I am a healthy 44 year old woman. I do not smoke and rarely drink, and my weight is normal. My blood pressure always has been wonderful -- in the 110/68 range. I recently began to experience random spikes to 167/98, 154/101, etc. These last 2 or 3 hours. During these spikes my ears ring and my pulse accelerates. Testing for pheochromocytoma did not show illness. Suggestions?
Blood pressure does fluctuate throughout the day, and can be in response to both psychological and physiological stresses.
I agree that testing for pheochromocytoma be done, but kidney disease, Cushing's disease, sleep apnea, adrenal gland disorders, and various vascular diseases can be considered as well.
Obtaining blood tests can be done to exclude these causes. Also, doing 24-hr blood pressure monitoring can help determine if there are any stressors that can lead to the blood pressure spikes.
A sleep study can be considered if apnea is suspected, as well as imaging of the aorta if a vascular cause is to be considered.
These options can be discussed with your personal physician.
This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
Kevin Pho, M.D.
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