7 Surprising Situations That Raise Your Blood Pressure

an animation of a blood pressure reading to represent situations that may raise your blood pressure

When it comes to managing high blood pressure, certain situations are commonly linked to elevated blood pressure, including the excess consumption of alcohol or salt and a sedentary or high-stress lifestyle. There are, however, some lesser-known situations that also have the potential to raise your blood pressure. While many of these situations lead to a temporary increase in blood pressure, those with hypertension who have high blood pressure numbers that remain high over time can lead to serious damage. In this blog, we’re sharing some surprising situations that raise your blood pressure and what this increase means for your health. 

Sleep Apnea 

Because of the interruptions in sleep breathing patterns caused by sleep apnea, the nervous system reacts by releasing chemicals that increase your blood pressure. In addition, the lack of oxygen can damage blood vessel walls, leading to problems regulating oxygen in the future. When left untreated, people living with sleep apnea are at a greater risk of developing high blood pressure and other heart problems.


We know how loneliness can impact our mental health, but did you know that it also has the potential to raise your blood pressure? While the exact link remains unknown, a study conducted over the course of four years found that the blood pressure in consistently lonely people went up by 14 points.

Visiting the Doctor 

We explored the phenomenon of whitecoat hypertension in our blog, but the consensus is that visiting the doctor can, in fact, raise your blood pressure. While some may think the increase in blood pressure numbers associated with whitecoat hypertension is insignificant due to its sporadic nature, studies have identified a link between this condition with a great threat of heart disease. Taking steps to lower your blood pressure can ultimately benefit your health, whether you’re consistently living with high blood pressure or just experiencing high blood pressure spikes.

High-Stress Situations

While whitecoat hypertension is associated with being at the doctor’s office, the sudden spike in blood pressure is also typical in high-stress situations. Nerves and anxiety are most likely responsible for a sudden bump in blood pressure readings, but it’s important to take steps to reduce your stress whenever possible. Studies have shown that long-term stress is linked to the development of hypertension.


Hydration is essential for your overall health and wellness, including maintaining healthy blood pressure. When the body is dehydrated, the blood has a higher concentration of sodium, and the blood vessels tighten up. The body responds to the high sodium content by creating an antidiuretic hormone called vasopressin. Vasopressin causes the kidneys to reabsorb more water, which can lead to vasoconstriction over time, increasing blood pressure. 


One of the most surprising situations that can raise your blood pressure is an activity we do every day: talk. While the effects of talking on your blood pressure are minor and temporary, the higher your resting blood pressure number is, the more significant the increase is once you start speaking.

Certain medications

There’s a reason why you should consult your doctor before starting any new medications. Various medicines ranging from prescription to over-the-counter medications can have an impact on your blood pressure. Birth control pills, nasal decongestants, NSAIDs, and some antidepressants all have the potential to raise your blood pressure. 

New Program for Durham Nephrology Patients

We are excited to announce that Durham Nephrology has partnered with OnTrack Technologies to offer a new remote patient monitoring program for our patients who have chronic kidney disease and high blood pressure. This program provides patients of Durham Nephrology with a blood pressure monitor to take home with them to help keep their blood pressure in check and slow their progression of CKD. In the coming months, we will delve deeper into the numerous benefits of this program, but in the meantime, you can learn more about this remote medical monitoring technology here

Make an Appointment

The team at Durham Nephrology is dedicated to providing comprehensive and compassionate care to the people of the Durham, NC area. Our physicians are experts in diagnosing and treating chronic kidney disease, high blood pressure, and related conditions. If you have questions or concerns about your blood pressure, call us at 919-477-3005 to talk to a staff member and make an appointment.


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