Does Your Blood Pressure Vary Due to Anxiety?

I am in the process of adjusting my blood pressure medicine. This has been on-going since about February of this year. I have been tracking my readings for about 7 to 8 months.

The trouble is my blood pressure varies widely over the course of the day I think due to the stress and anxiety and erratic nature of my bipolar illness. Also if I go to an appointment that is stressful like the dentist or for a mammogram, my stress level soars and my blood pressure climbs.

My dental hygienist indicated yesterday there is something called “white coat syndrome” where your blood pressure rises upon seeing someone in the medical establishment (doctor or dentist or someone in that profession) wearing a “white coat.” When I first arrived for my dental cleaning yesterday, my blood pressure levels were very high. I asked again at the end of the appointment whether my levels could be checked again — and they were normal.

Does anyone else have volatile blood pressure readings? That might be tied to anxiety levels? Or suffer from high blood pressure readings when stress is high?

I have just discovered

I have just discovered that my blood pressure goes through the roof when I drink caffeine. For 17 years I have limited my coffee intake largely to the morning to wake up from sleepy-time meds. Sometimes I have had an occasional afternoon coffee. But my blood pressure has been giving me problems so I have been taking my levels at home several times a day.

What I am finding is that my blood pressure spikes in the morning after my daily caffeine ritual. I have cut my caffeine in half over the years making coffee with half caf and half decaf. But to be honest it sort of defies the purpose when I have four cups of this mixture a day anyway.

I have posted a message on the patient portal at my primary care physician’s office asking whether I need to curtail caffeine. I am almost sure her answer will be to cut out caffeine completely. I can do this, but it will be a huuuuge adjustment. I use the caffeine each morning to kickstart myself after a long medication induced sleep on clozapine/clauzerile.

I am not looking forward to this change in habits/behavior. But perhaps it will help with the bipolar highs and lows as well.

Anybody else have caffeine challenges? Anybody else asked to go off coffee to help with health conditions? If so, do you have any secrets for how you accomplished it?