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What Causes Blood Pressure To Fluctuate From High To Low

High Or Low Blood Pressure Complications

Fluctuating Blood Pressure – Causes – Why is Blood Pressure Up and Down

High blood pressure doesnt cause symptoms unless youre in hypertensive crisis. Its actually known as a silent killer because it quietly damages your blood vessels and organs, and you may not realize you have it until the damage is done. Unmanaged high blood pressure can lead to:

The good news is that there are things you can do to help prevent blood pressure problems.

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.

Also Read: Treatment Of Hypertension Or High Blood Pressure With Homeopathy

Salt Intake And High Blood Pressure

Reducing the amount of salt you eat can also help to manage or even avoid high blood pressure. To help reduce your salt intake:

  • Ensure your diet consists of wholefoods including vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, lean meat and poultry, fish and seafood, legumes, unsalted nuts and seeds.
  • Avoid packaged and processed foods that are high in salt. You cant see the salt in these foods, so you dont know how much salt you are having. Get into the habit of checking food labels.
  • Choose low-salt food where possible. If you cant find low-salt products, those with moderate amounts of salt are ok too. Another simple alternative is to look for labels with low salt, salt reduced or no added salt.
  • Avoid adding salt to cooking or at the table flavour meals with herbs and spices instead.

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Continue Learning About Hypertension

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.

What Is Labile Hypertension

Is It Normal for Blood Pressure to Fluctuate?

Q.I have high blood pressure and have been checking my blood pressure more often since my doctor added another drug. But lately, my readings have been all over the place. For example, one morning it was 127/70, but then it was 170/100 in the late afternoon. What’s going on?

A. You may have a condition known as labile hypertension, which refers to blood pressure that fluctuates far more than usual. Everyone’s blood pressure rises and falls many times during the course of a single day, sometimes even within minutes. Many factors contribute to these changes, including physical activity, emotion, body position, diet , and sleep deprivation. However, there is no clear definition or standard criteria to distinguish between normal and abnormal fluctuations.

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  • Research health conditions
  • Prepare for a doctor’s visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise

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Technique Of Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoringits History And Current Achievements

The occurrence of pronounced BP fluctuations over time was first observed by Stephen Hales in 1733, when performing his famous experiments on the arterial pulse by inserting a glass pipe into the crural artery of mares . In the following years, additional information on the occurrence of BP variations with time was obtained in humans, although only through indirect methods aimed at quantifying the arterial pulse, in most cases at the level of the radial artery . Further insights into the variations of BP in humans under the effects of exercise, stress, and emotions were later made possible by the introduction of the sphygmomanometric technique by Riva-Rocci1 and Korotkoff.

Techniques for continuous BP monitoring have provided us with a large amount of interesting data on the physiologic mechanisms regulating the cardiovascular system and on their derangement in pathologic conditions.13 This has been obtained through computer analysis of spontaneous BP and heart rate variations. This approach has yielded new information not only on the magnitude but also on the rapidity of spontaneous BP fluctuations, the latter found to be steeper in hypertensive than in normotensive persons.14 In spite of their great potential, techniques for continuous BP monitoring have been largely confined to a research setting, mainly because of their high cost and complexity.

Donald J. Krapohl, Pamela K. Shaw, in, 2015

Blood Pressure And The Heart

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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Describe The Appropriate Management For The Blood Pressure Fluctuations Seen In Gbs

Blood pressure fluctuations in GBS are best monitored in a medical intensive care unit setting. Adequate administration of isotonic IV fluids should be started, a bladder catheter should be placed, fluid intake and output should be carefully monitored, and blood pressure should be measured frequently. Most importantly, continuous electrocardiographic monitoring is mandatory.

Pressor drugs may be necessary. These must be used with extreme caution because hypersensitivity responses are common. The use of short-acting agents such as dopamine or phenylephrine is recommended. There is often a delay of several minutes in blood pressure responses to pressor drugs. Treatment of paroxysmal hypertension in GBS should be avoided, unless end-organ damage is present. If antihypertensive agents are used, it is best to use short-acting agents that can be titrated to the blood pressure response. Again, hypersensitivity with resultant hypotension is a potential complication. There may be an exaggerated hypotensive response to even small doses of IV drugs .

Gianfranco Parati, … Giuseppe Schillaci, in, 2015

High And Low Blood Pressure Risk Factors

What is more dangerous, high or fluctuating blood pressure?

Both high blood pressure and low blood pressure need to be managed. Overall, its much more common to have high blood pressure. According to the American College of Cardiology, almost half of the adults in the United States now fit the new definition of high blood pressure. Not surprisingly, the risk factors for these two conditions are very different.

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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.

Causes Of High Blood Pressure

Theres no single cause of high blood pressure, but rather many contributing factors. Some are out of your control, such as age, race, gender, and family historyblood pressure tends to increase over the age of 70, affects more women than men over the age of 55, and is more common in African Americans than Caucasians, perhaps due to a genetic sensitivity to salt.

Many other risk factors for hypertension are within your control. Being overweight, eating a poor diet high in salt, smoking, drinking excessively, and not getting enough physical exercise can all impact your blood pressure.

There are also specific substances that can raise your blood pressure, such as:

  • Caffeine, including coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks.
  • Prescription medications, including some of those used to treat ADHD, birth control pills, corticosteroids, atypical antipsychotics, MAOIs and SNRIs used to treat depression, and some cancer drugs.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin and ibuprofen .
  • Cough and cold medications containing decongestant or NSAIDs.
  • Herbal supplements, such as ephedra and yohimbine.
  • Recreational drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
  • Licorice found in some candies and gum.

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Making The Exercise Habit Stick

Despite our best intentions, many of us struggle ditching our sedentary lifestyle. But there are steps you can take to make exercise less intimidating and more fun.

Start small and build momentum. If exercising for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week sounds overwhelming, set a smaller goal and gradually build up as you gain self-confidence and momentum.

Reward yourself. Once it becomes a regular habit, exercise will reward you with more energy, better sleep, a greater sense of well-being, and improved cardiovascular health. When youre starting out, though, give yourself a simple reward for successfully completing a workout, such as having a hot bath or a favorite cup of coffee.

Choose activities you enjoy. Youre more likely to stick with a workout you find pleasurable. If you hate running but like yoga or dancing, for example, dont force yourself onto the treadmill every day. Pick activities that fit your lifestyle, abilities, and taste.

See How to Start Exercising and Stick to It to learn more.

The effects on your blood pressure

  • 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, such as walking, for five days of the week can reduce your reading by 4 to 11 mm Hg.

Whos At Risk For Labile Hypertension

Causes of Fluctuating Blood Pressure

Labile hypertension tends to be situational. This means the spikes occur in response to stressful events a fender bender, intensive physical exertion or thinking about financial woes, for example. This helps distinguish labile hypertension from true hypertension, in which blood pressure is high all the time.

Although hypertension can develop at any time, it raises a red flag when it occurs in young people or after age 60.

People who develop hypertension in their 40s particularly if they have a family history of hypertension are more likely to have essential hypertension than labile hypertension. They tend to be overweight or have underlying dietary issues, such as excessive sodium intake or heavy alcohol consumption.

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Why You Should Take Your Own Blood Pressure At Home Or On The Go

Because of regular fluctuations in blood pressure, white-coat syndrome, and masked hypertension, doctors may recommend self-monitoring for people with HBP. There are many benefits to taking your own BP:

  • Knowing your actual, average blood pressure outside of regular fluctuations
  • Gaining more control over your blood pressure
  • Tracking your progress
  • Saving time and possibly money from frequent doctor visits and complications

My Blood Pressure Fluctuates From High To Low

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Mri Acquisition And Analysis

Detailed procedures and parameters for MRI scan acquisition are included elsewhere. Briefly, standard T1-weighted, T2-weighted FLAIR images, and double echo images were acquired on a 1.5 T Philips Intera scanner at Columbia University. MR data were transferred to the University of California at Davis for morphometric analysis in the Imaging of Dementia and Aging Laboratory. White matter hyperintensity volumes were derived on the FLAIR images following established procedures, divided by total cranial volume, , and log transformed to establish a measure of normally-distributed relative WMH volume. Determination of presence, size, and location of cerebral infarct was carried out according to previously-reported protocols. The presence of brain infarction was determined using all available imaging data. Only lesions 3mm or larger qualified for consideration as brain infarcts. Infarcts were coded for size , hemisphere, and location. Two raters determined the presence of cerebral infarction on MRI. Previously published kappa values for agreement among raters has been generally good, ranging from 0.73 to 0.90.

Why Is Your Blood Pressure Important

What Causes Fluctuating Blood Pressure? | Ask the Doctor

Your blood pressure is important because if it is too high, it affects the blood flow to your organs. Over the years, this increases your chances of developing heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, eye disease, erectile dysfunction and other conditions.

Very occasionally, people with very high blood pressure are at serious risk of problems and need urgent treatment in hospital to reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack.

Current Australian guidelines recommend that if you have persistent raised blood pressure over 160/100 mmHg, but are at low risk of having a stroke or heart attack, you should talk to your doctor or specialist about taking medication to lower your blood pressure.

For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.

If youre over 18, you should have your blood pressure checked by your doctor at least every 2 years, or more often if advised.

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Medications For High Blood Pressure

There is a large variety of medicines available to lower and manage high blood pressure. Your doctor may call them antihypertensives, .

These medications do not cure high blood pressure, but they do help manage it. Once you start to take medicines to manage your blood pressure, you may need to take them for the rest of your life. However, the dose of these medicines may change over time.

If you need to take medication, your doctor will advise you on the correct type and dose. Two or more different medications are often needed to manage blood pressure.

Make sure you take your medicines regularly. Some things that may help you remember to take them include:

  • Building them into your daily routine by taking them at the same time each day.
  • Keeping them somewhere that will remind you such as next to your alarm, or with your coffee or tea.
  • Using a weekly pill box.
  • Asking a family member or friend to remind you.
  • Always carrying a list of your medicines and their doses with you.
  • Entering a daily alarm in your mobile phone or download an app to remind you.

Take any blood pressure medicine exactly as prescribed. Dont stop or change your medicine, unless your doctor advises you to.

S To Lowering Your Blood Pressure

The first line of treatment for high blood pressure is to make healthy lifestyle changes:

  • Get active
  • Manage stress
  • Quit smoking
  • Its also important to take any antihypertensive medications your doctor recommends. There are many different types of medications available to control high blood pressure, so if one drug causes unpleasant side effects, your doctor can help you find a more suitable one.

    Even if your doctor also prescribes you medication to help tackle hypertension, controlling your weight, quitting smoking, improving your diet, managing stress, and getting regular exercise are critical for keeping your heart in shape and managing your blood pressure over the long term.

    If youve just been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease or have suffered a serious health event such as a stroke or heart attack, you may be experiencing a great deal of emotional upheaval. Its important to give yourself time to process the change in your health and be kind to yourself as you adjust to your new situation. But its also important to know there are plenty of things you can do to come to terms with your diagnosis and regain control of your health.

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    High Blood Pressure And Daily Activity

    Check with your doctor before starting a new activity or increasing your level or intensity. Be active safely. Build up your levels of activity gradually.

    Try to do at least 30 to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week. This can be done in bouts of 10 minutes or longer, if that is more convenient.

    Physical activity is any form of bodily movement performed by our large muscle groups. Moderate-intensity physical activity , such as brisk walking or cycling, is enough to provide health benefits.

    Walking is a great activity for all ages. You may like to join one of the Heart Foundations community walking groups.

    Some types of exercises, such as body presses and lifting heavy weights, can raise your blood pressure. Avoid these if you have high blood pressure.


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