8. Taking Certain Medications
You may be surprised to learn that the decongestant you take for nasal stuffiness can raise your blood pressure. Decongestants work by constricting your blood vessels to decrease swelling and open your nasal passages. As they narrow your blood vessels, they can raise your blood pressure. Other medications that can affect your blood pressure include antidepressants, birth control pills, and certain herbal supplements. If you have hypertension, check with your physician before taking over-the-counter remedies to make sure they will not affect your blood pressure.
7. Experiencing Dehydration
The dehydration associated with exercise, heat exhaustion, or illness can affect your blood pressure. When your body is low on water, your pituitary gland releases a hormone called vasopressin, which lowers your blood pressure. Symptoms of dehydration include thirst, decreased urination, dark urine, dry skin, and dizziness. Take care to keep your body hydrated when engaging in exercise or spending time out in the heat. If you are suffering from vomiting or diarrhea, sip oral rehydration fluids as you are able in order to prevent dehydration.
6. Visiting the Doctor
Simply visiting the doctor’s office can trigger an episode of high blood pressure in some individuals. This circumstance, known as white coat phenomenon, happens when the anxiety or stress of a doctor visit causes a temporary increase in blood pressure. If you suspect high blood pressure readings are triggered by doctor’s office anxiety, try relaxation techniques before your appointment to help calm your nerves. Deep breathing exercises may help you slow your breathing, center your mind, relax, and calm your racing heart.