Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Can Nervousness Cause High Blood Pressure

What Is High Blood Pressure

Can Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure?

To understand if anxiety can cause high blood pressure, it can be important to learn a bit about this physical condition. As blood moves through the body, it exerts pressure against a persons artery walls. This pressure is not always consistent. In fact, it will usually fluctuate over the course of a typical day. Blood pressure may rise or fall depending on several factors, including what a person has eaten and if they have exerted themselves. Some medical conditions can affect blood pressure, as can a persons state of mind.

Though it is normal for a persons blood pressure to increase from time to time, extended periods of elevated pressure can lead to a condition called hypertension. This condition is commonly referred to as high blood pressure.

Hypertension is a serious and unfortunately common concern in the United States. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about 116 million Americans, or almost half of the nations adult population, have high blood pressure.

High blood pressures continued impact on a persons artery walls can lead to a wide range of serious problems, including:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Tingling in hands and feet

Anxiety Or Calm Can Cause False Blood Pressure Readings

Medical professionals have long known that blood pressure measured in a doctors office may not match your true normal blood pressure. This may be due to one of two conditions that cause false readings, and recent research shows that both call for more consistent and accurate blood pressure monitoring.

When stress and anxiety caused by a clinic or hospital visit lead to higher-than-normal blood pressure readings, the effect is known as white coat hypertension , or white coat syndrome, named for the coats doctors wear. WCH occurs in about one in five people. Its not necessarily a response to being in the presence of a doctor or nurse the anxiety that some people have before and during a medical visit can trigger the syndrome.

The other condition, known as masked hypertension, is the opposite of WCH. Masked hypertension occurs when people normally have high blood pressure but it doesnt show up when measured in the doctors office.

WCH can lead to an incorrect misdiagnosis of high blood pressure and overmedication. It also may indicate that the persons blood pressure tends to rise when he or she has anxiety for other reasons. Masked hypertension, on the other hand, can prevent needed treatment for high blood pressure.

Changes in Guidelines

The researchers also discovered that many adults suffer from masked hypertension.

Home Testing

Muntner says accurate readings are important for getting the correct treatment.

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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Can Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure

According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America , anxiety disorders affect more than 40 million adults every year in the United States. Anxiety can cause a wide range of physical symptoms, including an increase in blood pressure levels.

Although anxiety isnt linked to chronic high blood pressure, both short-term and chronic anxiety may cause your blood pressure to spike.

In this article, well explore the link between anxiety and high blood pressure and treatment options for both.

doesnt cause chronic high blood pressure. However, it can lead to a short-term increase in blood pressure.

When you begin to feel anxious because of a stressful situation, your body enters fight-or-flight mode. This happens due to the activation of your sympathetic nervous system. During fight-or-flight mode, your adrenaline and cortisol levels rise, both of which can lead to an increase in blood pressure.

Although stress and anxiety can cause high blood pressure, its only temporary, and levels generally return to normal once youve calmed down again.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a chronic condition that occurs when blood pressure levels are elevated. Chronic high blood pressure can be quite dangerous and can cause significant damage to the body, especially the brain, heart, kidneys, and eyes.

Hypertension is classified into two categories:

Treatment options that may help include:

How Stress And Anxiety Impact Blood Pressure

Can Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure And Chest Pain

Dr. Laffin confirms that there is indeed a relationship between stress, anxiety, high blood pressure and the risk of other heart-related health issues but it might not be what you think.

While stress and anxiety can definitely cause elevated blood pressure, they dont necessarily cause sustained elevations in blood pressure, he says.

To understand this, its important to know about the two categories of stress we experience: acute stress and chronic stress. While both can cause your blood pressure to go up, they have different long-term effects.

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Temporary Spikes Are Not Dangerous

Those with chronic anxiety may be more prone to high blood pressure spikes, but the body does do a good job of adjusting and blood pressure often gets back to its normal rate for most of the day. You cant necessarily feel high blood pressure, and while any stress on the body can cause anxiety, its more likely that your anxiety causes the spikes than the other way around.

Its never a bad idea to speak with a doctor about your blood pressure concerns either. Only a doctor can tell you if there is something you should worry about. Also, remember that the more you worry about your blood pressure, the more anxiety youll experience, and the more likely youll suffer from these blood pressure spikes.

Find A Safe Anxiety Medication For Hypertension

There are medications that can treat anxiety without negatively impacting your blood pressure. Ask your healthcare provider if hydroxyzine, a beta blocker, SSRI, or benzodiazepine could help your mood, along with your hypertension. Some anti-anxiety medications, like diazepam, might even bring down your blood pressure. Diazepam is a controlled substance, requiring frequent doctor visits and may cause addiction. So, diazepam is only used as a last resort.

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High Blood Pressure Drug Names

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Chairman American Academy Of Neuological And Orthopaedic Surgeons

Can stress or anxiety cause high blood pressure?

Some people feel that high blood pressure is caused by vascular disease, cardiac or kidney problems. We feel it is due to all the above, plus the central nervous system sympathetic and parasympathetic channel disorders. Firing of the sympathetic nervous system causes tightening and narrowing of the vessels which results in high blood pressure.

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Acute Stress And Blood Pressure

Acute stress is temporary stress caused by a specific event, like the ones mentioned above. Bouts of anxiety, like having a panic attack, can also cause acute stress that raises your blood pressure.

If were in a stressful situation, the normal physiologic response is to increase blood pressure, Dr. Laffin explains. Acute stress can increase your heart rate and rev up your sympathetic nervous system, which, in turn, raises your blood pressure.

In these cases, your symptoms dissipate once your stressor is gone. You complete your deadline, you make up with your spouse, you catch your dog, you come down from your panic attack and soon, your blood pressure returns to normal, too.

Its normal to experience changes in blood pressure throughout the day, and your body is typically skilled at managing them. The body can handle acute changes in blood pressure pretty well, Dr. Laffin says. What were really worried about is chronically elevated blood pressure.

You Shouldnt Ignore White Coat Hypertension

Some people experience white coat hypertension, when blood pressure is elevated in the doctorâs office but not in other settings. These patients need to monitor their blood pressure at home or wear an ambulatory blood pressure monitor that takes your blood pressure every 30 minutes for 24 hours.

While white coat hypertension was formerly considered simple nervousness, recent research suggests otherwise.

A study published in the journal Hypertension found that people with white coat hypertension are at a significantly greater risk for developing sustained high blood pressure than people who have normal blood pressure. One possible explanation is that people with white coat hypertension have a harder time managing stress and anxiety.

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How To Reduce The Impact Of Anxiety On Bp

There are a few ways to reduce the effect of anxiety on blood pressure. One is to practice stress relief by engaging in activities that you enjoy, like stretching or yoga. You can also change the conversation in your head so that its more positive, which will help relieve some of your stress.

Another way is to take care of yourself by eating nutritious foods and getting enough sleep. Its not always easy to find ways to feel more relaxed, but these tips can help. For some, high levels of stress and anxiety cause blood pressure to rise. If this is the case for you, you might consider how you respond to stress.

Other ways to deal with anxiety and stress include:

Is There A Connection Between Anxiety And Hypertension

Can Stress And Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure

According to the Mayo Clinic, instantaneous anxiety can cause a dramatic blood pressure spike. However, anxiety does not cause long-term high blood pressure.

If you feel anxious, your blood pressure spikes in the short term. This is most notable when a person gets their blood pressure taken at a doctor’s office.

The anxiety of a doctor’s visit can cause elevated and inaccurate blood pressure readings. However, if you were to take the blood pressure an hour later while the patient is at home, you’d probably get a more accurate reading. This phenomenon is so common that it is called white coat hypertension.

It is common for those with an anxiety disorder to experience ups and downs. When whatever is causing the anxiety trigger comes to an end, your blood pressure should return to its average rate.

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Can Stress And Anxiety Raise Blood Sugar Levels

Raleigh Medical Group, P.A.Diabetes, General Posts, Mental Health, Stressblood sugar, diabetes, exercise, menâs health

Everyone experiences anxiety. In fact, studies show Americans are more stressed out than ever.

But can stress and anxiety actually raise the level of your blood sugar? And what does this mean for those who have diabetes?

Causes Of High Blood Pressure

Theres no single cause of high blood pressure, but rather many contributing factors. Some are out of your control, such as age, race, gender, and family historyblood pressure tends to increase over the age of 70, affects more women than men over the age of 55, and is more common in African Americans than Caucasians, perhaps due to a genetic sensitivity to salt.

Many other risk factors for hypertension are within your control. Being overweight, eating a poor diet high in salt, smoking, drinking excessively, and not getting enough physical exercise can all impact your blood pressure.

There are also specific substances that can raise your blood pressure, such as:

  • Caffeine, including coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks.
  • Prescription medications, including some of those used to treat ADHD, birth control pills, corticosteroids, atypical antipsychotics, MAOIs and SNRIs used to treat depression, and some cancer drugs.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin and ibuprofen .
  • Cough and cold medications containing decongestant or NSAIDs.
  • Herbal supplements, such as ephedra and yohimbine.
  • Recreational drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
  • Licorice found in some candies and gum.

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What Happens In Your Body When You Get Stressed

Stress hormones have a big role to play.

When youre experiencing physical or emotional stress, hormones are released that increase your blood sugar. Cortisol and adrenaline are other primary hormones involved.

This is a perfectly natural response. For example, if youre being chased by a barking dog or youre in a dangerous situation, you need these hormones to prepare your body for a fight or flight situation.

But when youre stressed, your body releases these hormones, even if there isnt a major physical threat involved.

The result? Higher blood pressure, increased heart rate and a rise in blood sugar.

The problem becomes more complicated.

If youre consistently under stress, your hormones and sugar will continue to surge.

Over time, this can put you at risk for:

This is one reason why its so important to treat your stress and anxiety.

Prospective Studies Of Anxiety Predicting Hypertension Risk

Does Stress cause High Blood Pressure?

Eight prospective studies investigated the association between the baseline anxiety status and incident hypertension with a total sample size of 80,146 and 2,394 hypertension case subjects. Characteristics of the studies are shown in Table 2. The pooled adjusted HR by REM was 1.55 , with strong heterogeneity detected . No publication bias was detected .

Random effects meta-analysis of prospective studies of the association between anxiety and risk of hypertension .

Note: Weights are from random effects analysis.

Abbreviations: HR, hazards ratio CI, confidence interval.

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Tips For Making Healthy Lifestyle Changes

If you suffer with high blood pressure, its easy to feel intimidated by the changes you need to make in order to improve your health. While some people may only need to work on one or two areas to reduce their blood pressuregetting more exercise or quitting smoking, for examplemost of us find that we need to improve our habits in at least 3 or 4 areas. But even if you smoke, drink heavily, are overweight, stressed out, sedentary, and eat nothing but junk and processed food, that doesnt mean you have to tackle everything all at once. Making lots of different lifestyle changes at the same time can be overwhelming. And when we feel overwhelmed, its easy to opt for doing nothing rather than doing something.

Start gradually and make one or two changes to begin with. Once those changes have become habit, you can tackle one or two more, and so on. For example, you may decide to start by giving up smokingand adopting some relaxation techniques to help with the stress of quittingthen move on to losing weight or improving your diet.

Lose the all or nothing thinking. Doing something, no matter how small, is always better than doing nothing. If youre eating healthy food during the week, for example, then resorting to takeouts at the weekends, your blood pressure and overall health will still be in better shape than if you were eating takeout every day.

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Blood Pressure And Heart Rate

Specially trained nurses measured blood pressure in seated participants, after four minutes or two minutes , with the cuff placed on the right upper arm, and with the arm rested on a table at heart-level. Cuff size was adjusted after measuring the arm circumference. At baseline, blood pressure was measured using calibrated mercury manometers with standard cuff size. The first pulse sound was registered as systolic blood pressure and the level at which the pulse disappeared as diastolic blood pressure. The measurements were repeated after two minutes, and the second reading was used in this study. At years 11 and 22, blood pressure was measured with a Dinamap 845XT based on oscillometry. Blood pressure was measured automatically three times at one-minute intervals. The mean of the second and third reading was used in this study. At HUNT 1, resting heart rate at the wrist was counted for 15 seconds or for 30 seconds if the heart was irregular. At HUNT 2 and 3, heart rate was measured by the Dinamap. Heart rate was expressed as beats/min.

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Anxiety And Blood Pressure: Whats The Link

Anxiety is the bodys physical response to stress. Heavy breathing, feeling butterflies in your stomach, or getting a sudden burst of energy are all physical manifestations of anxiety. Feeling anxious at times is completely normal and can even be helpful in certain situations. We all have a fight or flight response, like if you saw a bear in the woods your body would generate the epinephrine needed to run quickly. When you experience these short episodes of anxiety, increased heart rate and a short-term blood pressure spike is both likely and helpful. Blood pressure varies moment to moment in all people, says Evan Jacobs, MD, primary care physician at Conviva Care Center in Parkland, Florida. Stressors such as pain, discomfort, or anxiety will elevate blood pressure temporarily and this is a normal reaction.

Long-term high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, isnt just the temporary result of a stressful situationits when blood pressure is consistently too high, according to the American Heart Association. Hypertension is a common health condition, nearly half of American adults have it. When patients have uncontrolled elevated blood pressure, it may make patients feel anxious. When blood pressure is controlled with medication, patients often feel calmer and less jittery.

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