It is interesting to note that some hypertension patients could have a surge in blood pressure in the morning?
According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health, in Malaysia, hypertension or high blood pressure is on the rise and its prevalence increases with age. It is suggested that stiffening of the arteries due to age could be a factor contributing to why hypertension is more prevalent in the elderly.
Hypertension is caused by a mix of genetic and environmental factors such as salt intake, sedentary lifestyle and stress. A blood pressure measurement higher than 140/90 mmHg would indicate that a person is hypertensive.
One important thing to note is that hypertension usually doesn’t have any symptoms so it is important to go for health screenings to catch it before any damage is done. Leaving hypertension undiagnosed and unchecked can cause complications such as arteriosclerosis where plaque forms in the blood vessels which causes narrowing.
Hypertension, damages arteries in the body which could cause them to burst or clog easily (especially in undiagnosed or uncontrolled cases). This is especially dangerous when it comes to the arteries in the brain. Thus, it is very important to get diagnosed and control your hypertension with regular blood pressure monitoring and medication.
In the morning, our bodies release hormones like adrenaline and noradrenaline to boost our energy levels and get started on our day. This has been linked to a surge in morning blood pressure as well, usually in uncontrolled cases.
According to the President of the Malaysian Society of Hypertension (MSH), Datin Dr. Chia Yook Chin, morning blood pressure surge is something that’s still not well known but people who have this surge are at a higher risk of stroke and heart attacks. Dr. Chia recommends the first two hours of waking up as the time to check your blood pressure because this is when it’s at its highest.
Based on the MSH’s data, in 2011, although 90 percent of hypertension patients are being treated, less than a third of them have their condition well-managed. Managing hypertension includes adjustments to a person’s lifestyle such as lowering their salt intake, regular exercise, taking medications as indicated and keeping tabs on their blood pressure.
Thus, it is important to have a home blood pressure monitor for individuals with hypertension or their caretakers to better control their condition. Checking the blood pressure at least twice a day can also help assess whether the medication is taking effect and any changes can be noted and adjustments to the dosage can be made to prevent any side effects.
Dr. Chia says that one of the reasons why some patients may face issues managing their hypertension is because they think that the medication might damage their kidneys. She refutes this by saying that uncontrolled blood pressure can damage the kidneys instead of the medication.
All in all, management of hypertension is most certainly possible, as long as you follow your doctor’s instructions. Monitoring your blood pressure at home is also important to ensure that your treatment is controlling your blood pressure properly. If you’d like to know more about morning surge in blood pressure do check with your doctor so he or she can advise you accordingly.
According to the American Heart Association on how to choose your home blood pressure monitor: