6 Unbelievable Reasons Your BP Shot Up

Written by Rachana C
Last Updated on

So, you have booked an appointment for a regular check-up and are sure that all tests are going to be normal. You go to the doctor and realize your blood pressure is not 120/80. Now, you are hyperventilating that your life’s begun to go out of control. Does that sound familiar? Being conscious of your health and lifestyle is important, but not to the extent where little fluctuations in the body also tend to freak you out. Here are some surprising reasons your blood pressure levels might spike up a bit more than normal. Read them so that you can stop worrying about minor ups and downs before people start calling you a hypochondriac.

 1) You Get Jittery In Hospitals

Hospitals are one of those morbid places where even happy people become morose. The very thought of a syringe piercing through the skin is enough to send chills through their spines. Not everyone is weird like me, I suppose. I don’t mind injections and white coats. I not only not mind, I sort of enjoy all of it. However, if you tend to get jittery in a clinical or hospital environment, there are chances of your heartbeat increasing along with the blood pressure.

A lot of times, patients become agitated when the standard 120/80 is not seen in the BP machine, but when you look at the doctor, he laughs it off because it was just White Coat Tachycardia, also known as the White Coat Syndrome or White Coat Hypertension. This is a condition in which patients experience a rise in blood pressure only in a clinical setting but have normal BP otherwise (1). Hospitals aren’t that cruel, after all. Try changing your perception about clinics if this problem persists. Talking to your doctor himself and asking for help can also prove to be useful.

 2) You Have Exercised Before The Appointment

 2) You Have Exercised Before The Appointment
Image: IStock

The doctor’s hot and you don’t want to look like a sad, sick patient. So, you decide to run an extra mile on the day of your appointment. You also decided to be a little hyperactive before reaching there. Let me tell you why this was a wrong decision.

Immediately after any physical activity, the blood pressure hikes more than the normal range, particularly, the systolic blood pressure. Relaxing and calming yourself at least for 3 to 5 minutes before your blood pressure is checked is a wise thing to do to get accurate pressure readings.

3) Your Bladder Is Full

3) Your Bladder Is Full
Image: IStock

This is another reason your blood pressure has temporarily shot up. If you hold on for a long time without peeing, your body is going to sense this as “stress”. And to bring back the system to normalcy, it is going to release the adrenaline hormone. Did you ever feel the gush when you’ve stopped yourself from peeing for a long time, and you can’t hold on anymore? Yes, that’s the adrenaline causing this rollercoaster-ish feeling. As a result, your blood vessels narrow down, and the pressure rises. Since this increase is temporary, all you have got to do is pee and relax. In 3-4 minutes, your blood pressure is going to go back to the normal levels.

4) You Smoked A Cigarette Or Consumed Caffeine/ Alcohol

4) You Smoked A Cigarette Or Consumed Caffeine Alcohol
Image: IStock

Tobacco, Alcohol, Caffeine – The “Holy” Trinity. Avoid them on the day of your appointment. All the three are said to cause a spike of a minimum of 15 points. Avoid them at least 30 minutes before your doctor checks your blood pressure so that the readings obtained are precise and correct. Also, if you do not regularly consume caffeine or alcohol, do not make the mistake of doing so on the day of the appointment. This is because the spike in blood pressure in people who don’t regularly smoke or drink is higher than in regular users.

5) You Aren’t Sitting In The Right Position

5) You Aren’t Sitting In The Right Position
Image: IStock

Sometimes, the blood pressure may be higher than normal because your posture and position are creating the discrepancy. When you sit cross-legged, for instance, the blood vessels in your legs get constricted, and your heart has to put in more effort to pump the blood up. Quite naturally, this increases the blood pressure. This is why nurses make sure you sit in a comfortable yet firm and upright position. Also, your arm should be placed precisely at the level of your heart and well-supported. If the nurse isn’t paying attention to all these, you can always ask for help to ensure everything’s going the way it should.

6) You Are Feeling Cold

6) You Are Feeling Cold
Image: Shutterstock

It is important you check the ambiance before the blood pressure is checked. If the room is cold and you are freezing, it can again result in a blood pressure hike. The peripheral nerves of your body constrict themselves to send all the blood to the central parts of your body to keep it warm. This mechanism keeps the body warm, but it increases the blood pressure in the process. Try keeping yourself warm. And if you still feel cold, let your doctor know this before he checks your BP.

I hope these reasons will make you less anxious the next time you see a high blood pressure reading, for, your anticipatory anxiety is again going to increase the blood pressure. Your BP should consistently be higher (a lot higher – 140/90) than normal for you to start worrying (2). So, this time when you go for a check-up, just R.E.L.A.X for heaven’s sake! Comment below and tell us if you ever faced a temporary blood pressure hike and how you dealt with it.

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Twenty seventeen says Rachana Chandrasekhar is a content writer at IncNut Digital. Of course, twenty twelve thought she'd be a vegetable vendor in an Italian countryside. Don't be too overwhelmed if twenty twenty finds her basking in the raptures of driving the fastest car on some obscure racing course.

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