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Experiencing high blood pressure at night

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I have recently developed HBP. I am 45 yrs old, 5'5", 155 lbs, and have a good diet. My BP ranges from lows of 108/72 to a high of 163/103 at the ER 2 nights ago.

My cardio did a nuclear stress and echo - both were OK. He didn't want to put me on meds because most of the day my BP is OK. It raises at night, pretty drastically. In the evening I am home alone watching tv, reading or using the computer (nothing stressful). Now that it is clear that my BP reaches levels that are too high he agreed to meds.

Last night I started on cardizem. Today I have an awful headache - but what concerns me more is that my throat felt tight for hours last night. I could breathe fine and swallow - perhaps it was nerves at taking the new meds?

Should I continue the cardizem for now and see if that goes away? Any thoughts on what might raise BP only at night?

Thanks!


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replied May 24th, 2010
High Blood Pressure and Hypertension Answer A12367


Given the data you provided (high blood pressure only at night, taking cardizem-generic name: diltiazem, headache, throat felt tight for hours), you might have experienced headache and tight throat as side-effects of the therapy.

Many medications that are used to treat high blood pressure need up to two weeks to take full effect. The side-effects might be present until then. Simply give your body time to adjust to the new chemical you take in. If the symptoms last longer than two weeks, then you might want to visit a cardiologist to consult about the side-effects and whether treatment changes are needed.

The reason why your blood pressure is high only at night might be because of anxiety. It is well known that in the evening, when all sounds stop and all lights are off, the brain has no more outer perceptions to help it to suppress the worries.

When the problems arise, the person might feel anxiety and might experience high blood pressure. You might want to consult with the cardiologist to see if 24-hour ABP monitoring is needed. With this method your blood pressure is measured for 24 hours. Meantime, you are supposed to go through your normal activities, but to also write them down. Afterward, the data is analyzed and the doctor might check when and what activities trigger your high blood pressure.


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