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Blood pressure variation

By June 17, 2011 - 4:05pm
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I have been monitoring my BP for the past 2 weeks 3/4 times a day and taking an average of the 8 readings I take at those times.
I am pleased to say that it has reduced a lot since I went to my doctor and focused on it. I have started to take garlic, magnesium,calcium and changed my diet. I am 77kg,5 foot 10inches tall, so am not overweight and go to the gym 2/3 times a week and do not smoke. I have always watched what I eat.
My readings have gone from the 140's over the mid 90's on average two weeks ago (when I was in with the doctor it was 155/110....which we put down to White coat syndrome) to now in the 110's120's and occasionally the 130's over anything from the mid 70's to occasionally the mid 90's. My pulse is anything from 60 to 80 usually.

My question is, are variations like what I am now getting normal? I am desperately trying to get the levels down to the 70/low 80 level through diet, supplement and stress management on an on going basis.
I am also prone to panic attacks if I dwell on things since my difficult divorce (now completed) and have had to go ER twice for this. I am seeing a specialist to try and stop these attacks happening in future and have not had one for some time. I wonder whether the occasions when I have my higher blood pressure readings are linked in any way to my high BP tendency.Can you advise? Thank you Peter

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Hi Peter,

Congrats on lowering your BP!

Did your doctor tell you to take your Blood Pressure 8 times a day? It seems like an awful lot to be taking it at home -- it can be a culprit in your fluctuating pressure and cause unnecessary stress. At most, I would say to take your blood pressure 2-3 times a day but no more than that.

A couple of things on fluctuating blood pressure- it's not uncommon, especially if you tend to stress out over it, and there are factors that can attribute to these changes or fluctuations:

Asleep or awake – usually lower when sleeping
Body position - lying down, sitting or standing
Emotional state - such as stress and anger or being relaxed
Activity level - from not moving to extreme exertion
Temperature – blood pressure will tend to go up when you are cold
White coat hypertension – blood pressure increases in a medical setting
Sleep apnea - pauses in breathing while sleeping raise blood pressure
Smoking – increases blood pressure
Caffeine – increases blood pressure
Alcohol – increases blood pressure

Panic Attacks will definitely affect your Blood Pressure and it seems that your blood pressure is more stress-related than due to your lifestyle. If you can learn to control the anxiety and stress, then you will see that your blood pressure will stabilize. It is VERY important that you take some steps back from this fixation on your blood pressure and just live a healthy lifestyle. Taper off from the amount of times you take your blood pressure until you get down to 2 times a day and eventually once it's at anything below 120/80, you can leave it to just once a day (if you must).

Best wishes,


June 18, 2011 - 7:36am
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