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Why is my BP fluctuating?

Q: I am 30 years old and 32 weeks pregnant and my blood pressure sometimes goes up and sometimes is normal. My doctor suspected hypertension and suggested that I take Hypotone 500 mg. My only problem is that my diastolic is normal at 71 mmHg while systolic is sometimes below 140 mmHg and sometimes more. Before pregnancy, my blood pressure was always normal. Do you think that I could be pre-eclamptic or is it normal for the blood pressure to fluctuate during pregnancy?

A:Hypertension during pregnancy can affect some women, especially in the older age and first pregnancy or if there is a family history of high BP in parents or siblings. Controlling the blood pressure with medications can be done, but frequent check ups at home, of the BP and testing for urine albumin are essential. There can be adverse effects on the mother or the baby due to this condition, but controlled BP avoids complications. Swelling of feet when associated with high BP, does signify pre-eclampsia. Taking a low salt diet, plenty of rest along with the antihypertensive, keeps things in control. Daily record of fetal movements too should be done.

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