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    Blood Pressure Spikes
    Preles posted:
    At least once a month out of no where my blood pressure spikes. How do I know this? Well first sign is that my face feels warm and looks flushed. Second is that I take my blood pressure which was 180/90. My normal blood pressure is 135/60. I bought a blood pressure cuff a few months ago because I wanted to record these unexplained spikes.

    This started happening over a year ago and I've seen countless doctors that all tell me its anxiety related due to stress in my life. Ok, I can except that. But why do these random spikes come out of no where? For instance yesterday I had a fantastic day with the family riding bikes and relaxing in a park. Then came home did some gardening, cooked dinner, then went bowling about an hour later. During bowling I felt these blood pressure spikes that would come over me in waves. One second I was feeling fine and then the next my face got warm and flushed and my mind started to feel anxiety over what was happening. But the worse wasn't until I got home and then it really hit me. I took my blood pressure and it was 180/90. I then went and laid down in bed and closed my eyes and just relaxed and eventually went to sleep within and hour. The next day I woke up feeling fine. Like I mentioned above I've seen doctors for this thinking it was my heart but they did all the test and rued out any heart disease. What can it be that causes these spikes to occur from no where? Should I seek out more doctors that specialize in this? Is 190/80 considered a risk for heart attack?
    Haylen_WebMD_Staff responded:
    First of all, the bike and relaxing with family and bowling day sounded lovely

    Re: the spikes: Have you kept a diary to track when/where/what is going on to see if there is a constant when your BP spikes? (Food, drink, medication, activity). I would start there.

    Also, here's a link to our Hypertensions/Blood Pressure Center , and Hypertension FAQ where you might find information to give you additional insight.

    I'll ask one of our experts to chime in too!

    An_193112 responded:
    One possible reason could be that there is severe narrowing in at least one spot in your coronary arteries and a floating clot rests against it temporarily spiking the blood pressure.

    An angiogram is called for.
    cardiostarusa1 responded:

    "What can it be that causes these spikes to occur from nowhere?"

    The complex human body is usually able to keep blood pressure (BP) within safe/acceptable limits, but sometimes changes in lifestyle, health, stress/stressful situations, anxiety, side effects from prescription drugs, or changes in metabolism, make this difficult. This can cause the BP to become consistently higher or lower than normal, or spike up and then drop down.

    Compensatory mechanisms that control BP involves changing the diameter of veins and small arteries (arterioles), the amount of blood pumped out from the heart per minute (cardiac output), and the volume of blood in the vessels.

    "Is 190/80 considered a risk for heart attack?"

    Normal resting BP in adults is under 120/80 with 115/75 or 110/70 considered as being optimal/ideal. Prehypertension is defined as systolic of 120-139 mmHg and diastolic of 80-89 mmHg. Stage 1 is systolic of 140 to 159 and diastolic of 90 to 99. Stage II is systolic of 160 to 179 and diastolic of 100 to 109. Stage III is systolic greater than 180 and diastolic greater than 110. Stage IV is systolic of 210 and greater, and diastolic of 120 and greater.

    Noteworthy, temporary increases or high spikes in BP, which was at one time was thought as being relatively harmless, can in fact be deleterious (may/can even cause a hypertensive brain attack) in some individuals, especially in those who already have hypertension or weakened arteries in the brain.

    Health dangers from blood pressure vary among different age groups and depending on whether systolic or diastolic pressure (or both) is elevated, and for how long.

    Elevated blood pressure, isolated diastolic hypertension, isolated systolic hypertension and diastolic/systolic hypertension, increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, and renovascular disease.

    Pulse pressure is also important, which is the difference between systolic (heart's pumping phase) and diastolic (heart's resting phase). Usually, the resting (in sitting position) pulse pressure in healthy individuals is 40 mmHg, give or take a little. A consistantly narrow (say 20 or 25 mmHg or less) or wide (say 60 or 65 or more) pulse pressure is not good.

    ALWAYS be proactive in your health care and treatment. Sometimes this requires being assertive. Most important, communicate/interact well with your doctor(s). Best of luck down the road of life.

    Take care,


    WebMD member (since 8/99)





    "Be a questioning patient. Talk to your doctor and ask questions. Studies show that patients who ask the most questions, and are most assertive, get the best results. Be vigilant and speak up!"

    - Charles Inlander, People's Medical Society


    It's your there.

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    WebMD/WebMD Health Exchanges DOES NOT provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment
    Preles replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
    Yes I keep a running diary of when they happen and then track everything I did that day.

    These random spikes come in waves in 5 minute intervals and last up to an hour. I find the best thing to do is lay down and relax and that seems to help. I'm going to see a cardiologist tomorrow to see what he thinks. All doctors say my heart is fine and theres nothing wrong with me so why do I have these elevated blood pressure episodes? Is this a mystery diagnosis?
    Preles replied to An_193112's response:
    Your right, that could be a reason but like I mentioned before I have had all tests done and everything comes back fine. I have not had an angiogram and really don't want one but if for some reason these spikes happen more frequently I may decide otherwise.
    Preles replied to cardiostarusa1's response:
    Thanks for your reply.

    Noteworthy, temporary increases or high spikes in BP, which was at one time was thought as being relatively harmless, can in fact be deleterious (may/can even cause a hypertensive brain attack) in some individuals, especially in those who already have hypertension or weakened arteries in the brain.

    Are you saying that every time I have a spike this could weaken my arteries in the brain which could lead to a brain attack?

    That's not very comforting.
    billh99 replied to Preles's response:
    High Blood Pressure is not caused by heart disease.

    Rather it is the opposite.

    Of course high BP goes hand in hand with heart disease so cardiologist often treat it.

    So cardiologist aren't always the best to treat it. Specially when it is different than the norm.

    Be sure and ask about your pulse pressure. That is certainly a indication that your blood vessels are not functioning at their optimum.

    If the cardiologist comes up blank then you need to look for a hypertensive specialist. That might be a cardiologist, internist, kidney specialist, or others.

    Yes, kidney specialist. The kidneys have not to do with controlling BP.
    Joe Piscatella responded:
    I agree that seeing your doctor for an evaluation is a smart thing to do. I'd also suggest practicing one or more stress management techniques of a regular basis. Something as simple as a deep breathing exercise done twice a day can help to prevent anxiety and its aftermath. It is a preventive exercise that could help. Best of luck.
    billh99 replied to billh99's response:
    I wish this place has editing.

    It should be; " The kidneys have a lot to do with controlling BP."
    cardiostarusa1 replied to Preles's response:
    You're welcome.

    Yes, that's what I'm saying, and as reported/compiled in various medical literature over the years.

    I agree, not very comforting.

    Take good care,

    Preles replied to billh99's response:
    I will ask the doctor next time I see him about pulse pressure. I just scheduled some tests at the end of this month. Will see what they show. Thanks for you input.
    Preles replied to cardiostarusa1's response:
    Thanks for your input as well. I asked the cardiologist today about weakening my vessels by having these random spikes and he said is wasn't likely

    I'm sure you get mixed results from different doctors and literature.

    I appreciate all your feedback. Thanks again!
    Preles replied to Joe Piscatella's response:
    I do practice mediation daily. And yes it works well! Thanks for your feedback.
    Preles replied to billh99's response:
    You correct! It's not just a heart thing. It could also be a hormone thing. If these test I take at the end of this month come back negative then I'm going to see a hormone doctor!

    Will let you know.


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