Sudden High Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure changes throughout the day. Sudden fluctuations are also possible depending on your current physical and psychological state. Although there are fluctuations, they may not be that noticeable or serious in some people. Even when their blood pressure changes, it stays within the normal range. However, some people may experience a sudden high blood pressure; if this occurs frequently, chronic hypertension can be caused, which can lead to heart disease and stroke. Keep reading to discover more about why blood pressure changes and how to keep it in check.

Normal Blood Pressure vs. High Blood Pressure

Measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHG), you will get two readings when your doctor checks your blood pressure. The higher number is called the systolic blood pressure, which refers to the pressure in your arteries at the time your heart pumps blood. The lower number is called the diastolic blood pressure that measures the pressure when the heart is at rest and fills itself with blood between 2 heartbeats. Normal blood pressure for adults is below 120/80mmHG.

However, you may have hypertension when your blood pressure consistently stays around 140/90mmHG.You are considered to be in a pre-hypertension stage when your blood pressure is between 120/80—139/89 mm HG. As a common adult, you should ensure that your blood pressure stays below 140/90mmHG. For people with diabetes, you need to set a lower goal of blood pressure.

What Can Cause Sudden High Blood Pressure?

A number of factors may lead to sudden increase in blood pressure. Some are temporary while some require medical attention.

1. Vigorous Physical Activity

Running up a hill, walking briskly, swimming, and even energetic dancing can raise your blood pressure. It happens because your body needs more oxygen when you engage in physically demanding activities. With a change in your breathing, there will be a change in your blood pressure. your heart beats faster and harder to supply oxygenated blood to all parts of your body. This leads to a slight increase in blood pressure. For healthy adults, the change in blood pressure is not that drastic. In fact, it usually does not exceed the normal range unless you already have hypertension.

2. Stress

Psychological stress can change your blood pressure. Your blood pressure rises almost immediately in situations when you feel scared, anxiousor angry. Under such situations, the nerve impulses sent from brain to heart along with stress hormone in the blood circulation can cause a sudden high blood pressure. Sitting quietly for some time, taking a few deep breaths, and focusing on pleasant thoughts will help lower your blood pressure again.

3. Substance Usage

Substance usage can be blamed for causing sudden blood pressure. Smoking, alcohol, certain medication and illicit drugs can be common factors.

  • Smoking loads your body with nicotine and other chemicals which enter the blood stream then reduce the blood oxygen levels. This can cause faster heartbeat and your blood vessels become tighter.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, certain allergy medication, and analgesics like acetaminophen may result in sudden high blood pressure.
  • Use of methamphetamines, cocaine, or other illicit drugs can raise your blood pressure to dangerous levels. Alcohol abuse and herbs like licorice may also be responsible for raising your blood pressure.

4. Cold Weather

Your blood pressure will increase a bit in winter due to the constriction of blood vessels in cold weather. You may also notice sudden high blood pressureif you walk into a climate-controlled environment with high or low setting of air conditioning. Also, elders will have blood pressure changes due to the atmospheric pressure changes ahead of weather changes.

5. Too Much Salty Food

Consuming too much of salt may also increase your blood pressure because sodium increases fluid retention and raises your blood pressure in a short time.

How to Relieve Sudden High Blood Pressure

Several lifestyle changes help to keep blood pressure stay in normal range. Lifestyle changes really help when your blood pressure is at a range of 120/80 mm HG to 140/90 mm HG. For higher ranges, you will need to take medications to lower your blood pressure and manage the relatively high risk of cardiovascular disease. Here are some changes you can easily perform in daily life to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

1. Exercise regularly

You should exercise at least for half an hour a few times a week. You need to be consistent on exercise to see results. The best exercises include jogging, walking, swimming, cycling, or dancing. Or simply opting for stairs instead of an elevator can help.

Go for power walks at a brisk pace helps to lower blood pressure by 8mmHg or more. Exercise enables your heart to use oxygen more efficiently, which in turn reduces your blood pressure.

2. Follow Some Meditative Practices

Trying meditative practices such as yoga, qigong, and tai chi help lower the levels of stress hormones in your body. This helps regulate your blood pressure. Deep breathing also helps control your blood pressure.

3. Eat a Healthy Diet

Include more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products to your diet. Avoid food rich in saturated fat to lower your blood pressure. Eat more fruits that contain potassium. Keeping a food diary can better monitor what caused a sudden high blood pressure and what to eat at a regular base.

4. Reduce Sodium Intake

A small reduction in sodium in your diet may help lower your blood pressure by 2-8 mmHg. Your aim should be to have less than 2,300mg of sodium a day. Always read food labels to confirm how much sodium it contains. Limit your consumption of processed foods and use herbs in place of sodium. Still, remember not to cut salt from your diet too quickly.

5. Limit Alcohol Intake

Alcohol may not be that harmful in small amounts, but it can always raise your blood pressure, especially when you do not know where to draw the line. For people older than age 65, it is important to not have more than one drink a day. Younger men and women can have a couple of drinks a day, but anything more than this will raise blood pressure.

6. Take a Supplement

Some studies have confirmed that coenzyme Q10 helps reduce blood pressure. It provides your body with energy and helps dilate blood vessels to lower your blood pressure. Talk to your doctor before taking any supplement.

7. Garlic

Simply including raw garlic in your diet may help bring your blood pressure down a bit. You can enjoy it with fried and cooked rice. Just be sure to have it in your diet to manage hypertension.

8. Lemon Juice

Some people have reported the benefits of drinking lemon juice with water and sugar in lowering blood pressure. Drink it at least twice a day to get the wanted results.

9. Fenugreek

Fenugreek helps lower blood pressure. Due to its bitter taste, you need to make it into powder and take one spoon orally before bed, along with drinking lots of water meanwhile to solve the bitterness. Yet, just not to take fenugreek daily because it can lower your blood sugar levels as well.

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