Why does my blood pressure keep changing? 4 common causes to know

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Blood pressure is the force that blood exerts against the walls of blood vessels. It naturally fluctuates throughout the day, influenced by various factors, from physical activity to emotional states.

However, when blood pressure readings change frequently and significantly, it can be a cause for concern. This review explores the common causes of fluctuating blood pressure readings, providing insights into why these changes occur and what they might mean for your health.

One of the primary reasons for fluctuating blood pressure is daily activities. Physical activities like exercising, walking, or even climbing stairs can cause temporary increases in blood pressure.

Conversely, resting or sleeping will generally lower blood pressure. The body’s normal circadian rhythms cause blood pressure to naturally be higher in the morning and decrease throughout the day, reaching its lowest point at night.

Emotional stress and anxiety are also significant contributors to fluctuating blood pressure readings. Stress triggers the release of hormones that temporarily increase blood pressure by causing your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow.

Similarly, moments of excitement or nervousness can lead to brief spikes in blood pressure. Once the moment passes, blood pressure usually returns to its baseline level.

Another common cause of fluctuating blood pressure is the way measurements are taken. Incorrect measurement techniques or using inappropriate cuff sizes can result in inaccurate readings. Even the position of your body during the measurement can affect the results.

For example, crossing your legs or talking during the measurement can falsely elevate blood pressure readings. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that blood pressure is measured in a consistent manner.

Certain medications can also lead to changes in blood pressure. For example, medications that treat hypertension can lower blood pressure, while others like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or some antidepressants might raise it.

Furthermore, the timing of medication can affect blood pressure; for instance, the effect of blood pressure medications may wane as the next dose draws near, potentially causing fluctuations.

Medical conditions may also be behind fluctuating blood pressure. Conditions such as white coat hypertension, where blood pressure spikes in a medical setting due to anxiety, and masked hypertension, where blood pressure is lower in a medical setting than at home, can lead to varying readings.

More serious conditions like pheochromocytoma, a rare tumor of the adrenal gland which secretes hormones that can cause sporadic but significant increases in blood pressure, and autonomic dysregulation, where the nervous system fails to regulate blood pressure effectively, can also cause fluctuations.

To manage fluctuating blood pressure, it’s important to monitor it regularly and under consistent conditions. Keeping a log of your readings can help identify patterns or triggers of changes in your blood pressure.

It’s also beneficial to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management techniques. If you notice frequent significant fluctuations, it may be wise to consult with a healthcare provider to rule out underlying conditions.

In conclusion, fluctuating blood pressure readings can be influenced by a variety of factors including daily activities, emotional states, measurement techniques, medications, and underlying medical conditions.

Understanding these can help in managing and interpreting your blood pressure readings more accurately. Regular monitoring and a healthy lifestyle, along with professional medical advice, are key to managing blood pressure effectively and maintaining good cardiovascular health.

If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies that early time-restricted eating could help improve blood pressure, and natural coconut sugar could help reduce blood pressure and artery stiffness.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about How to eat your way to healthy blood pressure and results showing that Modified traditional Chinese cuisine can lower blood pressure.

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