they are, it might be reason to try to get them to 120, said Dr. John D. Bisognano, professor of medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center and president-elect of the American Society of Hypertension.
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