• 6 months ago

    Hypertension while sleeping

    My 80-year-old mother has taken daily medication for hypertension (1 pill at night) for quite some time. Just recently, though, she has experienced bouts of severe hypertension, resulting in trips to the ER. And the only common denominator seems to be that the bouts occur when she's napping or sleeping. Is it possible that being in a prone position is somehow contributing to this?

Responses

  • 6 months ago

    RE: Hypertension while sleeping

    Hi,

    "She has experienced bouts of severe hypertension" / "the only common denominator seems to be that the bouts occur when she's napping or sleeping."

    "Is it possible that being in a prone position is somehow contributing to this?"

    Anything medical is seemingly possible today though sometimes improbable.

    In general, typically, blood pressure (BP) begins to rise as one awakens, peaks in the late afternoon or evening, and then drops off gradually, becoming the lowest when sleeping. Normal resting blood BP in male and female adults is under 120/80 with 115/75 or 110/70 considered as being optimal/ideal.

    More About Blood Pressure

    The complex human body is usually able to keep blood pressure (BP) within safe/acceptable limits, but sometimes changes in lifestyle, health, 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.

    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.

    Sometimes, high BP can suddenly become a "hypertensive crisis", which is described as when diastolic is greater than 120, and there are signs or symptoms of damage to the brain, heart, kidneys or other organs. If/when applicable, quick-acting drugs can be administered in the ER setting to reduce BP.

    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 BP vary among different age groups and depending on whether systolic, diastolic, or both, is elevated. Isolated diastolic hypertension, isolated systolic hypertension and diastolic/systolic hypertension, increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, renovascular disease.

    High systolic BP appears as a significant indicator for heart complications, including death, in all ages, but especially in middle-aged and older adults.

    High diastolic BP is a strong predictor of heart attack and brain attack in young adults and in those of any age with essential hypertension, high BP from unknown causes, which occurs in the great majority of cases.

    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.

    Take care,

    CardioStar*

    WebMD Member (since 8/99)


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