Does Your Blood Pressure Elevate
When You Are Sick
High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition that is characterized by a
rise in the systolic and the diastolic readings of the blood pressure. A normal reading is 120/80.
If it is 140/90 then it is considered to be high. If multiple readings of blood pressure show the
same number then the person is said to be hypertensive.
Hypertension can be a potentially dangerous condition if care is not taken to
keep the blood pressure level with in the normal range. Such patients also need to see what things
influence a change in their blood pressure. Generally, it has been observed that other illnesses
and the medicines taken to treat those can further increase blood pressure. Particularly when
people catch cold and flu, they get fever because their bodies are trying to fight infection and
fever increases the body temperature, speeds up the heart rate and raises the blood pressure
because the blood vessels become narrowed.
Blood Pressure Elevate When You Are Sick
Your blood pressure can also increase due to bacterial or
viral infections like strep throat, bronchitis and pneumonia, because the heart needs extra
oxygen to fight off the infection. Moreover, dehydration that is due to fever and infection can
also result in high blood pressure.
When you do get sick and take some medicines especially over- the- counter cold
remedies, make sure that they do not contain substances that can cause a spike in your blood
pressure. Usually cold medicines contain decongestants that are not god for blood pressure because
these narrow the blood vessels, raising your blood pressure. Decongestants that should be avoided
are pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, phenylephrine, naphazoline and oxymetazoline.
Conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis and
even pregnancy can cause temporary hikes in blood pressure.
According to researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, people
with cytomegalovirus (CMV), a grouping of viruses that attack cells in various organs, were also
likely to experience high blood pressure. CMV infection is wide spread in the human population,
affecting some 60 to 99 percent of adults worldwide. The infection increases angiotensin 11, a
protein associated with high blood pressure and the activity of renin, an enzyme that is associated
with high blood pressure.
During illness and infection, there is not just the risk of high blood pressure
but also low blood pressure. Hence, it is very important to check your blood pressure regularly
during illnesses to treat the problem effectively.
Some people also experience a sudden and temporary spike in blood pressure when
they visit a doctor’s clinic. This is called ‘white-coat hypertension’.
Another cause of a temporary rise in blood pressure is weather. Weather is a
factor that most people do not count even though it has an important role to play in how we feel.
Blood pressure is naturally higher in winters and lower in summers. This is because cold weather
causes blood vessels to narrow, thus constricting the blood flow.