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Looking for explanation for sudden increase in Blood Pressure
Hi there,

I'm currently 39 years old, male, and I've been struggling with blood pressure over the last several months. I've had bouts of pre-hypertension prior to this (depending on how you define it of course) but back in August I was having my blood pressure checked and it was quite high (150 - 160 / 100 - 110).

I was already exercising and dieting at the time  which I found to be frustrating. In previous times when my blood pressure was on the rise losing 5-10lbs and starting to exercise regularly would get me back where I needed to be.

I modified my diet and went mostly plant based (the exception being salmon, cod) and continued to exercise and monitor my BP. Without any medication I was getting regular results of 135-145 / 85-95. I was pretty obsessive about checking it for a while there but more recently I've checked it a few times a week.

On  Monday of this week I checked it on my home machine and it was consistent with what I got at the gym (the gym I go to is connected with a medical facility). My BP was 140-145 / 90-95 (both at the gym and on my machine at home).

I decided to check last night (Wednesday) and was shocked that I was reading 155 - 160 / 105 -110. This was pretty consistent (I took several readings over the course of 2-3 hours). I woke up this morning to the same results. I've been taking readings throughout the day and I range from 155-180 / 105 - 115. I went to the gym this morning to confirm (hoping my BP machine was being inaccurate) with the same results.

I can't figure out what in the world happened? A few noob questions:

1. Is it possible that excessively taking my readings (the pressure the machine puts on my arm) did a little damage somehow and made the results less accurate (wishful thinking of course - just hoping)

2. The last day I had my typical readings I did some heavy resistance training. Afterward, I did about 30 minutes of HIIT. I alternated walking 2 minutes with 45 seconds of sprinting. I was wearing a HR monitor at the time and my heart rate was sore to 170-180 but only for a small interval. I don't normally do this (first time in a loooooong time for running) and just wondered if this could be a cause for concern?

3. Clearly, I'm an anxious person and this is really feeding my anxiety. I'm sure this contributes, but how much?

Also - While I've lost weight (35lbs or so) I'm still carrying quite a bit of excess (I'm 5'9" and weigh 240lbs). I've fluctuated quite a bit but until this year NEVER had to worry about BP as long as I was losing weight and exercising.

I made an appointment with my GP who will no doubt want me on meds which I desperately wanted to avoid...

I appreciate any feedback in advance.
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Avatar universal
Hi there. BP is really funny. it often goes up a lot just by you deciding to take it. even though you may feel chilled, it must be sub consciously being forced up or something?
What you really need is a 24 hour ABPM test. make sure to get one. Its a continuous 24 hour bp monitor. it takes about 40 bp measurements  during the time. The first couple of readings are discarded and about 20 hours are used to gauge average daily 24 hour bp.
This is where you need to start.
My own bp could be 150 + on starting, but after an hour its less than 120!, so the white coat effect is something thats very very real.
See how the 24 hour goes, only then can you make a full observation on you real bp.
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the white coat effect (even at home) is very much real, I agree....lately I have developed a phobia of taking it at home....everytime I go to take it, I can feel the anxiety, or dreadful anticipation of a high reading, and bang, 168/82.

2 minutes later the systolic drops to 157/81...it is this reason that I have become somewhat of a wreck over taking this BP....started on 2.5 norvasc in addition to 10mg ramipril, 25 mg HCTZ, AND 25 lopressor twice day...
I have decided to up my klonopin from .5 once a day for GAD, panic attacks ro .5 twice a day and stay away from the BP cuff for awhile....I am doing all that I can for the moment until I can see the Cardiologist on the 16th of Jan.

But anxiety and stress will run my BP up for sure.....otherwise I feel ok.

pvctom
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I get very nervous when taking my BP, so much that it runs the systolic way up....then after the initial pounding, and pulse increase, the second reading is way lowere..but overall, the best answer I can give, is that BP varies anyway, and when a person suffers from anxiety or panic disorders, man you can really drive up your BP...
and when people say relax, THAT IS EASIER SAID THAN DONE....I have often thought, if a person could relax, don't you think they would.....your GP will know what (if anything) to give you.....I am currently on several different meds for HBP and CAD and anxiety.....meds are supposed to help you....so good luck.

pvctom
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