When To Worry About Blood Pressure Spikes
How can you distinguish between a normal blood pressure spike and the one you should worry about? The rule for BP readings is rather simple: spikes during physical activity may be normal. Spikes when you are relaxed, never are.
Any time you sit in front of TV, read a book, or browse the computer, your BP numbers should reflect your non-excited state. If, at any time they go above 140/90 mmHg, they should make you think. 140/90 mmHg may be normal when you move the fridge from the first to the second floor, but not when you sit in a park and drink beer.
Atrial Fibrillation And High Blood Pressure
The normal heart rhythm is coordinated and regular. Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal heart rhythm that causes a chaotic and irregular heartbeat. High blood pressure is the most common cause of atrial fibrillation . High blood pressure has a major impact on the development, progression and outcomes of AFib.
High blood pressure can cause atrial fibrillation and if it is not adequately treated, it also becomes a risk factor for atrial fibrillation progression. When atrial fibrillation first develops it usually comes and goes and is called paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Symptoms of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation can include heart flutters , racing heart, chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue and decreased ability to exercise. Atrial fibrillation tends to progress and can become continuous or permanent.
Adequately controlling AFib risk factors, like high hypertensuin, can help prevent progression. It can also help make atrial fibrillation treatments, like medications and catheter ablation, more effective.
Is It Normal When Blood Pressure Fluctuates Wildly
Fluctuating blood pressure is common to ALL of us. We all have it regardless whether we are actively looking for it or not. Yet I must clarify. It is not just any fluctuations, but erratic fluctuations that should concern us. So, although we all experience some swings we first must distinguish the good from the bad or, to be more exact, the erratic from the normal. Only then we can make any .
- Do you need a reliable BP monitor?
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Learn More About Your Blood Glucose Levels With Nutrisense
Managing all of these factors can seem like a lot to handle when using a traditional glucometer or getting the occasional lab test to check your blood sugar levels. Instead of measuring your glucose levels when you anticipate a fluctuation, a Continuous Glucose Monitor helps you focus on preventive health by tracking blood sugar in real-time.
Even if you donât have prediabetes or diabetes, a CGM subscription from NutriSense can help you smooth out some of the bumps in your daily glucose variations. It can also help you optimize your health with a combination of leading CGM technology and personalized support from a team of registered dietitians.
Preventing High Blood Pressure
You may head off blood pressure problems before they start, or limit your risk, if you follow a healthy lifestyle. Following the steps listed above under Treating high or low blood pressure can help protect you from developing high blood pressure.
In addition, if you suspect you have sleep apnea symptoms, such as heavy snoring, daytime sleepiness, or restless sleep, talk to your doctor about a sleep study. Sleep apnea is believed to affect at least 25 million American adults. has shown that using a CPAP machine while sleeping can reduce blood pressure in people with sleep apnea.
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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
Why Is Your Blood Pressure Important
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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Conditions That Only Affect Some People
The final two conditions are things that don’t happen to everybody but are worth mentioning in case you’re one of the people who experience them. Both of the related conditions can make it harder to accurately diagnose hypertension.
Being at the doctor’s office
We mentioned stress being a cause of increased blood pressure earlier. White coat hypertension, or white coat syndrome, is a particular instance of that effect that’s worth mentioning on its own. Some people get so nervous about being at the doctor’s office that their blood pressure rises due to the stress of the visit¹². For some people, this can explain why a blood pressure reading is always high at the doctor’s office but never at home.
Not being at the doctor’s office
Surprisingly, the opposite effect of white coat hypertension can also occur. Masked hypertension¹³ is when your blood pressure appears normal during your doctor’s visit but becomes high afterward. Because most people who aren’t diagnosed with high blood pressure don’t check their pressure at home, it is less commonly caught.
Causes Of Fluctuating Blood Pressure
Sometimes, your blood pressure may fluctuate due to some health problems but it is not always a serious issue. This article provides some relevant information on the causes of fluctuating blood pressure. Read on…
Sometimes, your blood pressure may fluctuate due to some health problems but it is not always a serious issue. This article provides some relevant information on the causes of fluctuating blood pressure. Read on
The heart pumps blood that gets circulated to different parts of the body. Due to the pumping of the heart, the blood exerts a certain amount of pressure on the walls of the blood vessels. This pressure is termed as blood pressure. Systolic and diastolic are two different forms of blood pressure. Systolic pressure is the one which develops when the heart beats. Diastolic pressure is the one when the heart is at rest in between two beats. A mild fluctuation of about 10 percent is absolutely normal. If there is a fluctuation of blood pressure of say about 25 to 30 percent once in a while, then also you need not worry about it. It does not have any adverse effect on any of the metabolic functions of the body. However, if it becomes a chronic problem, only then it is a matter of concern.
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How To Reduce The Risk Of High Blood Pressure And Atrial Fibrillation
People with high blood pressure are at an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation. Luckily, there are a number of healthy lifestyle choices you can make to decrease your risk of developing AFib and other high blood pressure-related health conditions.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Dont smoke
- Limit alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
- Limit stress
- Get regular physical activity
- Eat a heart healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Limit salt, saturated and trans fats, and cholesterol.
- Take your medications as prescribed.
When To See A Doctor
Since labile hypertension can go undetected, it is important to get your blood pressure measured by your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Vision problems
If your doctor has prescribed medication to treat your blood pressure fluctuations and it is not improving, you should visit your doctor to discuss alternative treatment plans.
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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.
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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Tips To Manage Blood Pressure Fluctuations Naturally
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.
Buying A Blood Pressure Instrument To Measure Your Blood Pressure At Home
Blood pressure instruments can be purchased in most pharmacies. Buy a blood pressure instrument that has been approved by the Association for the Advancement in Medical Instrumentation , the British Hypertension Society or the International Protocol . These labels will be marked clearly on the box. If you are unsure whether an instrument is approved, ask your pharmacist for help. Once you have bought the instrument, ask your doctor or pharmacist to check it to make sure the instrument measures your blood pressure accurately.
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Treatment For Fluctuating Blood Pressure
In most cases, variations in blood pressure aren’t extreme enough to cause concern. If you track your blood pressure over time, your doctor will be able to determine whether the numbers are within a safe range. If they’re not, you’ll first be asked to make certain lifestyle changes like the ones mentioned above. Your doctor will be able to provide specifics about your lifestyle that may contribute to the fluctuations. If lifestyle changes don’t work, they may put you on medication.
Does Oxygen Saturation Fluctuate
Does oxygen saturation fluctuate?
Everyones blood oxygen levels fluctuate, for example, they are lower during sleep, due to a slightly reduced level of breathing. Also, some alveoli are no longer used during sleep. If your awake oxygen saturation is greater than about 94 percent in room air, your saturation during sleep is unlikely to drop below 88 percent.
What causes high oxygen variations during sleep?
When we sleep, the oxygen level in our blood drops due to interruptions in breathing. Lung and sleep disorders tend to lower these levels even further, and in dangerous ways. But the range of those levels during sleep varies greatly between individuals and, researchers suspect, is heavily influenced by genetics.
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Complications Of Fluctuating Blood Pressure
This condition is usually not serious. But you need to consult a doctor if you suspect anything is wrong because it may indicate some underlying health condition. Timely treatment will prevent complications like hypertension, heart disease and also dementia. According to a study in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension, higher long-term variability in blood pressure readings were linked to faster declines in brain and cognitive function among older adults. In another study at Columbia University’s Taub Institute, New York, researchers saw that the risk of cerebrovascular diseases appears to be higher among individuals with fluctuating blood pressure in addition to high blood pressure. This was published in Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Fluctuating Blood Pressure In The Elderly Treatments And Prevention
To achieve a better understanding of your fluctuating blood pressure, a doctor will likely have your pressure monitored. The best way to accomplish this is by prescribing a 24 hour home ambulatory blood pressure monitor.
Its a device that has a traditional arm cuff attached to a monitor you keep with you all day and night. These monitors can be adjusted to take your pressure at different intervals throughout the day. Typically, it will be set to measure your blood pressure three times an hour during the day and once an hour while sleeping.
Depending on the severity of your blood pressure readings and fluctuations, medication might be prescribed. In all cases lifestyle changes will be recommended like the following:
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Does Afib Cause High Blood Pressure
AFib does not cause hypertension but if you have AFib you may be put on medications to lower your blood pressure. This is not because AFib can cause high blood pressure but rather that previously undiagnosed high blood pressure may have caused AFib.
Hypertensuin has been called the silent killer because it usually does not have any symptoms until serious complications develop. Complications of high blood pressure can include:
- Intracranial hemorrhage
- Heart disease related death
Having had a complication from hypertension is usually a sign of long-standing untreated, or inadequately treated high blood pressure. Controlling blood pressure will help minimize the risk of repeated complications.
Sometimes high blood pressure complications can become compounded. For example, high blood pressure can cause AFib. Both AFib and high blood pressure are known to independently increase the risk of stroke. People with high blood pressure are twice as likely to have a stroke compared to people without high blood pressure. People with AFib have 5 times the risk of stroke. Multiple studies have demonstrated that the presence of high blood pressure in patients with atrial fibrillation further increases the risk of stroke.
Treating High Blood Pressure
Lifestyle changes are recommended as the first step in treating any stage of high blood pressure. These changes may include:
- eliminating unhealthy foods, such as excess sugars and saturated fats, from your diet
- eating more heart-healthy foods such as lean meats, fish, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains
- cutting back on sodium in your diet
- drinking more water
- quitting smoking
- maintaining a healthy weight
- reducing alcohol consumption
- managing stress
- monitoring your blood pressure regularly
In addition to these steps, consider whether youre taking medications that could be increasing your blood pressure, such as cold medicines, diet pills, or medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder . If you are, your doctor might recommend stopping that drug, changing medications, or adjusting your dosage.
However, lifestyle changes and medication adjustments may not be enough to bring your blood pressure numbers down. If thats the case, or if you have stage 2 hypertension or have experienced hypertensive crisis, your doctor will likely prescribe one or more blood pressure medications.
Commonly prescribed medications include:
This medication will be prescribed in addition to continued lifestyle changes.
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Common Causes Of Fluctuating Blood Pressure
There are many reasons why you may experience this condition. Sometimes, stress, anxiety and tension may trigger fluctuating blood pressure. A visit to a doctor’s clinic may also cause your blood pressure to shoot up as can physical activity, laughing and sex too. There are many foods that can have an effect and drinking alcohol and tobacco use too impacts your blood pressure. Moreover, many drugs like diuretics, anti-histamines and blood pressure medications also play a part in fluctuating blood pressure.
Having A Blood Pressure Test
A stethoscope, arm cuff, pump and dial was normally used to measure your blood pressure, but automatic devices with sensors and digital displays are commonly used nowadays.
It’s best to sit down with your back supported and legs uncrossed for at least 5 minutes before the test.
You’ll usually need to roll up your sleeves or remove any long-sleeved clothing so the cuff can be placed around your upper arm.
Try to relax and avoid talking while the test is carried out.
During the test:
- you hold out one of your arms so it’s at the same level as your heart, and the cuff is placed around it your arm should be supported in this position with a cushion or the arm of a chair, for example
- the cuff is pumped up to restrict the blood flow in your arm this squeezing may feel a bit uncomfortable, but only lasts a few seconds
- the pressure in the cuff is slowly released and detectors sense vibrations in your arteries a doctor will use a stethoscope to detect these if your blood pressure is measured manually
- the pressure in the cuff is recorded at 2 points as the blood flow starts to return to your arm these measurements are used to give your blood pressure reading
You can usually find out your result straight away, either from the healthcare professional carrying out the test or on the digital display.
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