Labile Hypertension

Wildly fluctuating blood pressure readings are characteristic of labile hypertension

According to the Canadian Hypertension Society Consensus guidelines, labile hypertension, also known as borderline hypertension, is a variation of hypertension where blood pressure continuously fluctuates between low and high levels. This fluctuation may cause ringing in the ears or headaches, and could stem from emotional stress throughout the day.

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The Canadian Task Force on Preventative Health Care found that almost 15 percent of the adult population has labile hypertension.

Much like white coat hypertension, individuals who suspect they have labile hypertension should be monitored for 24 hours. This day-long monitoring is accomplished with a take-home ambulatory monitor, a machine that measures your blood pressure every 20 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes at night. Doctors may then determine what percentage of time is spent with high blood pressure to determine how threatening the condition is and what treatment is best suited for your specific case. As with most cases of high blood pressure, regular exercise is a very effective way to manage labile hypertension.

It is important not to confuse the increase of blood pressure when exercising for labile hypertension. The two are usually unrelated. It is normal for blood pressure to increase while exerting yourself, so you shouldn't think you have labile hypertension if you measured your blood pressure just after exercising.

Instead of physical activity, it is usually emotional stress that results in labile hypertension. Because of this and its volatile nature, labile hypertension is usually not as receptive to blood pressure medication as other variants. Instead of being prescribed hypertension medication, you may instead by given stress-relieving drugs.

Try to focus on addressing those sources of stress in your life and treat any anxiety. The causes may be different for labile hypertension compared to the usual type of hypertension, but the consequences can be just as serious.