why does blood pressure increase during the day
Question: How Does My Blood Pressure Change Throughout The Day And Night? Answer: Blood pressure does tend to change during the day. When we wake up, it typically is somewhat higher than it is after we've had a chance to sit down, eat some breakfast. Blood pressure is also higher first thing in the morning because when we get up from a lying position, many of us get a sudden rush of adrenaline, and that adrenaline tends to raise one's blood pressure and heart rate. Many of us also tend to be -- think about all the different things we have to do during the course of the day. And it's important for people to realize that there's going to be fluctuations from minute to minute in one's blood pressure. But the most important thing is trying to take multiple readings during the day if a person does have a tendency for higher blood pressure, and to go over with your physician or other health care provider what these numbers mean. Normal or optimal blood pressure is less than 120 over 80. And we call hypertension greater than 140 for the top number, greater than 90 for the bottom number.
And now, if people have multiple risk factors for heart disease, many of us are trying to aim for at least blood pressure of less than 130 over 80. Next: Previous:
My blood pressure readings vary throughout the day. Sometimes they're high and sometimes they're low. So I'm not sure if I have high blood pressure or not. Blood pressure varies throughout the day and is influenced by a number of factors, says Dr. Joshua Penn, a cardiologist with Cedars-Sinai Medical Group and in private practice in Beverly Hills. For starters, all humans have a natural daily rise and fall in blood pressure that corresponds with their circadian rhythm. For most people, blood pressure will be at its lowest in the early morning hours and then rise through the late morning and peak in midafternoon. Typically, this range will be about 10 to 15 millimeters of mercury on the upper, or systolic, value, which represents the peak pressure in the arteries; and five to 10 millimeters of mercury on the lower, or diastolic, value, which represents the lowest pressure at the resting phase of the cardiac cycle.
Thus, a person with a resting blood pressure of 125/70 at 3 a. m. , might have a reading of 140/80 by late afternoon. Other factors contribute to fluctuations in blood pressure, but the most common one is hypertension, a condition characterized by chronic high blood pressure. "When a person has a history of hypertension, or if the blood pressure has not been well-controlled over a period of years, then the vessels themselves become more reactive, meaning they tighten up with less provocation than they would in an average person," Penn says. One of the manifestations of poorly controlled blood pressure is a high degree of variability, he says. A person with a lot of variation could easily have a blood pressure of 140/90 in the morning and a reading of 200/100 later in the day. Other factors, such as stress, emotional upsets and food sensitivities can cause an increase in blood pressure. Someone who is salt sensitive, for example, could get a double-digit boost from a big dose of salt. Certain street drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, can cause a spike.
Finally, there's a phenomenon known as "white coat hypertension," in which the stress of a visit to the doctor's office causes an elevation in blood pressure. On the other side of the coin, alcohol, cessation of exercise and a warm environment can lower blood pressure. Penn has found home blood pressure devices (particularly the ones that measure blood pressure at the biceps, rather than the wrist or finger) to be reasonably accurate Б "usually within 10 points on the upper and five on the lower. They can actually be quite helpful," he says. Many physicians think that optimal blood pressure is below 120/80 and that blood pressure from 120/80 to 139/89 signifies that the patient may be at risk for hypertension. Blood pressure above 139/89 in several readings would be considered mild hypertension. "We know from data that lower natural blood pressure is associated with longevity," Penn says. Hypertension, which is partly genetic and tends to increase with age, can usually be controlled with proper medical attention, diet and exercise.
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