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Fluctuating blood pressure: Causes, complications and prevention

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You may have noticed that anytime you visit a doctor, a blood pressure reading is a must. This is because your blood pressure reading can say a lot about the state of your health. But what many people do not know is that this reading may change many times during the day.  Most of the time, you may not even feel the difference because there may be no outward signs and symptoms because the fluctuations are very brief. But sometimes, these may go really high or too low and you will feel the effects. So, it is important to know how to read the signs so that you can consult a doctor if this happens.

Common causes of fluctuating blood pressure

There are many reasons why you may experience this condition. Sometimes, stress, anxiety and tension may trigger fluctuating blood pressure. A visit to a doctor’s clinic may also cause your blood pressure to shoot up as can physical activity, laughing and sex too. There are many foods that can have an effect and drinking alcohol and tobacco use too impacts your blood pressure. Moreover, many drugs like diuretics, anti-histamines and blood pressure medications also play a part in fluctuating blood pressure.

Medical causes behind this condition

Hormonal imbalances and problems with your adrenal gland may result in low reading and an overactive adrenal system can cause sudden spikes. You may also experience fluctuations if you have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, thyroid issues or obstructive sleep apnea. A study at University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus says that a single bout of sleep apnea impacts the human body’s ability to regulate blood pressure. Dehydration is another cause as is pregnancy. Many nervous system problems may also cause fluctuations in blood pressure.

Complications of fluctuating blood pressure

This condition is usually not serious. But you need to consult a doctor if you suspect anything is wrong because it may indicate some underlying health condition. Timely treatment will prevent complications like hypertension, heart disease and also dementia. According to a study in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension, higher long-term variability in blood pressure readings were linked to faster declines in brain and cognitive function among older adults. In another study at Columbia University’s Taub Institute, New York, researchers saw that the risk of cerebrovascular diseases appears to be higher among individuals with fluctuating blood pressure in addition to high blood pressure. This was published in Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Prevention tips

You need to be alert to fluctuations in your blood pressure to avoid complications. Monitor your readings at regular intervals. At the same time, you need to take steps to prevent this from happening. A shift to a healthy lifestyle will help a lot in this. Lose weight if you need to and exercise regularly. Include more whole grains, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy in your diet and cut back on salt intake. Avoid stress and limit alcohol and caffeine intake. Stop smoking. These steps will help you keep you healthy and prevent wild fluctuations of blood pressure.

Published : December 26, 2020 9:37 pm




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