Blood pressure help

    What would make an elderly woman ( 88 yrs ) blood pressure go up and down? Not a diabetic either.

    0  Views: 1224 Answers: 1 Posted: 13 years ago
    Tags: blood pressure

    1 Answer

    Experts are not sure what causes high blood pressure (BP) or fluctuating BP, BP which goes from high BP to around normal and even to low BP readings. Everyone experiences fluctuating BP periods. Normal BP is considered around 120/80 or there about. However, when you have high blood pressure, the periods when your blood pressure is high can cause some problems, especially if your diastolic pressure (aka the lower number in a blood pressure reading) is constantly above 90 (a person qualifies as having high blood pressure if their blood pressure is 140/90 or higher). There’s not much doctors can do though about fluctuating blood pressure, as while a number of factors such as obesity, unhealthy diet, family history, age, inactivity, and race (African-Americans are more likely to develop high blood pressure than other races) can contribute to increasing one’s risk of getting high blood pressure, the causes for it are still unknown.
    At best, the doctor can only monitor your blood pressure for possible causes and to determine at what times during the day and night the blood pressure peaks. In some cases, fluctuating blood pressure can be brought about either by taking a new medication, or by taking one that doesn’t last for twenty-four hours.
    For people with only high BP a doctor checks it once a month to be sure the treatment they ordered for you is still working effectively. But for people with fluctuating BP, if your blood pressure is fluctuating a good deal, he or she will probably have you keep track of it three times a day in the morning, afternoon, as well as at night to determine when you are most likely to have your periods of high BP readings. These periods where your blood pressure is at its highest puts you at the same risk level for strokes and heart attacks as someone with uncontrolled high blood pressure. Fluctuating BP use to not be considered serious in years past and as a result was not treated or studied. Today the Significance of Fluctuating Blood Pressure is dependent on what percentage of the time your pressure is up and what percentage it is down. Generally speaking its seriousness is dependent on the following:
    Up a small % of the time: Then you will get only a small % of the adverse effects and risks of the higher pressure.
    Up about one half of the time: You will get about one half of the adverse effects and risks.
    Up most of the time: You will probably suffer most of the adverse effects of elevated pressure.
    The latest studies show that fluctuating BP and its duration can be better predictors or better warning signs that a patient is at risk of a stroke than high average readings, which used to be the golden predictors of ones risk of stroke, according to new research. Variations in blood pressure were also important indicators of the risk of a heart attack, heart failure and chest pain, the findings show. The following data and results are paraphrased from The Lancet Journal of June 2010.
    Experts from Oxford University, who carried out the research, called for treatment guidelines to be reviewed as such changes in blood pressure levels are currently ignored as irrelevant.
    Prof Peter Rothwell, who led the study, said: “Previously, such fluctuations were considered to be benign and uninformative.
    "We have shown that it is variations in people's blood pressure rather than the average level that predicts stroke most powerfully.
    Lastly, patients whose “average” levels are considered normal but who suffer such spikes (fluctuations)should be treated with blood pressure lowering drugs, he added.
    There are an estimated 15 million people in Britain with high blood pressure and drugs to lower levels are among the most commonly prescribed medications on the NHS.
    In mid 2010 researchers looked at how blood pressure variability affected stroke risk in four trials, each including more than 2,000 patients, all of whom had previously experienced a so-called "mini-stroke", or transient ischemic attack (TIA).
    Those with the greatest variation (fluctuations) in their systolic blood pressure – the pressure measured with each "surge" of the beating heart – were six times more likely to have a stroke than those with the least fluctuation, independent of their average readings.
    Those whose 'swings' in blood pressure also peaked at high levels had a 15-fold increased risk, according to the findings, published in the Lancet medical journal.
    Fluctuations were also a warning sign of heart failure, angina and heart attacks, independent of average blood pressure, the research has now found.
    Sorry so long but I used to sale anti-hypertensive medication and want the reader to trust in what I say and realize its importance. I really hope this info helps you and the elderly woman take this serious and find Dr's who do too. A vote up would be appreciated if this help you understand this condition more. Thank You

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