Fluctuating Blood Pressure, What Gives?

Do you have fluctuating blood pressure?

Variations of more than 15mmHg between tests are considered quite serious and need to be evaluated.  There are many causes of fluctuating blood pressure, lets take a look at them and see if they apply to your situation. Often times, a combination of a few factors can cause large fluctuations.  With a few improved habits, you can mitigate fluctuating blood pressure.

Causes of Fluctuating Blood Pressure

  • Dehydration
    When you’re dehydrated you blood volume decreases and thus your blood pressure goes down.  Imagine turning the faucet to half volume and the pressure on the walls of the hose would decrease considerably.  This is the same effect seen when blood volume is decreased due to dehydration.
  • Fever
    Typically moderately higher blood pressure measurements accompany a fever.
  • Nicotine/Caffeine
    Cigarettes and Coffee will definitely have an immediate impact on your blood pressure.  To get an accurate reading you should abstain for a few hours prior to getting tested.
  • Medications
    There are a huge list of very common medications that effect your blood pressure, both raising and lowering it.  When getting tested, take into account variations in your medication regimens between visits.
  • Stress
    One of the more difficult factors to quantify is stress and it’s affect on your blood pressure.  Even just the simple process of seeing a doctor causes anxiety is some people and will have an effect on their blood pressure.
  • Time of Day
    Blood pressure levels fluctuate based on hormone levels which vary throughout the day.  It’s best if you can schedule your measurements at the same relative time of day.

What’s worrisome about large fluctuating blood pressure measurements is that a [:todo source] recent study correlated a 30% increase in the mortality of people with greater than a 15 mmHg variance in their systolic pressure.


Home Blood Pressure Monitor

Because of all the environmental factors that can temporarily affect your blood pressure, the best way to really get an accurate gauge is to test blood pressure at home. Home testing will allow you to have a stress free environment and the opportunity to take multiple measurements over a period of time. Consistent blood pressure testing at home is superior to semi-annual readings that you get when visiting the clinic.

If you’re seeing significant variations in your blood pressure metrics, the first thing you should do is buy a home blood pressure monitor. Find out if you’re hypertensive and if you really do have wild fluctuating blood pressure. Chances are, that you’ll find out a lot more about your real blood pressure metrics testing frequently at home.


What to do if you have fluctuating blood pressure

If you’ve run a number of tests and you find that your blood pressure is fluctuating, then you should see a doctor about it.  If you’ve checked the above list of causes and determined that they aren’t a factor in your fluctuations, then you should see a specialist.  Bring with you,  a list of your measurements, as well as your medicine regimen, in case your fluctuating blood pressure is caused by one of your medications.

Lowering your blood pressure

If you’re blood pressure numbers are high (systolic greater than 120), then you’ll need to start adopting some different lifestyle habits to mitigate your rising blood pressure. Diet changes can be hugely helpful, especially if you’re overweight. The Judicious Consumption diet is a fantastic diet for lowering blood pressure and increasing longevity.  The diet combines the benefits of Ketogenic principles and Intermittent Fasting.



What causes your blood pressure to fluctuate?


Comments 1

  1. Stress is the biggest trigger for me. I’ve noticed considerably higher numbers when work is causing me stress. Exercise seems to mitigate most of my issues.

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