Why Does Blood Pressure Fluctuate?

Why Does Blood Pressure Fluctuate?

Last Reviewed : 12/22/2020
Why Does Blood Pressure Fluctuate?

Blood pressure is a means of measuring heart health. A normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. Blood pressure levels are influenced by many external factors, not simply the state of the body (rest/moving); therefore, blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day.

The most important aspect that controls blood pressure is the sympathetic nervous system. The higher the sympathetic stimulation, the greater the rise in blood pressure. The most important hormone or chemical that mediates these fluctuations is primarily adrenaline. Excess production of adrenaline causes sympathetic stimulation, which leads to a fluctuation in blood pressure.


The most common events that can contribute to fluctuations in blood pressure in day-to-day life are:

It follows the circadian rhythm. Blood pressure is normal during some part of the day and will rise during some part of the day. During early morning, as one gets up from sleep, the blood pressure will be low, because the body will be in a state of rest. Slowly, it will start rising and then reach its peak during mid-afternoon as the activity increases. There is a difference of 10-15 mmHg in systolic blood pressure and 5-10 mmHg of diastolic blood pressure.

  • Conditions like stress, anxiety, and emotional disturbance will lead to fluctuations in blood pressure, because they increase the production of adrenaline.
  • Exercise, alcohol, and a warm environment will help lower blood pressure.
  • Pathological causes include renal abnormalities, adrenal abnormalities, and adrenal tumors (pheochromocytoma), which can raise blood pressure to a greater extent.
  • Sensitivity to some foods, like salt, pickles, fermented foods (they contain high tyramine), and medicines like decongestants and anti-inflammatory agents also raise blood pressure.
  • Caffeine and the use of tobacco products also create blood pressure fluctuations.
  • White-coat hypertension: Blood pressure rises when the patient sees a doctor, but blood pressure will be normal at any other time. Again, this can be attributed to anxiety.
  • Masked hypertension: Blood pressure will be normal when the patient sees a doctor and will be raised at any other time.
  • Increased activity, like running, walking, and laughing, will raise blood pressure.


Conditions like pregnancy, heart conditions, dehydration, and allergies will also raise blood pressure.

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