What About Spikes?
Spikes Are Nothing to Worry About
Spikes in our blood pressure are normal. They can be caused by such everyday things as:
- a shot of caffeine
- a cigarette
- being startled
- learning something stressful.
That's why it's important to take our daily readings at similar times and under similar conditions. Even then, systolic variations of 20 mmHg between daily readings are common.
Much larger variations of as much as 50 mmHg within a day are also not unusual.
Every large spike carries with it a risk of stroke and other cardiovascular damage, however. Many researchers and doctors now believe that if regular daily or weekly systolic measures are showing variations as high as 50 mmHg that you need to start - or change - medications. If this is you, it's worth seeing your doctor.