Ups and downs. Spikes and dips. Is this normal? Is this dangerous? What should you do when things get out of control and blood pressure fluctuates wildly?
We all know about dangers of hypertension, however recent studies pointed out that it is not hypertension per se that causes the problem, but erratic ups and downs. Most cardiovascular accidents happen when blood pressure fluctuates wildly, not just when the numbers are up. Strokes, heart attacks, shortness of breath, sudden weakness, and falls can be traced back to erratic blood pressure.
But even erratic blood pressure stops looking erratic when you understand that BP does not go up and down without a reason. To find yours, you need to track down your own BP pattern.
Everyone has a specific BP pattern and no spike or dip is a luck of a draw. Finding your own reason why the ups and downs are happening gets you half way through solving the problem of erratic blood pressure.
To figure out your pattern you need to test BP at specific times. These times are listed in the BP log below. Download it and use it for a few days. It will help you find your own BP triggers.
Is it normal when blood pressure fluctuates wildly?
Fluctuating blood pressure is common to ALL of us. We all have it regardless whether we are actively looking for it or not. Yet I must clarify. It is not just any fluctuations, but erratic fluctuations that should concern us. So, although we all experience some swings we first must distinguish the good from the bad or, to be more exact, the erratic from the normal. Only then we can make any conclusions about our heart health.
Some cases of blood pressure fluctuating wildly are actually normal
Did you know that a healthy heart NEVER keeps BP numbers at 120/80 mmHg? Blood pressure that doesn’t ever change is a bad sign. It means a serious health compromise. Normally the numbers should swing effortlessly from upper to lower limit of normal, occasionally crossing the normal line even quite substantially.
The heart is not a robot, but an intelligently responsive organ that adjusts to the body needs. If the life circumstances demand a spike, the heart will deliver. If the circumstances demand low BP numbers, the heart will sense it, relax and slow down. Here are just two examples:
- Exercise is very energy demanding. For the muscles to get more energy, the heart needs to deliver more oxygen. To accommodate the need, the heart goes into a hypertensive zone during exercise sessions. If you test yourself in a gym you may think that your blood pressure fluctuates wildly, but it is not. Your blood pressure is compensating for the oxygen need.
- During the night a healthy heart goes into hypotension. This is to conserve energy during sleep. If anybody would test your BP in the middle of the night he would think that your blood pressure fluctuates wildly. But again, low BP during sleep is not a problem. It is how healthy physiology works. You should be concerned when BP does not go down overnight. If you don’t know what happens overnight you may want to get yourself a special BP monitor that dose that.
You will find more examples in what causes fluctuations in blood pressure.
3 examples of wild fluctuations to watch out for
Not all blood pressure fluctuations are good. Some, besides immediately increasing risk for strokes and heart attacks, have additional effects. Here are three common examples of blood pressure fluctuating wildly that does not fit into a healthy range:
1-When you stand up
What happens to BP when you stand up? Do the numbers go up, down, or stay the same? If you are perfectly healthy they should go up. They should never go down. When the numbers go down it is due to malfunctioning adrenals. Check your adrenals with adrenal stress test. Your BP won’t improve if the adrenals keep on malfunctioning.
2-When you at the doctor’s
What happens to your BP at the doctor’s office? A healthy heart does not flick, but keeps BP levels as if you would be watching a TV story. If your numbers go up, you may have white coat syndrome. White coat syndrome indicates your nervous system is overworked. That increases you chances of developing hypertension in the future. You need to work on your stress coping skills to avoid the risk.
3-When “nothing” happens
There may be an occasional spike, but for most part the numbers keep low during the day. Even though the blood pressure doesn’t look to fluctuate wildly, this isn’t what you want. Low BP during the day substantially increases dementia risk together with having many additional negative long-term effects like hearing loss, glaucoma, depression, and anxiety.
What to do when blood pressure fluctuates wildly
- Don’t panic. Play detective. There is always a reason.
- Test BP continuously for a few days to learn its pattern
- Use solution that is appropriate for your BP pattern. You will find those in The Ultimate Guide to Low & Fluctuating blood pressure. It is an easy read with plenty of proven natural solutions, so you can get back to health.