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BP readings vary greatly

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Hi, I am a 38 year old slim male who has been struggling with my blood pressure for about 8 years. On my latest doctor visit I got a high reading of 152/98, which is among one of the highest readings I have received. I was prescribed lisinopril which I have not started yet.

The reason I have not started medication is that I am finding that my blood pressure varies greatly. For example, most mornings it ranges in the low 120/80 range, sometimes lower. In the evening it can be around that level as well although typically I see 125/85 ish. However, sometimes it can be pretty high. For example, last night after dinner as I was driving home I started feeling a bit “off”. When I got home I rested for 5 minutes then took my bp, it was 148/97. I laid down for about 20 minutes and took again 119/79. Took it a couple more times during the evening and it remained in the normal range.

This has been my typical experience over the past few years which is why I have not been prescribed medication until this last visit. To be fair I have not done all I could in regard to exercise and diet. My diet is fairly healthy but could be improved. I typically exercise much more during spring, summer and fall than winter so I have been lax in that department lately. During my 20's and very early 30's I had been a pretty heavy drinker although in the past 5 to 6 years I have reduced my intake dramatically. I have had fairly comprehensive blood and UA lab work done with no abnormal results.

Is it normal for blood pressure to vary so dramatically even in the course of an hour with no physical exertion to speak of? If I start this medication could it adversely impact me when my blood pressure readings are in the normal range much of the time? Thoughts and/or advice is greatly appreciated.
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replied February 6th, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
Drinking too much alcohol can cause a person with normal blood pressure to develop high blood pressure.
Reducing the alcohol consumption will usually
lower blood pressure, but, how much will drop vary and depends on how much the person drank previously.
Life style changes during a period of 6 months after the hypertension is diagnosed
are always first line therapy for hypertension.
If this doesn't help reducing the hypertension, medications are indicated.
Like all physiological functions in our bodies, blood pressure has daily fluctuations, too.
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.
It looks like the stress at the end of the day has great impact on your raising blood pressure.The blood pressure therapy is usually life long, but, in some cases after the control of blood pressure has been achieved along with the life style changes, the drug doses can be lowered or cut off totally.
Having blood pressure readings like 125/85 is known as having a prehypertension, and without lifestyle changes, is likely to progress to hypertension.

Best wishes!
Marija
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replied February 28th, 2010
With respect, this does not really answer the guy's question. He wants to know why his blood pressure varies so greatly over a short period of time. I'd like to know this too. I can take my blood pressure every five minutes over a half hour period and have readings varying between 112/78 and 133/90 and that's just sitting quietly in between times, doing nothing at all.
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replied April 5th, 2010
Did you have a catecholamines blood test? My husband had spikes in his bp and was finally diagnosed with a pheochromocytoma which can be undercovered with the catecholamines blood test.
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