Fluctuating blood pressure happens to all of us but you may be relieved to know that some degree of ups and downs is absolutely normal and even desirable. There are actually five types and one of them for sure pertains to you.
In a HEALTHY body changes to the top and bottom numbers will be SMALL throughout the day. Not sure what it means? The post on fluctuating blood pressure will explain that.
Is spiked blood pressure genetic?
Many people are under the impression that hypertension carries a strong genetic component. This is not true, otherwise reversal of hypertension would be impossible. And although the genetic make up is passed on from the parents to the kids, the resulting health of the offspring is determined by their lifestyle, not genes. Genes are changeable and they ultimately determine whether a person ends up in good health.
Those who understand the importance of good lifestyle habits will be able to enjoy a healthy heart till their late senior years. To learn more about genes and spiked blood pressure go to this post.
Part of the good lifestyle habits involves making heart-friendly food choices. To have a handy reference for those download the chart below. It contains foods that help stabilize spiking numbers.
Common causes of fluctuating blood pressure
Here are just a few of the most common causes for erratic numbers: prescription medication, adrenal fatigue, and hardened arteries. Chances are at least one of them pertains to you.
1. The effect of medication
Any medication whether prescribed by your doctor or bought over the counter at a store or a pharmacy can potentially exert an effect on your heart.
Medication for depression, hypertension, or Parkinson’s are among the most commonly contributing causes to fluctuating blood pressure. `
Be aware that hypertension medications lower, but do NOT regulate blood pressure. Diuretics (water pills), beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers all lower the pressure when it is high, but DO NOT raise it when it is low.
Therefore with these medications you may even experience low blood pressure symptoms while your doctor diagnosed you with signs of high blood pressure.
2. Adrenal fatigue and overactivity
Adrenals, which are responsible for regulation of many hormones, are also major contributors to cardiovascular health. When adrenals are fatigued whether due to prolonged illness, excessive or chronic stress they will not be able to regulate the pressure.
Fatigued adrenals are commonly responsible for consistently LOW readings. Overactive adrenals, on the other hand, can cause sudden hypertensive SPIKE. That happens when you experience excitement, anger, drink caffeinated beverages, are suddenly exposed to cold, or engage in physical exertion you are not accustomed to.
Blood pressure fluctuations due to adrenal fatigue are more common in older population. Spiking of blood pressure due to adrenal over-excitement is more common in younger people. You can test adrenal function at home with this test
3. Hardening of arteries
Calcium and cholesterol deposits in the arteries make arteries stiff and inelastic. Stiff arteries cannot relax. They cannot open and they eventually cause hypertension. This process is most evident in middle-aged or older people.
Stiff arteries do not just cause hypertension. They cause a specific type of problem, called systolic hypertension. Systolic hypertension, besides being a scary name, is easily detected by home BP monitors.
Elastic blood vessels are responsible for keeping the difference between diastolic (bottom) and systolic (top) numbers low. The ideal difference between these two numbers should be 40 (e.g. 120/80). Keep this rule in mind: the bigger the difference between the numbers the higher the probability of atherosclerosis and higher the degree of arterial stiffness.
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We would be living in a perfect world if a solution to the above is a pill to re-elasticise arteries. Unfortunately your medical doctor will prescribe blood pressure lowering medication instead, which again lowers, but does not regulate blood pressure. You may easily imagine what this combination of inelastic blood vessels and anti-hypertensive medication can do. Two together are one of the most common cause of the dreaded problems of aging: a greatly fluctuating blood pressure.
Making it better
Do not attempt to remove plaque deposits by lowering your blood cholesterol. It does not work like this. Do not count on your heart medication to improve the health of your blood vessels. Cholesterol-lowering medications do not remove cholesterol deposits from arteries neither make them more elastic.
To make your heart and your blood vessels healthy again you will need a bit more than just your daily white or a cream pill. The success to taming erratic circulation is encapsulated in the four points below.
Permanently control fluctuating blood pressure
- Keep stress under control – here is a stress thermometer to keep you cool
- Improve arterial elasticity – for that you need a lifestyle change
- Strengthen adrenals – you can test them here
- Reverse hypertension – well, that one is a multifactoral; one solution will not fit everyone, because maintaining healthy body is a Skill, not a Pill