whats behind fluctuating blood pressure

What causes fluctuations in blood pressure?

Fluctuating blood pressure is caused by… It`s not what you think. Blood pressure fluctuations are seldom caused by a failing heart. In most cases erratic highs and lows are not due to a heart failure at all, but due to a failure of a nervous system.

You may be scratching your head right now. Then what causes fluctuations in blood pressure then and what does the nervous system have to do with the heart?

The heart isn’t an independent organ. It has a manager, the nervous system. The nervous system manages the heart’s rhythm and by regulating blood vessel diameter it also decides on blood pressure. That’s why excitement not only frequently leads to heart pounding, but also to spiked numbers.


However, there are many every day situations when blood pressure spikes are not only normal, but should be welcomed. Here are four every-day reasons for fluctuating blood pressure. These are known to cause blood pressure spikes of various amplitudes. You may want to check them out and compare how your BP behaves in those situations.

The non-heart reason for blood pressure spikes

Nervous system is a stress gauge. It knows when you are relaxing with friends or chasing deadline at work. It knows whether you are making love or digging the garden.

The job of the nervous system is to prepare the body for challenges. Stress is a challenge. Stress (or rather the nervous system that senses stress) keeps the body in the alert state and ready for the fight or flight. And that’s where blood pressure spikes come in.

Higher blood pressure means faster blood flow and that means faster oxygen delivery. Why would you need more oxygen during stress? To be able to put up a good fight or execute a swift flight.

A harder pumping heart makes sense when an actual fight or flight happens, but when there is zero physical challenge, there is no need for increased blood pressure, right?. Yet, it happened to you. 

What caused fluctuations in blood pressure in your case? 

Ultimate guide to low & fluctuating blood pressureUse your BP monitor to see how stressed your nervous system is. While there is nothing to worry about an occasional bump that shows up in readings, you should be truly concerned about frequent blood pressure spikes. What causes fluctuations in blood pressure in such case? Loss of ability to cope with stress. Frequent blood pressure spikes indicate that the nervous system is overworked.

Although initially the nervous system magnifies the challenges to compensate for body’s loss of physiological capacity,later, it simply fails due to exhaustion. 

There are four things you can do to get rid of blood pressure spikes: 

Finding out what causes fluctuations in blood pressure 

If you want to play a detective and figure out what causes fluctuations in blood pressure in your case you need to do the following:

  1. Check how much and when your blood pressure fluctuates. Maybe the fluctuations are just perfectly normal for your activity level.
  2. Rule out your medication as a cause. A substantial number of medications can make changes to your blood vessel tone, heart rate, and the nervous system.
  3. Rule out dietary causes. Some foods can cause nearly immediate blood pressure spike. Make sure you know them.
  4. Calm down! Stress can immediately increase your heart rate and increase your blood pressure. Learn how to cope with stress better
  5. Check your genetic predisposition. This DNA test will tell you if you have higher risk for cardiovascular disease. 

Health troubles are seldom random
Do your beliefs support your health goals? 


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