Blood pressure moves blood through the circulatory system, transporting oxygen and nutrients to the arteries, tissues, and organs. The heart increases blood pressure by expelling blood every time it beats. These stresses will change throughout the day, but most of these changes are normal, but blood pressure may become too high or too low. And this changes in pressure known as blood pressure fluctuation,which may be a sign of an underlying health problem.
If you notice regular fluctuations in your blood pressure readings, you are not alone. Some fluctuations in your blood pressure throughout the day are normal. In fact, there are a number of reasons for blood pressure fluctuation, including making small changes in daily life like stress, exercise, or even how well you slept the night before. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), there are more than 116 million adults in the United States with high blood pressure.
Experts ask you to check your blood pressure at home as it is a great way to better understand your numbers. If you know your blood pressure and check it regularly, you can spot any irregularities that you want to tell your doctor about. This helps your doctor determine about your blood pressure fluctuation and a course of action or treatment. When your blood pressure readings are fluctuating, it is important to know that you can control some factors, leaving behind few unwanted miseries. Let’s look at some of the reasons that can cause your blood pressure to fluctuate.
What causes blood pressure fluctuations?
Possible causes of fluctuating blood pressure are:
White coat syndrome
Up to 20% of people diagnosed with hypertension or high blood pressure experience transient stress-related spikes when their blood pressure is measured in the doctor’s office.
When blood pressure appears normal in the doctor’s office but can be high at home. It is opposite to that of white coat syndrome.
Time of day
Your blood pressure generally rises and falls between the hours of waking and sleeping. It is generally lower during sleep, increases as the day progresses. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends measuring your blood pressure at the same time each day.
Your blood pressure is usually higher in the cold and lower in the heat. Cold temperatures narrow blood vessels and increase the pressure needed to pump blood through them. Climate changes such as humidity or air pressure can also affect blood pressure, especially in people aged 65 and over. Avoid smoking, drinking caffeinated beverages, or exercising for 30 years. Minutes before taking your blood pressure as these activities can affect your body temperature.
Daily stress can cause a temporary rise in blood pressure. In addition to professional, private or health stress, a visit to the doctor can be stressful for some people. Before you measure your blood pressure, take in deep breaths and slowly exhale. This will surely help release stress and improve your blood pressure. A temporary rise in blood pressure can be dangerous for people with high blood pressure.
It is normal for blood pressure to rise temporarily during exercise. This can be especially true with weightlifting, and possibly in a more dramatic way. To avoid an excessive rise in blood pressure when working with weights, follow these tips:
- Use the correct form.
- Don’t hold your breath during the exertion.
- Use lighter weights during repetitive exercising.
- Beware of dizziness, severe shortness of breath, and chest pain or pressure.
An active lifestyle is a great way to lower blood pressure over the long term.
Your blood pressure will be lower when your bladder is empty. Your systolic blood pressure (the first reading of a blood pressure reading, for example 119/79 mmHg) may rise by 10 to 15 mmHg when your bladder is full.
Food containing tyramine
It is an amino acid that regulates blood pressure, can cause a temporary rise in blood pressure. Some foods that contain tyramine include: strong or aged cheese, beer, and processed meats. The effects of tyramine on blood pressure can be particularly dangerous for people who take antidepressants, such as taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Examples of MAOIs are: Isocarboxazid, Phenelzine, Selegiline, and Tranylcypromine.
A temporary increase in blood pressure can be caused due to caffeine. Experts aren’t sure why. Some researchers believe that caffeine can block hormones. They widen the arteries, which leads to lower blood pressure. Others think that caffeine increases adrenaline.
Some of the over-the-counter drugs can change your blood pressure. High blood pressure pills are said to lower blood pressure while other pills for allergies can increase it.
Self-monitoring blood pressure at home
Due to regular blood pressure fluctuations, white coat syndrome and masked hypertension, doctors can recommend self-monitoring for high blood pressure. There are many advantages to measuring your own blood pressure: You know your true average blood pressure outside of regular fluctuations more control over your blood pressure. Track your progress save time and potentially money from frequent doctor visits and complications.
Fluctuations and Hypertension
If you find that some high blood pressure readings are interspersed with normal readings, you may have high blood pressure but a diagnosis has not been made. Experts don’t know exactly how primary hypertension develops, but it is believed that it involves a complex interaction between a person’s hypertension genes and your environment that affect your heart and kidney function. There are clear risk factors or factors that make a person more likely to develop high blood pressure, such as having other medical problems, like diabetes or high cholesterol.
Secondary hypertension may also occur. Secondary hypertension means that a person’s high blood pressure develops from another problem in the body or as a result of taking a drug.
How is fluctuating blood pressure treated?
First, a doctor will determine the underlying cause. He/she will ask about a person’s history and talk about their lifestyle and current medications. The doctor may also order or perform tests. Medication can lower blood pressure and prevent dangerous fluctuations. A person can also achieve this goal by changing their lifestyle. By attending follow-up exams, a person can ensure that their blood pressure stays within the normal range and that the medication does not cause any nasty side effects.
Choosing a healthy lifestyle and using certain medications carefully can help balance out fluctuations in blood pressure. Regular health checks and treatment for conditions that affect blood pressure are recommended.