Monday, October 20, 2014
Monday, April 12, 2010 sam, Community Member, asks

Q: Blood pressure sudden increase to 180/120

hello doctor,


I am 39 yrs old and do not have any health complications. During my visit to the doc for fever and nausea, the doctor found increased heart rate and BP around 160/90. Since I had a condition of fever and used some meds for it, she said it was not alarming. In the subsequent checkup the same repeated, and doctor said it was that I am anxious when doctor checks me. My family has a history of hypertension and my father had a stroke..I feel this might be one reason for my anxiety.

After a week my BP was suddenly high at 180/120, and it was found during a random check. So I was asked to be monitored in ER and doctor observed me for 2-3 hrs. My ECG was normal. The BP came down to 154/95 when I was discharged and dctor suggested Metaprolol 25 mg one per day. I am taking it for a week now. 


I am concerned now. My BP levels during the week was coming down. Around 140/90...but today (after a week) it again went to 160/110 in the morning. I am taking less sodium and have started treadmill excercise for around 30 min daily. I weigh around 145 pounds and my height is 5.3. I am quite concerned about it.


My questions are

- When is the value thought to be too critical? when should I get alarmed

- I heard like pottasium rich foods can bring down sodium levels so I try to take prunes, banana and garlic daily. WIll these help

- Do you have any other advise?

- Is there something else I need to check- Like is high BP a sign of somethg..


Please advise

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Answers (1)
Lisa Nelson, Health Pro
4/12/10 4:00pm

Hi Sam,


The Joint National Committee defines four blood pressure categories.

Very High Range - Stage 2 Hypertension
Systolic (top) blood pressure 160 mm Hg or high
Diastolic (bottom) blood pressure 100 mm Hg or higher
If in this range you have hypertension (high blood pressure).

High Range - Stage 1 Hypertension
Systolic (top) blood pressure 140 - 159 mm Hg
Diastolic (bottom) blood pressure 90 - 99 mm Hg
If in this range you have hypertension (high blood pressure).

Caution Range - Prehypertension
Systolic (top) blood pressure 120 - 139 mm Hg
Diastolic (bottom) blood pressure 80 - 89 mm Hg
Take action!

Normal Range - Normal
Systolic (top) blood pressure below 120 mm Hg
Diastolic (bottom) blood pressure below 80 mm Hg


Yes, eating a diet that includes potassium rich foods will help promote a lower blood pressure. I also recommend you learn about the DASH diet. It's a very effective way to lower and manage high blood pressure.


From the information you shared I think "white coat hypertension" may be playing a role. That doesn't mean you don't need the medication, but it's something to be aware of.


All the best,

Lisa Nelson RD

7 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

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By sam, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/16/14, First Published: 04/12/10