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Old 12-16-2004, 10:10 AM   #1
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mgraylorn HB User
caffeine elevates blood pressure?

When I was on Toprol XL it made me really sick. While I wasn't sure it was Toprol, I wondered if caffeine was a problem, so I took caffeine out of my diet.

I don't consume much caffeine, one mug of tea in the morning, one can of diet coke with lunch during the week, maybe another diet coke or two on the weekends. No coffee at all.

When I got off Toprol and my body settled down, I decided to try adding caffeine back into my diet (I missed my morning jolt).

I've discovered something interesting. The mornings that I have my caffenated tea, my blood pressure runs about 125/73. By mid to late afternoon it settles back down to something like 115/63. On the mornings I drink decaf tea, my blood pressure averages about 115/63 all morning. Nothing in my diet changed, except whether my tea was regular tea or decaf.

Does anyone else experience an approximately 10 point change in both systolic and diastolic pressure from caffeine? I don't think my daily caffeine consumption is that high.

 
Old 12-16-2004, 10:29 AM   #2
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Re: caffeine elevates blood pressure?

Very interesting. I would like to know if the caffeine also increased your heart rate? If you are normal, then the answer is yes, as it does most folks, I believe. I must be so medicated, that caffeine doesn't effect my BP, that I know of. I drink way too much of it, to counteract the beta blocker drags. I have around 5 cups of strong coffee a day, and drink lots of iced tea....My BP tends to be proportional to my heart rate, to some extent, and I believe that is normal in certain people whose cardiac function is normal (not in heart failure). So I know that my heart rate increases with caffeine, and I'll bet it does increase my BP to some extent (on second thought). I will have to experiment as you have....

Thanks for this information. It serves as a reminder to me, of one more of my bad habits, lol.

Jack

 
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Old 12-16-2004, 10:50 AM   #3
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Re: caffeine elevates blood pressure?

It elevates it short-term like smoking (please no more smoking lectures). On days when I don't have a cigarette in the morning, my b/p will be like 106/59 like today.... To answer your question, yes it does elevate B/P, but only short-term.

 
Old 12-16-2004, 11:24 AM   #4
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Re: caffeine elevates blood pressure?

I don't see a consistent pattern with resting heartrate and caffeine. I take tiazac, a calcium channel blocker and clonidine, both of which slow heartrate.

I didn't keep a log of my blood pressure before I started having trouble with blood pressure spikes, and I was on Toprol at that time. During the bp spikes, or when bp was up more than normal, my heartrate would also be up.

Once I got off the Toprol and went back to tiazac and clonidine, my heartrate does not seem as coupled to blood pressure. Usually my resting heartrate is in the mid to upper 60s, but sometimes, for no apparent reason, my resting heartrate will go into the upper 70s or higher, and my blood pressure will still be in the one teens/60s.

My pre-hypertension heartrate was about 82. I don't have heart problems.

If this blood pressure effect occurs with other people, it might be worth experimenting with taking caffeine out of your diet and seeing how it affects your blood pressure. Be careful going cold turkey though. I had mild headaches for a couple days or so after I stopped my caffeine intake. I had heard this would happen to heavy caffeine consumers, but again, I thought my daily consumption was fairly low.

Last edited by mgraylorn; 12-16-2004 at 11:25 AM.

 
Old 12-17-2004, 04:50 AM   #5
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Re: caffeine elevates blood pressure?

mgraylorn,

I don't find that days with lower coffee consumption give me readings better than days with my regular amount (1/2 gallon.) Nor do I find any spike AFTER my coffee...usually the contrary, it's higher BEFORE the coffee. Perhaps my readings reflect my very, VERY real caffeine addiction.

I'd like to try a trial SOMEDAY without any caffeine, but I dread the inevitable splitting headache from HEll. It hits by noon without coffee!

 
Old 12-17-2004, 06:14 AM   #6
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Re: caffeine elevates blood pressure?

On the meds if I didn't have caffeine, I think that I would fall asleep at my desk. It doesn't play a role in hypertension. In most people, it will give a temporary elevation (like smoking) in blood pressure. I'm drinking my 1st cup of coffee as I type. I usually have one cup of coffee or two a day & 1 soda.... that is all.

 
Old 12-17-2004, 07:29 AM   #7
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Re: caffeine elevates blood pressure?

My caffeine associated rise in bp generally only lasts until mid afternoon, if I only have the one mug of tea with breakfast.

I was surprised to see this effect, both because I didn't know caffeine would do this, and I thought I did not consume that much caffeine (morning tea, one or 2 diet cokes per day). Maybe this is a quirkiness of my physiology, maybe it acts opposite to the clonidine which I take.

I put the tea bag in the hot water and let it sit until I drink it. So I probably maximize the caffeine in the tea bag. Maybe I'll try just dipping the bag a couple times and see if I get the same effect.

I just wondered if anyone else experienced increased bp from caffeine consumption. As I say, I had not heard of this before.

One other thing I noticed. I used to get a mid afternoon slump at work - I'd get so sleepy it was hard to stay awake at my desk. I blamed it on post lunch digestion. But when I eliminated caffeine from my diet, I no longer had the afternoon slump. The slump must have been due to the breakfast caffeine wearing off.

I love my morning tea. It just isn't the same with decaf. And caffeine free diet coke just doesn't have the same zing as regular diet coke. But, I guess I should give them up permanently. (I draw the line at giving up chocolate though!)

Last edited by mgraylorn; 12-17-2004 at 07:36 AM.

 
Old 12-17-2004, 11:06 AM   #8
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Re: caffeine elevates blood pressure?

Do what feels right. I drink Caffeine Free Diet Coke, because I want to keep my glucose levels down ( I don't have Diabetes, but don't want to get it.) I like having a cup or two of coffee a day. I feel better. In the afternoons, I feel sluggish sometimes, so I will have a regular coke. Do the best that you can. 113/65 today.... b/p keeps getting lower....

 
Old 12-17-2004, 06:46 PM   #9
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Re: caffeine elevates blood pressure?

Caffeine and nicotine both increase my BP and heart rate even on medicine. Nicotine is the worst. I can go from having a normal bp (113/60) to elevated at (140/95). My heart also begins to beat very fast and I dont feel very well. I am not sure why this happens. It also takes a number of hours for my BP to go back down. It doesnt go down within 30 minutes after smoking. In the past nothing elevated my blood pressure so much. Needless to say, I dont smoke anymore. I dont see how anyone who has heart disease could smoke. It looks like the nicotine would just drive B/P and heart rate right off the charts!

Last edited by FrontierDriver2; 12-17-2004 at 06:47 PM.

 
Old 12-18-2004, 05:03 AM   #10
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Re: caffeine elevates blood pressure?

Driver,
It's not necessarily the nicotine that does all that to you. When you inhale any burning outgases you are getting a huge hit of CO2 which will stimulate a fast hearbeat and a need to breathe rapidly. Add that effect to the 400-odd partially burned hydrocarbon compounds you are getting and the bizarre effects can bw quite numerous (and unknown)

 
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