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What Causes Blood Pressure To Go Up And Down

Blood Pressure Lying Down Vs Standing

What Causes Fluctuating Blood Pressure? | Ask the Doctor

Without blood pressure, our body would not receive the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function properly. The heart has two motions contracting and relaxing, so blood pressure is, therefore, recorded as two numbers over each other. Systolic is the actual beat of the heart and diastolic is when the heart relaxes. Systolic pressure is listed over diastolic, such as 120 over 80, which is normal blood pressure.

All sorts of conditions can have an impact on your blood pressure reading. Disease, stress, weight, and even posture can impact your blood pressure level. Blood pressure lying down verses standing has the same variations as lying down vs. sitting. Moving from a standing to a supine position could result in different readings.

When To Contact A Medical Professional

If low blood pressure causes a person to pass out , seek treatment right away. Or call 911 or the local emergency number. If the person is not breathing or has no pulse, begin CPR.

  • Black or maroon stools

Hypotension Blood pressure – low Postprandial hypotension Orthostatic hypotension Neurally mediated hypotension NMH

How Is It Treated

If you have high blood pressure, your doctor will give you a blood pressure goal. Your goal will be based on your health.

You can help lower your blood pressure by making healthy changes in your lifestyle. If those lifestyle changes don’t work well enough, you may also need to take pills. Either way, you will need to control your high blood pressure throughout your life.

Treatment depends on how high your blood pressure is, whether you have other health problems such as diabetes, and whether any organs have already been damaged. Your doctor will also consider how likely you are to develop other diseases, especially heart disease.

Most people take more than one pill for high blood pressure. Work with your doctor to find the right pill or combination of pills that will cause the fewest side effects.

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Fluctuating Blood Pressure Treatments

To diagnose why you have fluctuating blood pressure, your doctor may recommend 24 hour blood pressure monitoring. This is done with an ambulatory blood pressure monitor. Youd wear a cuff around your upper arm connected to a monitor you can attach to your body or clothes. These typically measure your pressure 3 times an hour during the day and once an hour while sleeping.

After diagnosis, your physician will want continued home monitoring but with your own machine. You can check out 3 home monitors I recommend in my blog post right here. In addition to home monitoring, the following are some treatments that will be recommended:

Improve Stress Reduction

  • Find better ways to deal with unavoidable stress.
  • Stay clear of stress that can be avoided.
  • Practice relaxation techniques like breathing exercises, meditation and self-massage.

Avoid Unhealthy Habits

  • Try getting 20-30 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • Yoga

High Blood Pressure Treatment

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The best way to lower blood pressure begins with changes you can make to your lifestyle to help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. Additionally, your doctor may prescribe medicine to lower your blood pressure. These are called antihypertensive medicines.

The goal of treatment is to reduce your blood pressure to normal levels. Your doctor may prescribe medicine thats easy to take and has few, if any, side effects. This treatment is highly successful. If your blood pressure can only be controlled with medicine, youll need to take the medicine for the rest of your life. It is common to need more than one medicine to help control your blood pressure. Dont stop taking the medicine without talking with your doctor. Otherwise, you may increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

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When To Contact A Doctor

If the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat becomes irregular or is causing distressing symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention.

Even if there does not appear to be any danger, a doctor can provide assistance in reducing the risk of complications.

If a person is experiencing the following symptoms, all of which are symptoms of a heart attack, someone needs to call 911:

  • chest pain

How Is Low Blood Pressure Diagnosed

Like high blood pressure, low blood pressure can be diagnosed easily with a .

If you feel dizzy or faint when you stand up, you might need to have your blood pressure measured when youre lying down and again while you are standing up.

You might be offered a tilt table test. This is where you lie on a table that starts in a horizontal position, then slowly tilts so that youre in an almost upright position as if you were standing. You will have your blood pressure and pulse monitored, and any symptoms you feel will be recorded. You might also have a blood test to check the levels of certain hormones.

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Journal Of The American College Of Nutrition

United States Department of Agriculture scientists discovered eating wild blueberries can help prevent oxidative stress. Remember, oxidative stress can trigger many serious health problems including hardening of the arteries and heart failure! Wild blueberries contain powerful antioxidants that combat free radical damage that cause oxidative stress!

Blueberries also contain polyphenols to fight inflammation that can weaken and even seriously damage your blood vesselsand lead to a serious heart or brain problem!

But James Joseph, Ph.D., from the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging reported in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience that polyphenols found in blueberries can improve brain function, enhance memory recall and douse the flames of inflammation!

Drink Alcohol In Moderation

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

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol will increase your blood pressure and raise the cholesterol levels in your blood.

Sticking to the recommended amounts of alcohol consumption is the best way to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure.

The recommended daily limits of alcohol consumption are:

  • 3 to 4 units of alcohol for men
  • 2 to 3 units of alcohol for women.

A unit of alcohol is equal to about half a pint of normal-strength lager, a small glass of wine or a pub measure or spirits.

More about drinking alcohol reponsibly

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What Can I Do For Myself

There are other things you can do for yourself to help with your symptoms.

  • Wear supportive elastic stockings . They put extra pressure on your legs which helps to improve circulation and raise your blood pressure. For some people this can be enough, but speak to your GP first because they arent suitable for everyone.
  • Stand up slowly from sitting or lying down. You can try other simple movements to get the blood flowing before you stand up, such as straightening and bending your legs.
  • Avoid standing for long periods of time.
  • Drink enough water throughout the day, around 2 litres, so you dont get dehydrated.
  • Eat little and often throughout the day. This avoids low blood pressure after eating.

Read more about how .

Low Blood Pressure When You Stand Up

Sometimes, changes in your posture can cause your blood pressure to drop, for example, going from sitting or lying down to standing up. You might feel the symptoms listed above when you stand up, such as feeling dizzy or faint. They will pass quickly as your body adjusts, but can put you at risk of falls.

This is called postural hypotension or orthostatic hypotension. Its caused by changes to your arteries which happen as you get older and if youre taking medications to lower your blood pressure.

The animation below provides information on the causes, symptoms and potential interventions related to orthostatic hypotension.

This film was produced by Newcastle University for work completed by Dr James Frith, supported by the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre.

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Regular Blood Pressure Checks If Diagnosed With High Blood Pressure

If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, your blood pressure will need to be closely monitored until it is brought under control.

After your blood pressure has been controlled, your GP or practice nurse will measure your blood pressure at agreed regular intervals .

It is important you attend these appointments to ensure your blood pressure is being maintained within an acceptable range.

How Is High Blood Pressure Treated

Factors That Affect Blood Pressure

If high blood pressure is due to a condition like kidney disease or lung disease, treating it might be enough to get the blood pressure back to normal.

Doctors also might recommend lifestyle changes. If you have hypertension, your doctor might want you to:

Eat a healthy diet:

  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.
  • Limit salt.
  • Avoid alcohol.

Get regular exercise:

  • Try to exercise for 3060 minutes at least 3 times a week. But teens with severe hypertension should not do any weightlifting or power-lifting, bodybuilding, or strength training until their blood pressure is under control and a doctor says it’s OK.

Not smoke. Or if you do smoke, quit:

  • People with high blood pressure should not smoke, and their home and car should be smoke-free.

If diet and exercise changes do not improve the blood pressure, doctors may prescribe medicine.

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Treating Low Blood Pressure

Treatment for low blood pressure depends on the cause of the condition.

If a medication is causing your low blood pressure, your doctor may change your dosage of that drug or stop your treatment with it.

If your low blood pressure is caused by an infection, your doctor might prescribe an antibiotic to treat the infection. Or if its caused by anemia, your doctor may prescribe iron or vitamin B-12 as a supplement.

If a medical condition or disease is causing your low blood pressure, its important for your doctor to identify the specific cause. Proper management of the problem can help improve or limit episodes of low blood pressure.

Relax Your Arteries For Healthy Blood Pressure

For optimal blood pressureyou need balanced levels of a gaseous molecule called Nitric Oxide

NO is naturally produced in your body from arginine and oxygen. Simply put, NO signals the surrounding blood vessels to relax.

When your blood vessels are relaxed, they can open up and allow blood to easily pass through. This widening process is called vaso dilation. And it’s important because vaso dilation naturally INCREASES your blood flow and DECREASES your blood pressure.

NO can also help keep your blood platelets from sticking together and becoming thick like ketchup. Studies show that low levels of NO have been linked to blood pressure problems, as well as more serious heart problems.

The good news is: Mother Nature’s pharmacy contains a remarkable nutrient that has a profound effect on your body’s NO production. It’s called Grapeseed Extract.

Numerous studies show the benefits of grapeseed extract when it comes to promoting healthy blood pressure. For example…

In a study presented at the FASEB 2007 conference, researchers tried to determine the effect of grapeseed extract on 22 patients with early signs of potential blood pressure problems. They selected this group because more than 69 million American adults fall into this categoryputting them at a higher risk for serious heart problems.

Another similar study was conducted, but this time it included people with metabolic problemswhich increase your risk of developing cardiovascular and blood sugar health scares.

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High And Low Blood Pressure Risk Factors

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.

Should My Diastolic Pressure Change When I Stand Up

What Foods Make Your Blood Pressure Go Up?

I have diastolic dysfunction , stage one and Im taking 5 mg lisinopril a day to keep my pressure down. When sitting, my BP is around 110/70 but when standing, the diastolic shoots up to 89-94! The systolic goes up to 128 or 114, or goes down to 104. Shouldnt my diastolic go down when I stand up?

Submitted by Janice from Glen Ellyn, Illinois on 11/07/2013

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High Or Low Blood Pressure Complications

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.

What Increases Your Risk

Things that increase your risk for high blood pressure include:

    • A family history of high blood pressure.
    • Aging.
    • Eating a lot of sodium .
    • Drinking more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day or more than 14 drinks a week for men or 9 drinks a week for women.
    • Being overweight or obese.
    • Lack of exercise or physical activity.
    • Race. People of African, South Asian, First Nations, Inuit or Metis descent are more likely to get high blood pressure, often have more severe high blood pressure, and are more likely to get the condition at an earlier age than others. Why they are at greater risk is not known.

Other possible risk factors include:

    • Low intake of potassium.
    • Sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing.
    • Long-term use of pain medicines like NSAIDsfor example, naproxen or ibuprofen or COX-2 inhibitors, such as celecoxib . Aspirin does not increase your risk for getting high blood pressure.

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Poor Nutrition And Anemia

Poor nutrition can cause anemia, which in turn can cause a rapid heart rate and low blood pressure. When you do not take in enough iron, your body lacks what it needs to form adequate red blood cells. Lack of folate and vitamin B12 also can lead to low blood pressure due to anemia. Anemia also is characterized by fatigue.

When you are anemic and not producing enough red blood cells, your body’s ability to carry oxygen to tissues like muscle throughout your body is diminished. Other symptoms may include fatigue, lightheadedness, shortness of breath during exercise, concentration problems, headaches, chest pain, tingling and constipation, according to the American Society of Hematology. Consult a doctor if you have signs of anemia.

Why Is My Blood Pressure Going Up And Down

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My recent blood pressure readings have confused me. The first, taken with an electric monitor, was 177/90 apparently rather high.

A few days later it was 177/94, and was also taken with an electric monitor. However, when measured with a manual monitor it was 136/70.

My GP surgery preferred this last one and said I had nothing to worry about. Which reading is likely to be correct?

This is a puzzling subject for many patients, not least because blood pressure readings do vary in any one person from hour to hour and day to day.

However, as Im sure you realise, correct measurement is essential, as high blood pressure must never go undiagnosed.

Officially known as hypertension, it causes readings consistently above 140/90, and has a number of bad consequences for future health. Not only is it harmful for the heart, but it raises the risk of stroke, and damages the kidneys and eyes, too.

When your blood pressure is tested, the reading produces two numbers.

The first represents the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart contracts. Each contraction sends out around a teacupful of blood the pressure forces it throughout the body to move along the blood vessels.

At this point your blood pressure is at its highest, known as systolic pressure.

When the heart relaxes and is refilling, preparing for the next contraction, the pressure drops back. This lower reading is your diastolic pressure.

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At What Point Does High Blood Pressure Cause A Problem For People With Diabetes

If your resting blood pressure level is above the targets, this puts you at an increased risk of heart and vascular problems as well as other diabetes complications, such as kidney disease and sight damage .

High blood pressure is also associated with poor circulation which increases the risk of foot ulcers and can lead to foot amputation if regular foot care is not taken.

British Columbia Specific Information

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, can damage your blood vessels, heart and kidneys. This damage can cause a heart attack, stroke or other health problems. Your blood pressure reading is based on two measurements called systolic and diastolic. The systolic and diastolic are written as a ratio, for example . A reading of more than 140/90 mmHg taken at your healthcare providers office may indicate high blood pressure. This figure is different for people with diabetes whose blood pressure should be below 130/80 mmHg. People suffering from other illnesses will have different target normal values. For more information on hypertension, visit the Heart & Stroke Foundation and Hypertension Canada.

Healthy lifestyle choices can help lower your blood pressure and improve your health. For information on healthy eating for lowering your blood pressure, see:

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Condition Causes Significant Drop In Blood Pressure Upon Standing

Dear Mayo Clinic:

My mother is 62 and has had very low blood pressure for two years. She was hospitalized with blood pressure that dropped from 200/78 in bed to 60/40 sitting up. What could be causing this and what can be done to treat her?


Your mother has a condition called orthostatic hypotension. It happens when blood pressure falls significantly as a person stands up. Orthostatic hypotension can cause a variety of symptoms the most common are feelings of dizziness and faintness.

Blood pressure is a measure of the pressure in a person’s arteries during the active and resting phases of each heartbeat. When you stand, gravity causes your blood pressure to fall slightly as blood pools in your legs, lowering the amount of blood circulating back to your heart to pump. Normally, the drop in blood pressure is limited, though, because when you stand your nervous system triggers your blood vessels to narrow and your heart to beat faster. Sometimes, however, those nervous system responses do not happen the way they should, resulting in large swings in blood pressure from lying down to standing.

Symptoms of orthostatic hypotension usually get worse in hot weather or when you are dehydrated. Some medications can also increase symptoms of orthostatic hypotension, including blood pressure medications, medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease, antidepressants and bronchodilators, as well as caffeine, alcohol and appetite suppressants.


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