130/80 then 210/95? Why does my blood pressure fluctuate so much?
Relax! Not all spikes and dips are bad. Fluctuating blood pressure is a common phenomenon. Did you know that BP numbers go up and down every minute and sometimes quite substantially even in a healthy individual? The key is to sift out good blood pressure spikes from the bad.
This article explains the reasons behind blood pressure spikes. However, if your BP is out of control, going up and down without apparent rhyme or reason, you likely want to read this particular article.
How to organize blood pressure spikes
Before you panic about your blood pressure spikes, you need do two things. First, make sure that your BP monitor is accurate and that the numbers you see aren’t an error. If you are not sure, get a new monitor that has high accuracy.
Second, keep a log of blood pressure spikes. Tracing the numbers can help discover your own BP pattern. That will not only help you solve your BP mystery, but also help your doctor understand your case better.
To get the most helpful data, know when is the best time to “catch” blood pressure spikes. It is not “whenever”, but at the time when the spike is most likely to show up. Measure your BP at various situations. Frequently blood pressure spikes are situation-specific. Here is a download that will guide you through the best timing.
So, why does my blood pressure fluctuate so much?
Once you have your log filled out, you will need to distinguish whether the ups and downs are normal or not. Blood pressure fluctuations reflect cardiovascular adaptability. So while a small bump in reading at specific situation says your body can handle the event, a large spike at another time may mean your body is overwhelmed. Why the body does that? Here is the reason.
BP numbers can go up in a split second. It is not unusual to see BP going up by 30 or 40 points during the day. That may be normal, because even the most mundane activities like walking, talking, singing or laughing can cause BP to go up.
For example, a laughter bout can shoot systolic number up by 15 points. And that would be considered totally acceptable even in people with perfect health. Talking does the same thing. That’s why you are told not talk or laugh when taking the readings. Any move, conversation, or laughter may cause “falsely” elevated numbers.
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1- Blood pressure spikes during exercise
You may be asking yourself: why does my blood pressure fluctuate so much when I go to the gym?
Physical exertion is know for challenging blood pressure. Exercise is demanding and in order to deliver oxygen to muscles, the heart needs to pumps harder. But different exercise types raise BP differently. Walking causes a small 10 mmHg spike, running, boxing or weight lifting register a higher increases.
The most demanding appears to be weigh lifting. A standard weight lifting session increases systolic numbers by an average 50-70 points. Well-trained athletes can have systolic spikes as high as 300 mmHg.
There is nothing unusual about such dramatic spikes. Physical activity requires oxygen and that means either faster heart beat, higher blood pressure, or both. Insufficient oxygen can decreases muscle power by as much as 90%. Is your body suffering due to low oxygenation? If you don’t know, get yourself an oxymeter.
2- Why does my blood pressure fluctuate so much during sex?
Blood flow and sex go together. And although poor cardiovascular performance may be less of an issue for women, for males weak penile erections may be extremely embarrassing.
BP goes up during sex. How much? It all depends on what you do. Missionary position increases BP by about 20 systolic points in males with a healthy heart. Anything more vigorous will end up systolically higher.
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Expect higher numbers if you have a compromised heart, go into challenging contortions, or go beyond normal fun. Be aware that anti-hypertensive medications can interfere with circulation and contribute to abnormal highs and lows.
Interestingly, there are some foods that can help with penile circulation. You can download the food list from the button.
3- Spiked blood pressure at the doctor’s?
Are your numbers high at the doctor’s, but absolutely fine at home? That’s white coat syndrome.
White coat syndrome is nothing else but a physiological response to emotional stress. Such spike isn’t healthy, because emotional stress should never cause high BP. White coat syndrome isn’t a normal response to stress. Studies suggest that what coat syndrome may develop into full-blown hypertension over time. The only way to prevent it is to adopt better stress coping strategies.
4- Blood pressure spikes in the afternoon
It’s true. Blood pressure fluctuates according to the time of the day. So while your BP may be perfectly normal in the morning it may not be so perfect in the afternoon. No need to be frustrated. This is to be expected.
Afternoon or evening blood pressure readings are normally higher, because the heart follows a circadian rhythm. It is not uncommon to register 10 or 15 point increase in both numbers in the later part of the day.
Why that may be of any importance to you? Because when you want to stress your heart, whether by going to the gym or by having a rendezvous, you will be wise to schedule those in the morning. If you are prone to blood pressure spikes, smart scheduling may minimize them.
When to worry about heart disease
Why is my blood pressure fluctuating so much? Is it hypertension? No one wants to end up with the heart disease. Neither anybody has to.
Hypertension does not develop overnight. It is a slow process. Don’t expect to wake up with a heart disease on Monday, while on Sunday you were still perfectly healthy. There is a huge time gap (sometimes decades) between a healthy heart and a hypertensive heart. And this gap is filled with sporadic spikes.
Seldom anyone pays attention an occasional, little bump in readings. But this is exactly how hypertensive tendencies can be spotted. Initially those little spikes show up infrequently and only during physical or emotional stress. Over time they grow to monstrous proportions. They shoot higher and become more frequent. Eventually they don’t come down at all.
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Most people miss the warning signs of hypertension, because seldom anyone checks blood pressure while watching a comedy, during an aerobics class or just before peaking in sex.
If that happened to you, you likely want to know what to do about it before it is too late. Don’t panic. Grab The Ultimate Guide It is full of proven natural solutions to minor and major blood pressure fluctuations. And… get back to health.