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What Causes Your Blood Pressure to Go Up?

By Cheryl Gregory ; Updated July 27, 2017

There are many reasons your blood pressure might go up. It could may be because of a particular disease or medication. In many people, the exact cause is not known. This is called essential or primary high blood pressure. Either way, you should consult your physician if your systolic pressure, or top number, is higher than 140. Your diastolic pressure, or bottom number, should not be over 90.

Medicine, Illegal Drugs, Caffeine

Certain medicines will cause your blood pressure to go up. If your blood pressure increases because of a prescription drug, let your physician know. Your medicine might be reacting to another prescription you are taking regularly. Always tell your doctor about other medicines you are taking, whether prescribed by another physician or over-the-counter. Illegal drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamines, will cause your blood pressure to rise. Caffeine will also make your blood pressure go up. The amount of caffeine in three or four cups of coffee will raise your blood pressure 3 to 14 millimeters of mercury, according to the Mayo Clinic.


The Mayo Clinic reports that scientists are not sure what the long-term effects of stress on blood pressure are, but they are convinced that short-term stress will make your blood pressure go up. When we are stressed, we become less active, which leads to becoming overweight. Obesity is dangerous to our heart and our blood pressure. Stressful times also bring about changes in our eating habits, which also leads to problems. Some people drink too much alcohol when they are experiencing stressful situations. That also will cause your blood pressure to rise.

Diet and Exercise

Too much salt will raise your blood pressure. Salt is known as a villain to people who have high blood pressure. You should use only one teaspoon of salt a day on your food. Eating a healthy diet low in fat will help you keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. Exercise will also bring your blood pressure up. Strenuous exercise is good for you, but if you have high blood pressure, it is a good idea to keep a record of your pressure before and after exercise.

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