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Does Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure

How Do You Feel When You Have High Blood Pressure

Does Stress cause High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure can cause a person to feel like they have a heavy or full head of steam going through it. They may also experience chest pain and dizziness, which results from poor circulation due to raised blood pressure levels.

If you have any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible to get a diagnosis and treatment options. The earlier high blood pressure is treated with medications or lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, the better chance there is at preventing complications from arising later on down the line.

Managing Pain And Blood Pressure Without Medication

The following lifestyle changes may manage pain and blood pressure:

  • Eat a healthy diet:Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils. Reduce sodium, sugar, saturated, and trans fats in your diet.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol:Even just one or two drinks a day can increase blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about how much alcohol you can safely consume.
  • Get daily exercise and physical activity:Regular daily exercise and physical activity can lower and control blood pressure levels. Ask your doctor what types of activities are right for you.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Maintaining a healthy weight may regulate blood pressure. Losing even just 3%5% of body weight can decrease blood pressure in people who are overweight or obese.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure.
  • Manage stress: Manage mental and physical stress with meditation, exercise, and self-care.
  • Get enough sleep: Get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night. Improve sleep habits by having a calming bedtime ritual, keeping a cool dark bedroom, and going to bed and getting up at regular times.
  • Acupuncture:Acupuncture is a Chinese medicine practice in which tiny needles are strategically placed throughout your body. It may improve blood pressure. A small study found 15 sessions of acupuncture over the period of one month significantly improved blood pressure in people with hypertension.

Seek Treatment For Hypertension

At Westmed Family Healthcare, we carefully consider your mental health and how it affects your work life and your family life. We work continuously to offer not only medical support, but access to the best remedies, research, and treatment. To schedule an appointment with one of our experienced providers, call our Westminster, Colorado, office or use our online booking system.

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Association Between Anxiety And Hypertension

Anxiety is known to affect heart rate and blood pressure. It also causes changes in HRV, which indicates autonomic imbalance. In fact, studies show that patients suffering from anxiety tend to exhibit higher BP than normal individuals. However, research shows that regular exercise helps lower both systolic and diastolic pressures.

Exercise lowers BP mainly through increased cardiac output and decreased peripheral resistance. When exercising regularly, you will notice that your pulse becomes faster and more forceful. As a result, your heartbeat increases its frequency and beats per minute.

At rest, your resting heart rate should fall within 60100 bpm. During moderate aerobic exercise, however, your heart rate typically reaches 140160 bpm. Although some people say their hearts pound harder when they run, this isnt true rather, the pounding sensation comes from the muscles contracting rapidly. After running, your heart rate returns down to 100120 bpm.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

The exact reason why high blood pressure develops varies depending upon who you ask. Some people believe that genetics play a role while others think environmental factors have something to do with it. However, one common factor among all cases of high blood pressure is being overweight.

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Managing Pain And Blood Pressure With Medication

15 Home Remedies For High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Your doctor may also prescribe medications to lower blood pressure. They will often take into account any other existing health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or kidney issues. Medications that manage blood pressure include the following:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors:Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors help prevent the narrowing of blood vessels.
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers :These drugs relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure by blocking angiotensin II. This compound restricts blood flow and narrows arteries and veins.
  • Calcium channel blockers: This medication prevents excessive calcium from constricting blood flow and increasing pressure.
  • Diuretics:Diuretics remove extra water and sodium from the body.
  • Beta-blockers:Beta-blockers lower blood pressure by lowering your heartbeat.

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What Are The Ranges For Abnormal Blood Pressure

If your blood pressure is higher than 120/80 mmHg, then you have hypertension according to the current definition. High blood pressures have different severity levels: prehypertension if you have 120-139 or 80-89, high blood pressure stage 1 if you have 140-159 or 90-99, and high blood pressure stage 2 if you have 160 or higher, or 100 or higher. However, reliable sources state that due to the overmedicalization today, normal blood pressure has been defined as high blood pressure, and thus everyone who has high blood pressure according to these new guidelines shall be medicated, even their blood pressure is indeed normal. I cannot help but agree.

Effect Of Combined Anxiety And Depression On Mean Blood Pressure

We found symptoms of anxiety and depression to predict a relative decrease in blood pressure during 22-year follow-up. Baseline level of anxiety and depression was positively associated with a decrease in systolic blood pressure in linear regression analyses adjusted for age, sex, educational level and baseline blood pressure. For diastolic blood pressure, we found a similar non-significant trend. A high symptom level at both baseline and at year 11 was more strongly associated with a decrease in blood pressure during 22-year follow up. In individuals with a high symptom level at all three examinations, we found an even stronger decrease for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared with individuals with a lower symptom level. Additional adjustment for other health factors and for antihypertensive medication did not change the overall pattern of results, but the effect of combined anxiety and depression on blood pressure was slightly attenuated .

Table 2 Association of combined anxiety/depression scores1 with change in blood pressure from baseline to 22-year follow-up

Excluding individuals using antidepressant medication at year 11 did not change the results essentially: a high symptom level at all three examinations was associated with a slightly lower decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. However, after excluding those using antihypertensive medication at baseline or at year 22 , we found a stronger effect on systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

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Hypertension And Your Mental Health

You may not think of mental health disorders when you think about high blood pressure, but a connection exists. If you have hypertension, youre more likely to experience mood issues, such as anxiety and depression than those with normal blood pressure.

Hypertension is a manageable condition. There are ways to control your blood pressure with lifestyle changes and/or medication. Adhering to an effective hypertension treatment plan can get your blood pressure under control and improve your mental health. Heres what our physicians at Westmed Family Healthcare want you to know about hypertension and your mental health.

Chronic Stress And Blood Pressure

Constantly Checking High Blood Pressure Caused By Anxiety?

How chronic stress affects blood pressure is less known, says Dr. Laffin. While recent data suggests that our bodies might tend to release more stress hormones with prolonged stress, its also about how stress affects our lifestyle habits and choices that can lead to higher blood pressure.

People who experience chronic stress tend to sleep more poorly, not exercise as much and make bad dietary choices, he says. This leads to higher blood pressure and increased risk of stroke or other adverse cardiovascular events.

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The Connection Between Anxiety And Hypertension

Anxiety is a mental health condition that many people experience, and though it can be difficult to deal with, its not something to be ashamed of.

It can produce symptoms that are hard to control, including cardiovascular manifestations like palpitations and an increased heart rate.

However, it can also be managed with things like lifestyle changes, a good support system, talking to a therapist, and medication, if you and your provider feel like thats right for you.

If you have chronic anxiety, you may be concerned about whether it can cause high blood pressure or perhaps worsen existing hypertension.

Positive Coping Skills For Anxiety Improves Heart Health And Reduces Stress

So now that you know what happens in your body when anxiety causes blood pressure to spike short-term, how can we manage the situations that cause the cycling rise and fall and the unhealthy coping methods?

Men, women, and teens may have different sources of anxiety depending on their stage of life. But everyone can benefit from similar methods, perhaps with a tweak that suits them better.

Restoring balance to your sympathetic nervous system that is in charge of releasing the cortisol effect is an important part of your overall well being. Being proactive is key to maintaining stress levels before bad habits are substituted or longer-term effects such as high blood pressure become a factor.

Here are some strategies to get in the habit of practicing. When a situation that does cause stress presents itself, it is good to remember these to slow down your learned responses.

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High Blood Pressure May Cause Anxiety

Whether or not high blood pressure directly causes anxiety is less clear. More often than not, anxiety causes high blood pressure first, which causes the person to worry about their blood pressure and ultimately experience more anxiety.

It’s possible that high blood pressure does cause anxiety, but most likely the anxiety is a response to the high blood pressure experience, or to concerns over a person’s health. Most people can’t feel their blood pressure because high blood pressure on its own doesn’t cause any symptoms. But some of the other causes of high blood pressure may cause a person to feel more anxiety.

When To Contact A Doctor For Anxiety

Does Stress Cause High Blood Pressure?

Experiencing occasional anxiety is a natural part of life. However, experiencing anxiety on a regular basis or experiencing other symptoms due to anxiety indicates that you could benefit from medical support. Anxiety can interfere with daily life, and treatment can often improve your quality of life.

Anyone who feels concerned about their anxiety should contact a medical professional.

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Excessive Salt Raises Blood Pressure

Too much sodium can cause water retention that puts increased pressure on your heart and blood vessels. People with high blood pressure and those at a high risk for developing hypertension, including adults over 50 and black men and women, should have no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily of salt.

Even people with normal levels should eat salt in moderation. Stick to no more than 2,300 mg of sodium , per day.

Most dietary sodium comes from processed foods. Rules of thumb are to choose foods with 5% or less of the daily value of sodium per serving and opt for fresh poultry, fish and lean meats, rather than canned, smoked or processed. Similarly, fresh or frozen vegetables are better than canned.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that if people cut just 1/2 teaspoon of salt per day, it could help lower the number of new cases of heart disease per year by up to 120,000.

Further, potassium found in foods like sweet potatoes, spinach, bananas, oranges, low-fat milk and halibut can counterbalance the pressure-increasing effects of sodium by helping to rid the body of excess sodium.

Anxiety Medications That Can Increase Blood Pressure

Some medications that can treat anxiety may raise blood pressure. These medications include serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors .

Serotonin is a hormone that can stabilize your mood. Norepinephrine can make you feel more alert and energetic.

Some examples of SNRIs with Food and Drug Administration approval include:

  • desvenlafaxine

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Learning To Cope With Stress Can Help

Stress and hypertension have often been linked, but researchers are still looking into a direct relationship between the two. Still, the best advice to hypertensive patients: Try to relax.

When you are stressed, your body sends stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream. These hormones create a temporary spike in blood pressure, causing your heart to beat faster and blood vessels to narrow. When the stressful situation is over, blood pressure goes back to its normal level.

Chronic stress, however, may cause your body to stay in this highly-charged state longer than natural.

While stress itself may or may not affect blood pressure, how you cope with stress does. For instance, overeating, smoking and drinking alcohol in response to stressful situations are direct causes of sustained high blood pressure. On the flip side, healthier coping mechanisms like exercising, practicing yoga and meditating can all help lower blood pressure.

Effect Of Pure Anxiety And Pure Depression On Mean Blood Pressure

Does Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure Or Hypertension?

In analyses using symptoms of anxiety and depression as continuous scores separately at year 11, we found that both anxiety and depression predicted lower blood pressure at year 22. In analyses where anxiety and depression were further adjusted for each other, the remaining effects of anxiety and of depression on blood pressure were attenuated or became non-significant . Further adjustment for other health factors, antihypertensive medication and heart rate slightly attenuated the associations, similarly as shown in Table . Supplementary analyses using anxiety/depression cut-offs confirmed the direction and increased the strength of the associations described above. However, several of the findings became non-significant .

Table 3 Association of anxiety and depression1 at 11-year follow-up with change in blood pressure from 11-year to 22-year follow-up

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Stressful Situations Can Make Your Blood Pressure Rise Temporarily

Theres no evidence that stress causes long-term high blood pressure, but feeling stressed over a long time can take its toll on your health, affecting your mood and your body too. If its not under control, stress can lead to serious illness including heart disease, so its important to find ways to manage it.

Diagnosing And Treating Anxiety

Its important to differentiate normal anxiety from the more severe type. Does the anxiety interfere with your family life or keep you from being productive in your professional life? Does it restrict you from engaging in the activities you like? If the answer is yes, then its the kind of anxiety that may require some degree of therapy or medical attention.

Depending on the duration, severity, and type of anxiety, treatment can include therapy, medication, or a combination of both. A common and effective method of treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy , which involves three main components:

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