The Dangers of Fluctuating Blood Pressure

A doctor is able to assess a patient’s heart health based on measuring their blood pressure.  The diastolic and systolic blood pressure readings can fluctuate. Fluctuating blood pressure can be caused by a number of factors including certain health conditions, anxiety and stress.

Fluctuating Blood Pressure: Know what’s Normal

Normal blood pressure in a healthy adult is a systolic number that’s below 118mmhg and a diastolic that’s lower than 75mmhg. Because fluctuating blood pressure can happen in a matter of seconds, physicians recommend keeping track of your BP readings each day in a journal. When you go to your next appointment you can provide your doctor with these readings in order for them to accurate assess your blood pressure levels and determine if you need medication to manage it.

A diagnosis of hypertension will involve a systolic number that’s higher than 145mmhg and a diastolic reading of 80mmhg or higher. Managing blood pressure fluctuations can involve making lifestyle changes in order to lower the blood pressure and prevent heart attacks, stroke and heart disease.

orthostatic hypotension

Two in four adults will suffer from hypertension. Often, treating this condition will involve making changing to a person’s diet and activity level, in addition to taking daily blood pressure lowering medication. Taking this type of medication will involve close monitoring by your doctor, otherwise it can result in a condition referred to as hypotension. Hypotension involves dangerously low blood pressure which can cause the organs to become nutrient and oxygen deficient. Most physicians will consider a systolic number that’s lower than 80mmhg or a diastolic below 55mmhg as too low. Fluctuating blood pressure can cause the blood to drop too low, however this is only a concern if symptoms appear.

Fluctuating blood pressure can go from low to high readings in a very short period of time. Every heart beat can produce a different reading. So what causes the BP to fluctuate? Obesity, exercise, a person’s breathing rhythm, certain medications, caffeine, and energy drinks can also contribute to different levels. Certain medical conditions can also be to blame, including heart issues, pregnancy, infections, injury and dehydration. If a person’s BP fluctuates severely, symptoms will appear.

When a fluctuating BP causes hypotension, a person may experience such symptoms as lightheadedness, dizziness and fainting.  This is because not enough blood is reaching the brain. Other common symptoms that are associated with hypotension include vomiting, increased thirst, nausea and changes in vision. Hypertension in patients can cause difficulty breathing, anxiety, headaches, confusion or fainting. Usually, high blood pressure will not produce any noticeable symptoms until a serious event occurs such as a heart attack or chest pain or stroke.

How Blood Pressure Issues are diagnosed

Blood pressure issues can often be diagnosed during an annual exam. Your doctor will listen to your heart, take your vitals and do an overall assessment on your health. If the BP readings are too high or low you doctor may order additional tests, in order to determine the best type of treatment for you.

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