The popular drink screwing with your blood pressure treatment and diagnosis

If you’re having a blood pressure test in the next couple of days, you might want to stop drinking coffee. New research published in the American Journal of Hypertension has revealed that if patients who have the occasional cup might be reducing the effect of medication for lowering blood pressure.

While you might think that a cup of coffee relaxes you and eliminates your stress, studies have found that caffeinated coffee actually has the opposite effect — increasing your blood pressure. The good news is that decaffeinated coffee doesn’t, but who likes decaf anyway?

The issue seems to be with the caffeine and experts suggest that because of this you are also at risk of cardiovascular events. Unless you are a regular coffee drinker, because it appears you have developed a tolerance to the caffeine.

A team from Western University and Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario, Canada measured the effect of occasional coffee consumption on blood pressure can how that consumption impacts the action of calcium channel blockers and came up with some surprising results.

Calcium channel blockers are a type of medication used for lowering blood pressure. They relax and widen the blood vessels, which make it easier for your blood to flow, thereby reducing blood pressure.

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The research team, led by Dr David Bailey, wanted to find out what happened to blood pressure if you abstained from coffee long enough to remove all caffeine from your blood stream. In order to do that 13 people with an average age of 52 (and who also had normal blood pressure levels) participated in the experiment.

There were three tests carried out over three weeks. Before each test the participants consumed no coffee or any other caffeine-containing products, and alcohol, grapefruit, marmalade, tobacco and other medications were cut for 48 hours. Then they had two 300ml cups of black coffee and had their blood pressure taken in week one. In week two they had the maximum recommended dose (10mg) of felodipine. In the final week they had the coffee plus the felodipine.

What the researchers discovered was that participants having avoided coffee for only two days had enough caffeine removed from their body so that the next time they drank coffee, their blood pressure rose, and it rose for several hours.

On that basis Dr Bailey and his team concluded that your morning cup of joe could affect the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Do you have high blood pressure? How much coffee do you drink?