Spikes and dips, highs and lows. How to interpret those fluctuating blood pressure readings?
There are at least five reasons why blood pressure may behave “erratically”. Fluctuating blood pressure readings may be due to excitement, due to atherosclerosis, due to medication, and even due to failure of the nervous system. You want to figure out which of the above causes your numbers are linked to.
Below you will find a simplified guide on the readings and their causes. But before you make any conclusions about your BP, make sure you have a well-functioning monitor that accurately reads your heart. Modern units can keep your history and help you discover a pattern that could be used in detecting the causes, so if you have an old clunker, it’s time to upgrade.
The red button contains a fridge chart. Download it, print it and keep it for your reference:
What causes differences in fluctuating blood pressure readings
1. A small blood pressure spike among normal readings
When your readings show mostly as normal, but then you suddenly see a blood pressure spike occur, don’t panic. Instead, check your monitor. An old or unreliable one can play tricks. Get rid of the prankster and get yourself a serious BP unit.
If your monitor is fine, the next thing you need to do is to check the timing of your blood pressure spikes. In other words you need to know when fluctuating blood pressure readings occur.
Is it after exercise, at a doctor’s office, or before a job interview? This is vital information, because it is the circumstances that determine whether your blood pressure spikes are normal or not. As a general rule, spikes due to physical exertion are good, but the ones from excitement are not.
I have dedicated a full post on circumstances that cause fluctuating blood pressure readings. These are everyday situations that can spike blood pressure even in a healthy individuals. See whether those apply to you and whether your spike is nothing to worry about.
2. A super spike within high blood pressure readings
There are two different types of hypertension: steady readings (same high numbers) and fluctuating blood pressure readings (variable numbers). Data shows that steady hypertension is far less dangerous than hypertension with blood pressure spikes. The latter is more concerning, because strokes and heart attacks occur at the moment of a spike.
Hypertension accompanied by a super spike is considered to be the most dangerous type of fluctuating blood pressure readings and should be feared. It is most frequent in people with long-standing hypertension and hardened arteries. Consider significant lifestyle changes to improve your situation. There are 5 lifestyle ingredients that can improve health no matter what. Otherwise you can address nutrition and start anti-inflammatory diet that can help your heart tremendously.
Be aware that cholesterol lowering pills do not reverse atherosclerosis. They do not remove cholesterol deposits from the arteries, neither they stop the process. They only lower, not regulate, blood pressure readings.
In fact, cholesterol lowering pills may cause more harm than good. They are shown not only to be less effective than diets, but also may contribute to deadly strokes. Know the little-known facts on cholesterol pills before trusting their benefits.
3. A dip within normal blood pressure readings
This is one of the rarest of the fluctuating blood pressure readings. It happens mostly to elderly or individuals with low electrolyte and fluid reserves, individuals that are on low salt diets, poorly hydrated, and poorly nourished.
- Rapid re-hydration drops
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A few events can precipitate the dips. Diarrhea, exposure to heat, illness, sauna, physical exertion and anything that promotes heavy sweating can also lead to a temporary low blood pressure readings.
Occasionally menstruation in women with low BP or chronic stress can cause extra low readings. Don’t take those dips lightly. They aren’t harmless, because even temporary reduction in blood pressure has negative health consequences. But it does not mean you are stuck with countless pills for your condition. You CAN treat low blood pressure with natural methods.
4. A sudden spike in low blood pressure
This one is the hardest type to spot. But, if it happens that you discover it, consider treating it through a series of lifestyle changes.
Fluctuating blood pressure readings of this kind may be caused by poorly adjusted heart medication. This is usually the case in the elderly. People with adrenal adrenal fatigue may also experience it.
Adrenal fatigue can result from chronic stress. Inability to cope well with stress may lead to adrenal burnout. Low functioning adrenals contribute to low blood pressure. A sudden spike may occur during pain, fever, emotional upset, or unusual physical exertion.
If adrenal fatigue is the cause behind erratic readings then it makes no sense to treat the heart. You need to treat the adrenals. Check whether the adrenals are working well with adrenal stress test.
5. Blood pressure fluctuates wildly
When blood pressure fluctuates wildly and the readings are totally erratic, chances are it is NOT the heart. Erratic blood pressure is a common phenomenon in elderly and debilitated individuals on BP medications. Be aware, that anti-hypertensive medications don’t regulate BP. They only lower it, and they don’t adjust to circumstances.
When blood pressure fluctuates wildly you need to look beyond the meds. Nutritional deficiencies, chronic inflammation, lack of physical conditioning and many other factors contribute to erratic BP. To see what you can do immediately about it click through to fluctuating blood pressure in elderly.
To resolve erratic BP problem permanently, please consult The Ultimate Guide to Low & Fluctuating Blood Pressure. It is the most comprehensive book on the subject with special test, explanation of causes, tips, and natural solutions that have been proven in a clinical setting.
Health troubles are seldom random
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