The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
Why Does Blood Pressure Fluctuate?
Blood pressure changes naturally many times a day. Most changes are normal and predictable. When these spikes and valleys in your blood pressure occur, you may not experience unusual signs or symptoms.
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 (especially salt and alcohol intake), and sleep deprivation.
CausesFluctuating blood pressure can be caused by several issues.
StressEmotional stress and anxiety can temporarily increase blood pressure. Over time, excess stress can take a toll on your cardiovascular system and might lead to permanent blood pressure problems.
White-coat syndromeWhite-coat syndrome occurs when worry or stress from a doctor’s appointment causes a temporary spike in blood pressure. At home, you may find your reading is normal. The high blood pressure reading doesn’t mean you have hypertension (high blood pressure). However, people with white-coat hypertension are more likely to develop high blood pressure.
MedicationBoth over-the-counter and prescription medications can impact your blood pressure. Some medications, like diuretics and blood pressure pills, are designed to lower your blood pressure numbers. Others, like cold and allergy medications, can increase your blood pressure.
ActivityExercise, talking, laughter, and even sex can cause blood pressure fluctuations.
Food and drinkWhat you eat or drink might impact your blood pressure reading. Foods high in tyramine, a substance found in aged foods, can increase blood pressure. This includes foods that are:
Adrenal issuesYour adrenal system is responsible for hormone production. Adrenal fatigue occurs when your hormone production is low. Your blood pressure may fall as a result. An overactive adrenal system can cause sudden spikes in blood pressure and hypertension.
PheochromocytomaThis rare tumor develops in the adrenal glands and impacts hormone production. It can cause sudden bursts of irregular blood pressure readings with normal spans in between.
Risk factorsThese factors may put you at greater risk for experiencing fluctuating blood pressure:
- high levels of stress
- taking blood pressure pills that aren’t effective or don’t last until your next dose
- tobacco use
- excessive alcohol consumption
- night-shift work
- cardiovascular disease
- poorly controlled or uncontrolled high blood pressure
- obstructive sleep apnea
- kidney disease
- thyroid problems
- nervous system problems
TreatmentFluctuating blood pressure numbers don’t necessarily need treatment unless they’re caused by an underlying condition or disease. That’s why treatment for fluctuating blood pressure consists of three main components. These are:
- Regularly monitoring your blood pressure. Unusual highs and lows may predict future problems, so monitor your numbers regularly to catch problems early.
- Making healthy lifestyle changes. Healthy lifestyle practices can help you avoid blood pressure problems or fluctuations.
- Taking medications as prescribed. Your doctor may prescribe medication to help regulate your blood pressure if lifestyle changes aren’t adequate.