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What Causes Blood Pressure To Fluctuate Dramatically

Tips To Manage Blood Pressure Fluctuations Naturally

What Causes Fluctuating Blood Pressure? | Ask the Doctor

In order to manage your blood pressure fluctuations, its important to understand their cause. For example, avoiding trigger foods, staying well hydrated, reducing your LDL cholesterol, preventing illness and fever, watching your caffeine intake, and reducing stress naturally can all help better manage your blood pressure fluctuations.

Generally, to maintain healthy blood pressure, its important to quit smoking, reduce alcohol intake, eat healthy meals, exercise regularly, reduce stress, sleep well, and maintain a healthy weight. By making these healthy lifestyle adjustments you can achieve healthier blood pressure readings.

Myth: I Read That Wine Is Good For The Heart Which Means I Can Drink As Much As I Want

If you drink alcohol, including red wine, do so in moderation. Heavy and regular use of alcohol can increase blood pressure dramatically. It can also cause heart failure, lead to stroke and produce irregular heartbeats. Too much alcohol can contribute to high triglycerides, cancer, obesity, alcoholism, suicide and accidents. If you drink, limit consumption to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. Generally, one drink equals a 12-ounce beer, a four-ounce glass of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor, or one ounce of hard liquor .

You Shouldnt Ignore White Coat Hypertension

Some people experience white coat hypertension, when blood pressure is elevated in the doctors office but not in other settings. These patients need to monitor their blood pressure at home or wear an ambulatory blood pressure monitor that takes your blood pressure every 30 minutes for 24 hours.

While white coat hypertension was formerly considered simple nervousness, recent research suggests otherwise.

A study published in the journal Hypertension found that people with white coat hypertension are at a significantly greater risk for developing sustained high blood pressure than people who have normal blood pressure. One possible explanation is that people with white coat hypertension have a harder time managing stress and anxiety.

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Classification Of Blood Pressure

Blood pressure in adults is classified as normal, elevated blood pressure, stage 1 hypertension, or stage 2 hypertension.

However, the higher the blood pressure, the greater the risk of complicationseven within the normal blood pressure rangeso these limits are somewhat arbitrary.

A hypertensive urgency is diastolic blood pressure that is more than 120 mm Hg but has not yet caused any organ damage that is apparent to people or their doctors. A hypertensive urgency usually does not cause symptoms.

A hypertensive emergency is a particularly severe form of high blood pressure. Diastolic blood pressure is at least 120 mm Hg, and there is evidence of progressive damage in one or more vital organs , often accompanied by a variety of symptoms. Hypertensive emergencies are uncommon, but they are several times more common among blacks than among whites, among men than among women, and among people in lower socioeconomic groups than among those in higher socioeconomic groups. If untreated, a hypertensive emergency can be fatal.

Limb Not Adequality Positionned

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Errors in the readings and the pumping process could also appear if the arm is not properly positioned relative to the heart. The Blood Pressure Monitor should be at the heart level, and you should ideally be still and seated. This is especially important with wrist blood pressure monitors. You will need to raise your arm to reach the heart level slightly.

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Types Of Autonomic Disorders

Physicians at NYU Langones Dysautonomia Center are experienced at recognizing the many types of autonomic disorders. The autonomic nervous system regulates the function of the bodys internal organs, such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and body temperature. People with an autonomic disorder have trouble regulating one or more of these systems, which can result in fainting, lightheadedness, fluctuating blood pressure, and other symptoms.

Autonomic nervous system disorders can occur alone or as the result of another disease, such as Parkinson’s disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, alcohol abuse, or diabetes.

Potential Danger Of Fluctuating Blood Pressure

A recent cohort study of 1,000 Chinese men and women suggested that fluctuating blood pressure in the elderly between doctors visits can lead to decreased functioning of the brain. Findings were based on the China Health and Nutrition Survey, and followed 976 older adults who had three or more visits with blood pressure measurements from 1991 up to their first cognitive tests, and completed follow up cognitive tests at two or more visits in 1997, 2000, or 2004.

Researchers note that more studies and clinical trials need to be done, but early findings showed an association between higher long-term blood pressure fluctuations and faster rates of cognitive decline.

âControlling BP instability could possibly be a strategy in preserving cognitive function among older adults,â researchers wrote in the study published in the journal Hypertension by the American Heart Association.

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How High Is Too High For Blood Pressure

Although the term labile hypertension means blood pressure that fluctuates more than usual, the term actually has no official definition. Theres no line that must be crossed no minimum blood pressure reading or number of spikes necessary to make the diagnosis.

The term simply indicates a situation where blood pressure is rising beyond whats considered normal and acceptable for an individual.

Most times, these people have reasonable blood pressure control, says Dr. Lioudis. Yet they have periods when they may experience facial flushing, tension headaches, sweating or feelings of unease. When they check their blood pressure, its high.

Why Does Blood Pressure Fluctuate

Why Does Blood Pressure Fluctuate?

Some blood pressure changes are normal. For example, before you wake up, your blood pressure begins to rise to support you in starting your activities for the day. For most people, blood pressure peaks in the middle of the day.

Then, in the late afternoon and evening, blood pressure begins to drop. This helps to prepare your body for a good nights sleep.

Spotting Irregular Fluctuations

While some fluctuations are normal, other changes in blood pressure can be warning signs. Take note if blood pressure spikes:

  • During the night
  • Suddenly and significantly
  • On a regular basis

Sudden and swift shifts in blood pressure are called labile hypertension. In other words, this condition occurs when your blood pressure experiences more fluctuations than is normal for your age.

Additionally, other factors can affect blood pressure:

  • Sleep disorders

A doctor can help you track changes from visit to visit, and can help you cope better with expected changes in blood pressure .

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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.

Home Remedies And Lifestyle Changes

The following can help normalize blood pressure:

  • Stopping smoking: Smoking harms the arteries and can cause high blood pressure.
  • Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein: Reduce or eliminate added sugars and processed foods.
  • Getting regular exercise: The American Heart Association recommends moderate-intensity exertion, such as walking at a quick pace. A person should do this for 30 minutes per day, at least five days a week.
  • Limiting alcohol consumption: Women should drink no more than one drink per day and men no more than two drinks per day. Drinking more than this can raise blood pressure.
  • Finding healthy ways to lower stress: Meditation, deep breathing exercises, guided imagery, and other techniques to manage stress can help to avoid spikes in blood pressure.
  • Consuming less sodium: Excessively salty foods can cause sharp increases in blood pressure.
  • Reducing the intake of caffeine: Caffeinated drinks can cause temporary spikes in blood pressure, and may make anxiety worse.

Consult a doctor for personalized guidance.

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Fluctuating Blood Pressure Treatment

This is not a pathological condition and therefore medical intervention is not really needed until and unless the fluctuations become a daily thing. If that happens, it indicates an underlying condition that is causing your BP to fluctuate. The three main components that need to be taken into consideration for fluctuating BP treatment are:

  • Monitoring BP regularly: Only if you monitor your BP daily, you will be able to identify the fluctuations. If you see the highs and lows daily, you must see a doctor.
  • Lifestyle changes: You can make certain changes in your lifestyle such as increased physical activity, healthy dietary practices, etc. to see if they impact the fluctuations in any way.

If the situation doesnt improve, the doctor may prescribe medicines to regulate BP and reduce fluctuations.

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Blood Pressure And The Heart

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Theres a reason why your blood pressure is taken every time you visit a doctors office or hospital, regardless of the complaint that brought you there. High blood pressure is rightly known as the silent killer. It often carries no symptoms or warning signs but can drastically increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The higher the number, the harder your heart is having to work to pump blood around your body and the more likely it is that damage is being done to the heart muscle. Since all parts of your body rely on circulation, though, its not just your heart that high blood pressure can impact. If blood doesnt flow easily, it can harm your arteries as well as vital organs such as the kidneys, eyes, and brain.

High blood pressure has been shown to damage the tiny blood vessels in the parts of your brain responsible for cognition and memory, greatly increasing your risk of developing Alzheimers disease or another dementia. Being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease can also take an emotional toll, affecting your outlook and making you more susceptible to anxiety and depression. And just as blood pressure may have an impact your mood, the reverse can also be true:

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Fluctuating Blood Pressure: Causes Treatment And Prevention

Blood pressure should be basically stable. If it regularly changes from very high to very low, a person can experience a range of complications.

It is normal for blood pressure to vary slightly throughout the day, but blood pressure that fluctuates from one extreme to the other should be monitored and managed.

Home remedies, lifestyle changes, and some medications can help regulate blood pressure.

It is important that a person have a medical professional check their blood pressure regularly, because blood pressure can reveal a lot about a persons health.

Below are five factors that can cause dangerous fluctuations in blood pressure.

What Natural Remedies Therapies And Supplements Lower Blood Pressure

Alternative therapies may be helpful to people trying to control their blood pressure.

  • Acupuncture and biofeedback are well-accepted alternative techniques that may help some people with high blood pressure.
  • Techniques that induce relaxation and reduce stress are recommended. These include meditation, yoga, and relaxation training.
  • These techniques alone may not control high blood pressure for many people. They should not be used as a substitute for medical therapy without first consulting with your health care practitioner.

Dietary supplements and alternative medications and therapies are sometimes recommended for high blood pressure.

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Top 10 Causes For Blood Pressure Spikes

With about 32% of Americans living with high blood pressure, its no wonder why blood pressure checks are administered at every doctors appointment. So many high blood pressure cases are not realized because high blood pressure doesnt exhibit any symptoms.

The best way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure measured. If your blood pressure is normal , you will likely only need to check on it annually at your yearly checkups. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend that you monitor your blood pressure at home in addition to lifestyle changes or medications. While your blood pressure levels naturally rise and fall throughout the day, there are some factors that may cause sudden blood pressure spikes.

Myth: I Have High Blood Pressure And My Doctor Checks It For Me This Means I Dont Need To Check It At Home

Dizziness, balance problems, and blood pressure swings can be from upper cervical instability

Because blood pressure can fluctuate, home monitoring and recording of blood pressure readings can provide your healthcare provider with valuable information to determine whether you really have high blood pressure and, if you do, whether your treatment plan is working. Its important to take the readings at the same time each day, such as morning and evening, or as your healthcare professional recommends.

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Facts About High Blood Pressure

There’s a good reason why every doctor’s appointment starts with a blood pressure check. While one in three American adults has high blood pressure, about 20% of people are unaware that they have it because it is largely symptomless.

In fact, most people find out they have high blood pressure during a routine office visit.

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is when that force is too high and begins harming the body. If left untreated, it willl eventually cause damage to the heart and blood vessels.

Your blood pressure is measured in two numbers: The top systolic blood pressure measures the force pushing against artery walls when the heart is contracting. The bottom diastolic blood pressure measures pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting between beats.

Normal blood pressure levels are 120 mmHg/80 mmHg or lower. At risk levels are 120-139 mmHg/80-89 mmHg. Readings of 140 mmHg/90 mmHg or higher are defined as high blood pressure.

Here are six other things you should know about high blood pressure.

So Whats The Best Time To Measure Blood Pressure

Theres no one best time to measure blood pressure. The best practice would be to have it monitored several times a day. A common approach is to measure it twice daily: one time in the morning, before eating or taking medications , and the second time in the evening. If youre having your blood pressure measured at a medical facility, the doctor or nurse can advise you.

Another important tidbit is that loss of the normal fall in blood pressure at night is associated with a greater future risk of cardiovascular disease. There is some evidence that nighttime blood pressure is a stronger predictor than daytime blood pressure, but this is unclear. Blood pressure also varies over longer time periods and this variability is useful in predicting adverse outcomes.

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Blood Pressure Is Linked To Other Medical Issues

High blood pressure can be the first indication of a serious underlying condition. When a patient comes in with high blood pressure, doctors will check their urine and kidney function do an electrocardiogram to check the size of the heart and look for lung changes.

Stress on the blood vessels makes people with hypertension more prone to heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and aneurysms. Correspondingly, chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, sleep apnea and high cholesterol increase the risk for developing high blood pressure.

In some women, pregnancy can contribute to high blood pressure, leading to preeclampsia. Postpartum blood pressure typically goes back to normal levels within six weeks. However, some women who have high blood pressure during more than one pregnancy may be more likely to develop high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases as they age.

Some of these medical issues can also cause spikes in high blood pressure .

Lowering Systolic Blood Pressure More May Cut Health Risks

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One major study found that lowering systolic blood pressure to well below the commonly recommended level also greatly lowered the number of cardiovascular events and deaths among people at least 50 years old with high blood pressure.

When study participants achieved a systolic blood pressure target of 120 mmHg compared to the higher target of 140 mmHg recommended for most people, and 150 for people over 60 issues such as heart attack, stroke and heart failure were reduced by almost one-third, and the risk of death by almost one-fourth.

“That’s important information, because more lives may be saved and more deaths may be prevented if we maintain lower blood pressure in certain patients,” says Lynne Braun, NP, PhD, a nurse practitioner at the Rush Heart Center for Women.

Braun cautions, however, that your personal blood pressure target depends on a variety of things, including your current blood pressure, lifestyle, risk factors, other medications you are taking and your age. “Every person has to be evaluated as an individual,” she says. “Realistically, we can’t get everybody down to 120, and trying to do so may create unintended problems.”

It can be dangerous, for instance, to keep an older person on medications that have unsafe side effects, such as diuretics , which can cause dehydration and dizziness in older adults.

And there can be other issues involved with taking multiple medications, such as cost and compliance.

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