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Why Does Blood Pressure Fluctuate

The American Institute Of Stress

Why Does Blood Pressure Fluctuate?

The American Institute of Stress has been increasing awareness about stress and its effects on health since this nonprofit was first established in 1978. Today, their blog features helpful tips and information for the management and prevention of stress for families and individuals of all ages. You also have the option of looking at specific topics of interest via the search bar. Whether youre looking for information related to stress from trauma, relationships, or the workplace, the AIS will likely have a helpful article for you to read.

Blood Pressure At Night: What Is The Effect

Dr. Goel explains, “Cardiovascular and respiratory parameters of the body change during sleep, wakefulness and physical activity. There are signals sent to the brainstem which communicate these changes to the peripheral baroreceptors which in turn relate the information to the neurotransmitters. When the blood pressure is elevated, the sympathetic outflow decreases and vice versa. During NREM that is during sleep parasympathetic drive increases with an associated reduction in sympathetic activity. The decline in sympathetic activity causes a dip in pressure, which is a healthy response.”

“Non-dipping, rising or extreme dipping is associated with an elevated cardiovascular risk. Many times autonomic instability with fluctuations in blood pressure and respiratory rate have been reported during sleep,” Dr. Goel adds.

Anyone with uncontrolled hypertension should get 24 hours ambulatory blood pressure measurement done so that the medicines can be tailored to keep a good steady 24 hours of pressure control. Also, it will help determine the timing of the pressure tablets and their frequency. Lifestyle modification will help in maintaining healthy blood pressure numbers. Some of these are-

  • Regular exercises
  • Efforts to reduce stress
  • Less intake of food substances with high sodium content

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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.

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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

What Causes Labile Hypertension

10 Reasons Your Blood Pressure Fluctuates

When labile hypertension is suspected, a 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor may be used to confirm the diagnosis. Then the work of pinpointing the underlying cause begins. Serious detective work often is required. We look at the patients overall health, lifestyle and medications, says Dr. Lioudis.

When a medication or lifestyle choice is the precipitating factor, making appropriate changes can cause labile hypertension to disappear.

Underlying medical conditions are a bigger concern, since they may be harder to treat.

We look for sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease or a problem with the adrenal glands, as any of these can cause blood pressure to fluctuate,says Dr. Lioudis.

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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.

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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What Time Of Day Is Blood Pressure Lowest

Blood pressure is normally lower at night while youre sleeping. Your blood pressure starts to rise a few hours before you wake up. Your blood pressure continues to rise during the day, usually peaking in the middle of the afternoon. Then in the late afternoon and evening, your blood pressure begins dropping again.

Having A Blood Pressure Test

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

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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Fluctuating Blood Pressure And Inconsistent Bp Readings

Many people will experience fluctuating blood pressure throughout each day. Fluctuations within normal ranges are perfectly okay and expected to happen. If your blood pressure was not changing during the day, there would be something wrong.

There are many reasons why your blood pressure will go up and down. Some of them are happening no matter what, and others can be avoided. Larger, more than normal fluctuations, can happen too. If they do, it means you may have a medical issue that needs attention from a physician.

This post will inform you of all the fluctuating blood pressure causes, good and bad, and how you can correct some of them. Ill also tell you complications which can occur from large, consistent fluctuations and treatments to avoid them in the future.

BP Tip: You can lower BP naturally by changing how you breathe. Theres a device approved by the FDA and The American Heart Association. It guides your breathing a few minutes a day which has been proven to lower BP. You can check it out in the manufacturers website by .

Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Medical Causes Behind This Condition

Hormonal imbalances and problems with your adrenal gland may result in low reading and an overactive adrenal system can cause sudden spikes. You may also experience fluctuations if you have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, thyroid issues or obstructive sleep apnea. A study at University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus says that a single bout of sleep apnea impacts the human body’s ability to regulate blood pressure. Dehydration is another cause as is pregnancy. Many nervous system problems may also cause fluctuations in blood pressure.

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Is It Normal For Blood Pressure To Fluctuate

Some variation in blood pressure throughout the day;is normal, especially as a response to small changes in daily life like stress, exercise, or how well you slept the night before. But fluctuations that occur regularly over a number of healthcare provider visits;may indicate an underlying problem.

In fact,;studies;have;found that a higher visit-to-visit variation in blood pressure is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality.

Continue Learning About Hypertension

Does Your Blood Pressure Fluctuate Widely? Heres Why You ...

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.

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Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring

Having a raised blood pressure reading in 1 test does not necessarily mean you have high blood pressure.

Blood pressure can fluctuate throughout the day. Feeling anxious or stressed when you visit your GP can also raise your blood pressure.

If you have a high reading, you may be asked to;take some readings with;a 24-hour monitor;that checks your blood pressure throughout the day.

This will confirm whether you have consistently high blood pressure.

It’s known as;24-hour or ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.

Blood Pressure Measuring Tips

Consider that when your blood pressure is being measured, your arm should be at the level of your heart. If the arm is hanging down whether you are sitting or standing, the arm should be extended out. If you are lying down, the arm should be along your side, leveled with your body.

Aside from being aware of your arm position, here are some other tips to keep in mind when having your blood pressure measured:

  • Rest for about five minutes before the reading is taken.
  • Try not to eat or exercise for 30 minutes before a screening.
  • Have your reading in the morning, since your bodys rhythms can cause blood pressure to rise in the afternoon and evening.
  • Have your pressure taken from all three positions: sitting, standing, and lying down.
  • Have your blood pressure taken three times in one session with one minute of rest between each test.

Dont get caught up in comparing your blood pressure to others. Instead, know that there is a healthy blood pressure level for each sex and specific age. Here you can find an age and gender chart you can check to see what your healthy range is.

Monitoring your blood pressure on a regular basis can give you the most accurate picture of what is happening with your blood pressure. There are some common factors that can impact your pressure readings. Many are related to lifestyle and include smoking, diet, and physical activity level. Family history can also play a role, as can stress.

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Hardening Of The Arteries

Arteries consist of collagen, elastin fibers and cells. When they are young, they have more flexibility and can bounce back between heart beats. As you age, they get stiffer for the following reasons:

  • Elastin fibers decay with age.
  • Calcification is caused by increases in calcium.
  • Changes in collagen disrupt the elasticity.
  • Lowering systolic in the elderly.

The Complexity Of Blood Pressure Fluctuation Mediated The Effects Of Hypertension On Walking Speed In Older Adults

Why Does My Blood Pressure Fluctuate And What to Do About It
  • 1Department of Geriatrics, Shenzhen Peoples Hospital, Shenzhen, China
  • 2The Second Clinical Medical College, Jinan University, Shenzhen, China
  • 3The First Affiliated Hospital, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, China
  • 4Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 5Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Rochester, Rochester, NJ, United States
  • 6Department of Neurology, Shenzhen Peoples Hospital, Shenzhen, China
  • 7Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, Roslindale, MA, United States
  • 8Division of Gerontology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, United States
  • 9Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States

Background: Older adults with hypertension often had diminished walking performance. The underlying mechanism through which hypertension affects walking performance, however, has not been fully understood. We here measured the complexity of the continuous systolic and diastolic blood pressure fluctuation, grade of white matter lesions , and cognitive function and used structural equation modeling to examine the interrelationships between hypertension, BP complexity, WMLs, cognitive function, and walking speed in single- and dual-task conditions.

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Blood Pressure Lying Down Vs Sitting

Many wonder why positioning makes such a difference in blood pressure readings. Lets take lying down vs. sitting as an example. Our heart is a pump, and it takes less work to pump blood to our brain when we are lying down. This is because our head is about the same level as our heart. However, when we are up, our head is a lot higher than our heart. This means the heart has to pump much harder to get blood to our brain, so as a result, blood pressure is higher.

In most cases, blood pressure is taken while a person is sitting down with the arm dropping onto a table. While sometimes the middle point of the upper arm might, in fact, be parallel and in line with the position of the heart, the rest of the arm is not, so it should not be surprising that the measurement taking while laying down might be a little lower, since there is less gravity to counter.

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.

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Common Causes For Fluctuating Blood Pressure

Food sensitivities: Consuming foods that dont agree with us can cause a spike in blood pressure. This is commonly seen in salt sensitivities or after consuming high amounts of salt. Although this issue will resolve on its own a few hours after consuming the trigger food, you may want to make diet changes in order to prevent future fluctuations.

Stress: During times of stress, our arteries constrict, causing the heart to work harder. This in turn raises blood pressure along with blood sugar and heart rate. If you live with chronic stress, this constant strain on the heart can lead to artery and heart damage, increasing your risk of a cardiovascular event.

Caffeine consumption: Caffeine is a stimulant, so our hearts tend to race when we consume something containing caffeine. As a result, a faster-pumping heart causes blood pressure to rise. This usually resolves within a few hours. Regular caffeine consumers may not notice the changes, but those who consume caffeine infrequently will.

Medications: Certain medications, such as decongestants and anti-inflammatories, may result in a temporary elevation of blood pressure. Illegal drugs tend to have the highest impact on blood pressure, which is what in part makes them life threatening.

Fever: Often a result of fighting infection, a fever can speed up heart rate, leading to a rise in blood pressure.

Dehydration: Insufficient hydration can result in blood pressure fluctuations with a large decrease.

Orthostatic Hypotension Blood Pressure When You Stand Up From Sitting Or Lying Down

Fluctuating Blood Pressure: 8 Causes and Natural treatments

If you stand up from a sitting or lying down position and experience orthostatic hypotension, it is likely that your systolic blood pressure has decreased at least 20 mm/HG or your diastolic blood pressure has decreased at least 10 mm/HG within three minutes of standing. It is not uncommon to feel a slight drop in blood pressure and, perhaps, experience a slight lightheaded feeling, but when the feeling lasts for a few minutes and when it happens on a regular basis, you should see a doctor. Orthostatic hypotension or postural hypotension can be a sign of a serious health problem.

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