February 9th, 2011
08:45 AM ET

What should you do if your blood pressure skyrockets?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Wednesdays, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

Question asked by Nate of Irvine, California:

What should you do if your blood pressure skyrockets from 130 to 159 and switches constantly?

Expert answer:

Your question provides a great opportunity to review blood pressure issues. Hypertension is a common medical problem in the U.S. It is estimated that one-third of adults have hypertension. Many who have it are unaware that they have it.

Long-term, prolonged high blood pressure puts added stress on the heart and arteries. A person with years of uncontrolled high blood pressure often has an enlarged heart and thickened walls of the arteries. Prolonged uncontrolled hypertension can lead to stroke, congestive heart failure, kidney failure, blindness and other illnesses. Hypertension is commonly seen with diabetes in what is termed "metabolic syndrome." The combination can increase risk of stroke, heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, kidney failure and blindness.

Risk factors for hypertension include being overweight or obese, a sedentary lifestyle, a diet high in salt and excess alcohol intake. Some families also tend to have a history of hypertension, indicating that there is a genetic component as well as an environmental component.

Blood pressure is most commonly measured with a blood pressure cuff placed around the upper arm. It is given as two numbers that are the measure of the weight of a tube of mercury. The units are millimeters mercury or mmHg.

The higher number, or the systolic, is the pressure in the area measured when the heart beats or contracts, and the lower number, or diastolic, is the pressure when the heart relaxes after the heartbeat. Blood pressure changes throughout the day. When a person is exercising or under stress, it can go up. When someone is relaxing, it can go down. Similarly. blood pressure can vary when a person is lying in bed, sitting or standing. Most people occasionally feel a bit light-headed for a moment when they stand up. This is because of the blood pressure dropping when standing. Symptoms are relieved a few seconds later when the pressure rises to more normal levels.

Before 2003, hypertension was defined as a systolic blood pressure greater than 140 mmHg or a diastolic greater than 90mmHg. Studies have shown a group of people who really need goal pressure below this value, so in 2003, The Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure issued stricter definitions.

Averaging two or more properly measured readings at each of two or more visits, a normal blood pressure is a systolic less than 120 mmHg and a diastolic less than 80 mmHg. A category called "Pre-hypertension" is defined as a systolic of 120 to 139 mmHg or a diastolic of 80 to 89 mmHg.

Stage 1 or early hypertension is defined as a systolic of 140 to 159 mmHg or a diastolic of 90 to 99 mmHg. State 2 or more severe hypertension is a systolic greater than or equal to 160 or a diastolic of greater than or equal to 100 mmHg.

Malignant hypertension is defined as a diastolic blood pressure of 120 mmHg or having evidence of acute organ damage such as swelling in the back of the eye. These patients are usually treated to get the pressure down quickly. For asymptomatic patients who have no evidence of acute damage to the eyes, brain, heart or kidney, there is no proven benefit from rapid reduction in blood pressure. It may even be harmful.

Long-term effective treatment of hypertension can reduce a person's risk of a number of conditions. The treatment involves behavioral and diet changes as well as medications. This can take some time and patience.

I encourage you to work with your doctor and give the treatment time to show that it is working. Treatment is done in a stepped approach. The physicians will counsel exercise and dietary changes and especially reduction of salt intake. Then, there are initial oral blood pressure medicines. For those who do not have an acceptable response, or who have side effects, there are second- and third-level treatments. The process of finding a treatment can take some months. It is imperative that a regimen be found with which the patient is comfortable. Some form of high blood pressure treatment is likely to continue for the rest of the patient's life.

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soundoff (376 Responses)
  1. an

    so, whats the answer to the question?
    the "expert" never addressed it

    February 9, 2011 at 10:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Arnie

      I agree with "an" did they answer the ? NO
      "IKNO" thanks for the helpful tips
      "elle" I have that same problem. everytime I have the pressure checked I go into this nervous attack.

      February 9, 2011 at 10:38 | Report abuse |
    • OKALH

      I agree that the question asked was avoided/not answered. Since I have asked this question over the years of several doctors and gotten similar non-answers I guess they just don't have an answer. Shame for posting this answer!

      February 9, 2011 at 11:34 | Report abuse |
    • doctor s

      The answer to the question is to do nothing if you have no symptoms from the swings in BP, but work on better control long term through diet, medications, etc. A systolic BP of 159 is OK in the short term but over yrs increases the risk of stroke, heart disease, etc. If BP remains difficult to control, or starts under the age of 30, or has other red flags your doctor should know about, then a work up for "secondary hypertension" is indicated.

      February 10, 2011 at 09:26 | Report abuse |
    • len kush

      I agree, what is the answer? No answer here.

      May 12, 2012 at 01:38 | Report abuse |
    • John

      Yeah I was going to say the same thing, All the expert did was tell me stuff I already knew, I want to know what it means when your bp rises and falls a lot?

      January 7, 2014 at 00:58 | Report abuse |
    • haprocclumog

      you did not answer the question! So please tell us what to do when bloodpressure skyrockets? Aside from going to the doctor which we all know and aside from telling us what blood pressure means or the harms of a high blood pressure.

      June 6, 2016 at 02:56 | Report abuse |
    • CB

      I agree, I did not get an answer to my question either. Common sense says see a physician, what about an immediate fix for the moment. Should have known better than to ask something of this TV station.

      January 30, 2017 at 06:45 | Report abuse |
    • Michael G

      I have the same problem.
      don't matter what I take my BP still read 178/107 225/110. I made a chart and take it to the doctor and she did not even pay it no attention. she told me that she could not up my med because I was already at the max dose 100 MG LOSARTAIN. She told me that I have stress I said how can I have stress when I am sleeping.because when I woke-up in the morning it is 188/92 she have no answer for me just tell me to keep taking my med the same time every day. my so I went to MOMS and a lady saw me looking for remedy so she ask me what is that for I told her it was for BP she ask me who tell you that you have High BP. I told her My doctor she said how dose the doctor know that is not your natural BP.because every one is not the same. so what the doctor said is high for you is really normal.so if 180/90 is normal for you don't matter what you take it is not going to bring it down and you are only killing yourself with MED. and it let me think. because at rest my pulse is 44 and 42. and when my doctor saw that he went Bananas and said no man can live like that and he was ready to put me on pills for that too. so I said dock I am living with this all my life and I have no problem. so I refuse treatment for that I am 66 Years old now he told me that when I was 45 That's when I was also diagnose with HBP he scared the fear of god into me when he told me that I have HBP he said I am going to put you and med right now I said no DR because I was told that Med will mess with my Manhood he said yes but but I could use Vegeria. I sorry the day I let him talk me into taking HBP MED Now I don't know what to do the pill is not working and nothing works. Believe me I have tried every herbs.

      September 20, 2017 at 01:22 | Report abuse |
  2. ikno

    I know. Doctors have lost there stuff. Really all they do is give prescriptions. The doctors (or at least my former doctor) did not know what to eat to help maintain a healthy blood pressure. Here it is that would help I had to see an herbologist(natural remedy and health expert) to get info. Free i might add. Celery, Asian Fruit such as Pomegrante, beet root juice, nettles tea, blood pressure tea, many other herb teas. And you know what I can find all of these at an organic market (my fav MOMS market). And my blood pressure is calm. This is over time but it is better than popping pills. Eating differently also helps.Increas vegetables(Asparagus, cabbage, kale's buk choy) and other leafy greens help and decrease all meat. You can get your protein through beans.
    Through time your health and energy will increase and without popping one pill

    February 9, 2011 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • my thoughts

      losing weight is the best thing you can do for your blood pressure. DASH (mediterranean) diet is great as well. but many of the foods you mentioned have no evidence that they help blood pressure. you have to be careful with herbologists, naturopaths, oriental medicine, etc. because they are out to make money. the difference between them and real doctors is that physicians are tightly regulated by licensing boards and extensively weeded out. they also take an oath to do no harm. of course diet and lifestyle changes would be ideal but let's be honest, how many people are able to make sweeping changes to their lifelong habits? that's why medications are so effective and often necessary.

      February 9, 2011 at 11:00 | Report abuse |
    • Cynic

      A question, mythoughts.....Do you believe that the only treatment for disease is pharmaceuticals? Medical doctors (as you say, "real" doctors) dispense medicine. That's what they were taught in school. Is that the only type of healing available, or is that the only type of healing the Establishment recognizes?

      February 9, 2011 at 13:02 | Report abuse |
    • my thoughts

      @cynic, No, as i wrote above, lifestyle and diet changes are ideal, and good doctors acknowledge this. the problem is when people ignore medical advice, try alternative medicine or diet changes for years and years with uncontrolled blood pressure, and end up with a stroke or MI that could have been prevented. tragic.

      February 9, 2011 at 14:05 | Report abuse |
  3. elle

    Every time I even see the blood pressure cuff, I get a huge anxiety attack. My heart starts pounding and my palms sweat; it gets really severe, and I can't let them even take my blood pressure. I'm sure it's sky-high. It's like a big, scary test that I have to get an "A" on or horrible things will happen to me like the article says: stroke, heart atack. I'll go blind! They have frightened me into a new electron orbit over my BP, and now nobody can get a normal reading on me. Even at home now, I get so anxious about my own monitor "score" that I start the whole adrenalin thing going again. Anybody else have this problem? The few times I've managed to get a reading when I'm feeling normal, it's like 115 over 75, but that'll never happen now. Doctors and articles like this one are so scary. I think in their well-meaning efforts to make us health-conscious, they've frightened some of us out of our wits over our BP.

    February 9, 2011 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ikno

      I had this problem for years, and years my doctor was just prescribing me higher dosage of medicine. Nothing worked. I asked him is there any thing that I can eat or take as an alternative to get my pressure low and I quote " There is nothing else that you can take to lower your blood pressure." That made me mad this happened june 2010. That is when I consulted an herbologist. I lie to you not that is the best thing that every happened to me. Not one pill and my pressure went down. I changed the way I ate and drank teas and overall better health. I still get anxiety from time to time when I take my pressure that is because of bad experiences but it comes out good.

      February 9, 2011 at 10:47 | Report abuse |
    • Meh

      Im not sure what "doctor" you visited but if ANY doctor ever gave me that answer Id be looking for a new one immediately.
      quote " There is nothing else that you can take to lower your blood pressure." – that is as weak as it could possibly get

      February 9, 2011 at 11:24 | Report abuse |
    • OKALH

      In general I think the weakest part of the physician's education is in how to establish a relationship with the patient that will meet both the doctor's and patient's needs. At places like Kaiser it often feels like we are just a chart to be updated efficiently. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure when I was about 18 and told I would be on meds the rest of my life. I told the doctor to get lost and I am now 70 and I suspect I would be dead if I had followed his evaluation. Of course in recent decades I have needed to use meds but my BP is still very much higher in the doctor's office vs. home. Good luck!

      February 9, 2011 at 11:49 | Report abuse |
    • Lucio

      I have the exact same problem. They call it "white coat hypertension". I tend to read a lot so I think i've read too many health reports for my own good. I almost wish they could hypnotize me into not being so nervous. I wonder if that is why people in the past, used to drink a lot? Not at one time but throughout the day? Alcohol tends to reduce my anxiety levels.

      February 9, 2011 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
    • wen

      hi,my husband went to do a medical and his BP was 220/187 i was very scared, that was the only time i know my husband has high bp,the doctor put him on medication the same time,the next day his bp went down to 122/76 pulse45, the following day it went to 138/78 pulse37 he had to be taken off one of the medication because it was slowing down his pulse.any time he goes to the doctor his pb go up.

      February 10, 2011 at 18:35 | Report abuse |
  4. ikno

    Also Pomegrante juice is good to. To add to that. Herbologist are much better in prevention of many common illnesses. And there are natural remedies that can help From headaches to common cold's. My daughter had a severe cough and we were giving her suda fed to help her with it. The medicine wore off every 4 hours and the cold got worst. So I visited a herbologist and she gave us some medicine from natural herbs and u know what within 1 hour the cough went away. The next day the cough has been suppressed to a dull clear of the throat. By 3 days the cough was completely gone. Remember modern medicine is for money not to get you better. Go natural herbs is where the true medicine is. The reason Modern Medicine does not recommend these things is 1. there is no money. people can grow there own in there yard. 2. they do not teach it in medical school. that is it.

    February 9, 2011 at 10:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • my thoughts

      herbs are fine to treat simple things like colds and headaches, but they are medicinal compounds with side effects and known toxicity just like any other medicine. you shouldn't be giving your daughter sudafed anyway, it's been shown by pediatricians that OTC cold medicine is not good for kids. and when you are talking about life-threatening problems i.e. stroke, heart attack, cancer, infection, would you really go to your herbologist? i've seen people who got really sick because they were taking too much calcium or vitamin C, and the only reason the naturopath wasn't sued is because they don't make enough income to be worth it to the lawyer that they consulted.

      February 9, 2011 at 11:05 | Report abuse |
    • ssnevasail

      And the ignorant will inherit the earth. You'll have a nice piece of property.

      February 9, 2011 at 17:33 | Report abuse |
  5. ikno

    @My Thoughts

    The suda fed was directed by a doctor and it was childrens's. have you ever consulted an herbologist. There is research that many people do not know about. Have you seen commercials for modern medicine? more than half of the commericial is side effects of the medicine. I am saying this may not be for everybody, but in my experience the doctor's are very textbook and not willing to go out of the way to help. I consulted an herbologist because they know foods, herbs, etc that can PREVENT many problems before they even occur and even help regulate problems that are there. I have seen and I was skeptical but now I am a believer in natural herbal medicine. Do you agree with what my doctor said "There is nothing else that you can take to lower your blood pressure." The vegetables do have history of helping health and blood pressure have you consulted an herbologist. It seems to me you are assuming alot. Look at what is America's daily food even in vegetables it is horrible. Drastic change the prices in organic markets are pretty similar. At first I thought it was going to be hard but over time it works. This is not no over night process. Start one day at a time. I promise you will see good results. It is just like excerise you wont see results in your first day and maybe not 2 weeks from then but eventually you will get stronger and leaner. But you are right it is not for everybody.

    February 9, 2011 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ikno

      @My Thoughts
      oh yea one more thing too. There are directions on how to take these herbs and teas. I do not know what those people were doing but it sounds like they were going on there own and doing so. Juice for instance seems harmless hashigh fructose corn syrup it is not better than natural sugar. It is used in many processed foods and drinks. Naturally is way better read ingredients on the side of food helps and be conscious of what goes into your body. Water helps too.

      February 9, 2011 at 11:22 | Report abuse |
    • my thoughts

      i agree with the spirit of what you are saying, i.e., there is a lot more that americans can do to improve their preventative health care through improved lifestyle and nutrition. but again, the majority of people with hypertension won't be able to cure it with their efforts to change their lifestyle. moreover, 'organic' food and even vegetables are expensive, and out of the reach for many poor americans to afford. the bottom line is people need to do whatever they can to get their blood pressure to a normal range, and for most people who are unable to do it with diet/wt loss, it will require medications.

      February 9, 2011 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
  6. Pakilegacy

    so what is the answer to the question? What should we do if the BP skyrockets?

    February 9, 2011 at 11:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. ikno


    This website helped me alot on my life style change to a healthier one. I hope this helps anyone who looks at it.

    February 9, 2011 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Grumpy

    Don't just blindly take the medications the doctor provides. These pills will alter the way you feel, and generally it will not be for the better. Feeling really tired and run-down all the time when on blood-pressure meds, when you didn't feel that way before, is a sign that you're not taking the right stuff. Go back to your doctor and have him/her try you on something else. Sometimes, it takes a month or two before you feel these bad effects.

    Beta-blockers like Atenolol are among the worst offenders. They lower the heart rate, often to dangerous levels, and basically make it impossible for your body to pump enough blood when exercising even mildly.

    For some people, these medications don't have any bad side effects. But if you've started feeling weak and tired after being put on blood pressure pills, go back and get something else. There are plenty of alternatives.

    February 9, 2011 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Cynic

    Please remember that most of the "real" doctors in the United State are MEDICAL doctors. That is, they dispense medicine (prescription drugs). Many times, these drugs don't deal with the problem but only mask the problem. For instance, when I went to my medical doctor for my lumbar pain, I received drugs that did nothing to end the pain. I then went to a chiropractor and had no pain after two sessions.

    There are many kinds of healers, and we would be crazy to think that only MEDICAL doctors have the answer. Much of the wisdom gained through centuries of healing has been lost because we are brainwashed into thinking that only MEDICAL doctors are "real" doctors. Why have we been brainwashed? Follow the money.

    February 9, 2011 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • healers

      after "centuries of healing" came modern medical science, and with it an increase in life expectancy from 45 to 80 years, as well as the eradication of many life-ending illnesses such as plague, small pox, polio, rickets, scurvy, german measles, rubeola, mumps. As for brainwashing, you need not look further than the legions of 'naturopaths' and 'herbalists' selling unproven therapies and taking your cash (since insurances don't recognize them as healthcare providers).

      And as for money, it would generate vastly more income for physicians to let your untreated hypertension lead to a heart attack or stroke, so you can undergo thousands of dollars of emergency care and invasive rescue procedures. on the other hand, your doctor doesn't get paid a dime more to prescribe you blood pressure medicine. think about that.

      February 9, 2011 at 15:58 | Report abuse |
  10. Rose

    I have been dealing with High Blood Pressure for years. The one thing along with diet, and my meds that worked is exercise. It gets rid of stress and over a period of time it lowered my blood pressure. The only difficult thing about the exercise is if you want the results you have to keep exercising. I have a gym membership and it may have saved my life. Yes, I have white coat hypertension at the Doctor's office but it has improved greatly. Keeping a watch on your BMI, the internet has charts to go by, eating right, low salt, exercise, meds if necessary should keep your BP down. Don't give up it takes time so I have found out the hard way.

    February 9, 2011 at 12:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. patrick

    Get a vegetable juice extractor. Juice up half an eggplant and drink it. Your blood pressure will drop within hours.
    Drink carrot,celery and beet(root) juice three or four times a week after that.

    February 9, 2011 at 14:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. bcinva

    I have a situation where my pressure is high in the morning when I wake up. Usually on the order of about 175 over 110. As soon as I am up and start my day it starts to fall. by mid day I am at a reasonable number. It is best in the afternoon and then high again the next morning. I am on meds but they don't seem to stop this morning surge. I have tried different timing of taking the meds etc. The doctors don't seem to have an answer. Any one else expreience this? I am curious if anyone else has had this and found an answer.

    February 9, 2011 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Darrell

    I have been diagnosed with hypertension since I was 17yrs. It may have been longer, but they waited and watched. They throught it could have been teh jitters from doctors office visits. What I love about this article is that it links not only the historical aspects of high blood pressure, including diet, but it includes behavioral treatment. After living with this for 26 yrs, I know first hand that behavioral moods are affected. When my BP is high, my fuse is short. When my stomach is empty, my BP is high, my fuse is short. When my BP is low, and I get seriously upset, my BP goes up. It definately is connected. I take my BP twice a week. And have kept a diary of my BP from doctors visits. My wife noted how my BP dropped after one of my managers left work for another company. My doctor now knows when I am on holidays (without talking about it).
    BUT ... one thing they seem to miss with mypertension, and a way to reduce it : Take some serious relaxtion time for yourself each and every day. Don't just force yourself to take the time, but take the time and relax. Don't just sit and relax, but get up and do something. Works for me.

    February 9, 2011 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Pam

    Not everyone who is overweight has high blood pressure, and other causes need to be investigated after years of normal BP. I've had three relatives die of cancer after having very normal BP for years, and suddenly up 50+ points. Got lots of drugs to lower the BP (which didn't work well), when, after the fact it seems that the cancer was causing a block to the blood flow, thus causing the heart to have to work harder against it.

    February 9, 2011 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Curious

    @Pam. Sure hope you wouldn't mind elaborating, regarding what type of cancer your 3 relatives had. My blood pressure is typically in the range of 225-235/110-120, and the medication (clonidine) hasn't been as effective as hoped.

    February 9, 2011 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • wayne

      same here with the clonidine , not helping much with keeping bp down

      August 15, 2016 at 09:46 | Report abuse |
  16. Doalittle Sidestep

    "Your question provides a great opportunity to review blood pressure issues." Yeah I guess, but how about answering the question with something other than "work with your doctor."

    February 10, 2011 at 09:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Me

      nice catch. Nope didn't answer jack.

      December 22, 2014 at 13:32 | Report abuse |
  17. Fernando

    Serve yourself a scotch on the rocks, enjoy it and you will find soon enough that it helps to bring the blood pressure down.

    February 16, 2011 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Rob

    I think you should drink plenty of watter for the problem. High blood preasure is caused from the body being in a constant of dehydration. People always consume liquids that need alot of the bodys watter to expell them. A few examples are coffie and pop and alcohol. Most good health store profeshionals can tell you how much watter you should be drinking according to your weight. Research this information on the net for yourselves and see. curing high blood preasure with watter.
    PS this is still no fast way to drop dangerious high blood preasure, but with this advise maby you wont need to do that.

    February 27, 2011 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Julia

    I have to disagree with the "doctor" who said to do nothing if your blood pressure "only" spikes! My mother has been hospitalized several times in the past year for exactly that! She may/may not pass out when it happens, but she ALWAYS ends up in the hospital for several days. No doctor has taken the time to actually find out the cause of it (despite my repeated requests!) but somehow her potassium levels also go haywire at the same time. They keep her in the hospital until her vitals stabilize then send her home with no advice about how to avoid the problem in the future. Something abnormal is causing the spike. I wish the medical community would stop minimizing what should be a significant clue of trouble and figure it out. It's obvious my mother isn't the only one who has this symptom!

    March 1, 2011 at 13:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dee

      I truly wish someone could offer an answer to this, I have the same problem and I think I am getting so scared that I am making it much worse. I seem to spike everyday around 10:30 or 11:30am everyday, no different tension at this time. I really spike though, face gets red blood pressure goes to between 180 to 190 over around 80. Dr. put me on medication to lower blood pressure but then took me off because I dropped so low when not spiking.

      March 12, 2012 at 11:47 | Report abuse |
    • JUST ME


      June 13, 2013 at 02:28 | Report abuse |
  20. jray

    Still not answer im looking for. What do i do immediately following a BP spike? Sit? Lay down? Or go about my business as an auto-worker(very demanding work) like nothings wrong, till i can get an appt. with my Dr.?

    March 2, 2011 at 19:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jray

      i also take Norvasc and HCTZ as directed.

      March 2, 2011 at 19:17 | Report abuse |
    • JUST ME


      June 13, 2013 at 02:20 | Report abuse |
  21. Micheal Clacher

    Most likely you have added or removed a line on your AO notecard. Everything is shifted down or up and the script is looking for sit on the space where you put the walk. Compare your notecard to a fresh copy of the AO_config notecard to see where you may have added some lines. If you are having trouble finding the exact problem, send me a copy of the notecard directly and I'll find it.

    December 2, 2011 at 09:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Rakin

    Im 15 and i was with my friend we were at a grocery store, i ate cheetos and walked alot cuz i had to walk their. we saw a blood pressure machine i used it 3 times 1st it read 153 2nd it didnt work 3rd it was 142? Im scared im too young and plus last time a checked it was normal. My friends blood pressure was 109

    December 3, 2011 at 18:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. blood pressure monitor review

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  24. do it yourself

    May I simply say what a comfort to uncover somebody that truly knows what they are discussing on the net. You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you aren't more popular since you surely have the gift.

    August 2, 2012 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. jacqueline jayawardena

    my blood pressure is 145/95 is it bad

    January 5, 2013 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Noname

      Normal blood pressure should read less than 120/80 however make sure to monitor BP during the day to see if it is a one time wild reading.

      January 12, 2014 at 21:12 | Report abuse |
  26. JUST ME


    June 13, 2013 at 02:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Lyle

    It depends how high it is spiking and how long it remains at an elevated level as to what course of action is needed. Typically it is not abnormal for people to have highs and lows in bp readings. The problem is when it remains high. If it is through the roof go to emergency you could have a stroke or heart attack

    March 27, 2014 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Heriberto

      Lyle, what is your numbers when you consider "through the roof" . Is 169/111/106 over enough or I can just wait and see wen it actually is considerately higher , and if so to how hi?


      August 22, 2014 at 00:43 | Report abuse |
  28. Heriberto

    Or anyone that can comment on my question to Lyle. I would appreciate your inputs !


    August 22, 2014 at 00:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Bell

    Dangerously high medical attention needed when bp is over 180/120.

    June 17, 2015 at 09:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Sue

    I find that taking bp meds am and pm help alieviate spikes. 20mg pm and 10mg am seems to work for me. Don't take this as advice.. Ask your doc....most people don't want to be bothered with 2xs a day pill taking. My question would be if you have been on bp meds for years, is there really a chance you can get off them...if bp looks good enough to discontinue meds...it might only mean that meds are working and to stop them would cause bp to go up again.....?

    December 4, 2015 at 02:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Mary luterman

    I am 84 my bp is really high yesterday it was 225/90 I called my dr with the info and she has not called me back I take meds and wanted her to increase it to lower it. Is there anything I can do? I take 10mg of Bystolic is it safe for me to take an additional 2.5 Bystolib with the 10?

    July 12, 2016 at 16:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. John Smith

    What is second or third level treatment for high blood pressure mean?

    December 5, 2016 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. A品バーバリー


    October 29, 2017 at 20:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Name*charles

    I am only 37 years old I have previously I have been on alcohol for so long and also smoke a lot of cigarettes after some years I have been told by the dr my blood pressure is very high 200/130 sometimes 177/120 and so on since then I have stop drinking and smoking exercise moderately eat healthy for 1 years now my bp still reads 160/93 sometimes 170/90 sometimes 140/80 when am resting what else should I do

    January 29, 2018 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. James Powell

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.