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Can Stress And Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure

What Should I Do If My Blood Pressure Is 160 Over 100

Can stress or anxiety cause high blood pressure?

Your doctor

If your blood pressure is higher than 160/100 mmHg, then three visits are enough. If your blood pressure is higher than 140/90 mmHg, then five visits are needed before a diagnosis can be made. If either your systolic or diastolic blood pressure stays high, then the diagnosis of hypertension can be made.

What Effect Does Stress Have On The Body

Stress is something everyone occasionally experiences, and different levels of stress will affect us in various ways. Headaches, heartburn, depression, insomnia, low sex drive… stress can contribute to all of it.

It can also be dangerous for the heart. Stress hormones cause your blood vessels to constrict to give your muscles more oxygen. Doing that also raises your blood pressure significantly. In small doses, your body can manage dealing with stress, but chronic stress can overwork your heart and put you at risk for many worse conditions. Other stress-related issues, like anxiety and depression, can produce stress hormones that damage your arteries over time and make you more prone to other heart-related conditions.

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.

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Treating Anxiety And High Blood Pressure

“If you are anxious because of something that is explainable such as job loss, it is a normal response, but if these feelings persist or if there is no reason for them, start by seeking help from your primary care physician,” Dr. Nambi suggests.

You can treat anxiety with talk therapy, medication, and cognitive behavioral therapy , a type of therapy that works to change how you react and respond to triggers.

Engaging in mindfulness meditation may also help reduce anxiety, and these benefits can be seen after your first session, according to research presented at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Physiological Society. The results were even more pronounced one week after the meditation session. Study participants also showed less mechanical stress on their arteries an hour after the session. “Treatment will allow you to have a better outlook toward life and take better care of yourself,” adds Dr. Virani.

Treating and preventing high blood pressure is also important, says Guy L. Mintz, director of Cardiovascular Health & Lipidology at Northwell Health’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset, New York.

  • monitoring your blood pressure at home
  • exercising for 150 minutes each week
  • eating a heart-healthy diet with no added salt
  • maintaining an ideal weight

“Hypertension is referred to as the silent killer because it has no symptoms,” Dr. Mintz says. “Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke and needs to be addressed early and effectively.”

The Importance Of Stress Management

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In todays fast-paced world filled with increasing demands, stress management is a life skill and a lifesaver. Its also important to note that while the link between stress and high blood pressure is still being studied, stress is known to contribute to risk factors like a poor diet and excessive alcohol consumption.

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The Feeling Of Chest Pressure

Few people are taught that chest pressure can be caused by anxiety, but in reality it is one of the main symptoms of extreme anxiety and panic attacks. Not everyone experiences chest pressure or pain in the same way. Some describe the experience as a sharp, shooting pain, some report a dull pain, while others feel as though their heart is being squeezed.

How To Manage Your Stress Levels

Some forms of stress cannot be managed, especially if they are not frequent in nature such as a one-time traumatic event or an accidental injury. Other types of stress, such as taking care of family, work stressors, or any other day-to-day stressful situations, will likely be there permanently or semipermanently. These types of stressful events are the ones that need to be managed as best you can.

To do this, you can proactively plan ahead. This means being prepared for the regular stressors of life and managing your time, reading self-help books, or minimizing the source of stress as much as possible. Calming exercises such as yoga and meditation have also been proven to reduce stress levels. You will also want to avoid indulging in unhealthy behaviors such as overeating. It may seem comforting at the time, but it will not help to relieve the stress you are experiencing.

Setting realistic and manageable goals is also a big stress reducer for those with diabetes. Instead of focusing on a large and vague goal such as losing weight, setting a goal of walking for at least a half-hour every day on specific days of the week will be much more achievable.

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Making The Exercise Habit Stick

Despite our best intentions, many of us struggle ditching our sedentary lifestyle. But there are steps you can take to make exercise less intimidating and more fun.

Start small and build momentum. If exercising for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week sounds overwhelming, set a smaller goal and gradually build up as you gain self-confidence and momentum.

Reward yourself. Once it becomes a regular habit, exercise will reward you with more energy, better sleep, a greater sense of well-being, and improved cardiovascular health. When youre starting out, though, give yourself a simple reward for successfully completing a workout, such as having a hot bath or a favorite cup of coffee.

Choose activities you enjoy. Youre more likely to stick with a workout you find pleasurable. If you hate running but like yoga or dancing, for example, dont force yourself onto the treadmill every day. Pick activities that fit your lifestyle, abilities, and taste.

See How to Start Exercising and Stick to It to learn more.

The effects on your blood pressure

  • 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, such as walking, for five days of the week can reduce your reading by 4 to 11 mm Hg.

What Is The Long

Can Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure?

Genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle all impact the development of high stress and anxiety. Typically those with an anxiety disorder have a genetic predisposition towards them or have experienced a traumatic event. There are also medical conditions that can cause high stress levels.

Whatever the cause, treatment is required to lower stress levels and allow you to function in life. Stress is a natural response of the body to prepare us for fight or flight, but when it becomes chronic, it becomes a health problem. Without treatment, your physical and mental well-being are in jeopardy.

In This Article

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Nine Strategies To Manage Anxiety

  • Controlled breathing. A long breath in through your nose, held for a count of two seconds, and then slowly released from your mouth is an effective exercise. Not only is it easy to do without others taking notice, but it will also help you feel in control again, thereby reducing anxiety.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation. This can be done sitting or standing but is most comfortable in a seated position. Focus on the furthest part away from your brain, starting with your toes. Give them a short wiggle and then mindfully relax them. Progressively move up through each body part, making sure to reach all external furthest points from toes to fingers, legs, abdomen, backside, shoulders, and scalp. You will notice the places that hold tensionsuch as shoulders and neckand feel the anxiety relief that comes from relaxing these areas.
  • Focus on now. Things in the past are exactly that: past. The same goes for things in the future. You can only focus on now, so release anxiety from places in time over which you have no control .
  • Healthy social life/activities. Keeping active, eating well, going out into nature, spending time with family and friends, and doing the activities you enjoy are all effective in reducing anxiety and improving your well-being.
  • Learn from others. Sharing with others who also experience anxiety can help you feel less alone and more empowered by utilizing some of their coping tips.
  • 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.

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    Anxiety Causes High Blood Pressure

    Blood pressure is not a constant. It changes all throughout the day, going from high to low depending on what you’re doing, what you’ve eaten, how you’re feeling, and so on. At any moment you could go through some type of blood pressure fluctuation that causes a high reading, and that reading says nothing about your overall health or wellness.

    What is high blood pressure?

    Although there are some outside factors that play a role, generally doctors look at blood pressure using the following chart:

    • Low Blood Pressure: < 90/60
    • Normal Blood Pressure: 90/60 to 140/90
    • High Blood Pressure: 140/90 and Up

    The first number refers to the systolic pressure. That is the pressure on your arteries when your heart contracts . The diastolic is the pressure on your arteries when your heart is at rest. Systolic tends to jump up and down throughout the day, while diastolic should stay close to constant .

    Although there are risks involved with low blood pressure, most doctors pay especially close attention to high blood pressure. High blood pressure readings indicate that something could be wrong with your cardiovascular system. Because of the risks associated with high blood pressure, it is important to see a doctor. But if other factors have been ruled out, it is possible that anxiety may be to blame.

    You Shouldn’t Ignore White Coat Hypertension

    High Blood Pressure  Hypertension

    Some people experience white coat hypertension, when blood pressure is elevated in the doctor’s 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 Does Stress Affect The Body

    Everyone feels stress at different times in their life. But its when those pressures go unaddressed and build up over time that were left with chronic stress, explains Dr. Michael Kayal, a cardiologist at Geisinger Community Medical Center, which can show up in the body as physical symptoms.

    Some of these symptoms include:

    • Sleep problems
    • Heart palpitations
    • Body aches

    Chronic stress, if left untreated, can also lead to higher blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure is a common side effect of stress. And because high blood pressure doesnt typically cause symptoms, when it happens, we often have no idea, Dr. Kayal says.

    Over a prolonged period, untreated high blood pressure can increase your risk of developing heart disease or put you at a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

    Stress In People With Type 1 Diabetes

    Stress can affect those with type 1 diabetes by both increasing and decreasing blood sugar. In the case where it lowers blood sugar levels, chronic stress can lead to a syndrome known as adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is where prolonged exposure to stress drains the adrenal glands, leading to a low cortisol state. In those with type 1 diabetes, the underproduction of hormones such as cortisol can cause an imbalance in hormones that are meant to regulate blood sugar levels.

    Research has also looked at whether stress can cause diabetes. Many studies have postulated that chronic stress especially can contribute to the onset of type 1 diabetes in those who are already susceptible to developing it.

    • Shortness of breath

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    Gas And Normal Chest Pressure

    Of course, there could be other things contributing to an anxious persons chest pressure and pain . One of the most common is gas . When a person is bloated or suffering from acid reflux, they may experience a excess pressure on the heart. This chest pressure can often be mistaken for a more serious heart problem.

    Hypertension And Your Mental Health

    Can Stress Cause High Blood Pressure?

    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.

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    Can Stress Cause High Blood Pressure And Dizziness

    In todays challenging times stress cause high blood pressure is not a new thing! After all, when you are anxious, you can get stressed. Take note that when you have crippling stress it leads to high blood pressure, you feel overwhelmed and ill. Nonetheless, what about how stress causes high blood pressure you need to understand and be mindful of?

    Most people assume that stress causes high blood pressure but they dont understand the long-term effects on their physical health. However, in reality, it is not an essential cause-and-effect connection.

    Other Ways Stress Causes High Blood Sugar

    There are other ways that stress can lead to spikes in blood sugar. During periods of stress, people may participate in behaviors that could lead to high blood sugar such as emotional overeating of refined carbohydrates or foods that are high in added sugars. People may also fail to exercise or take their medications when theyre supposed to. Since stress has the ability to change healthy habits, these factors can all lead to elevated blood sugar levels.

    Stress can also affect sleep because stress and sleep are both controlled by the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. When a person is under high stress and the axis is encouraging the extra production of cortisol, changes in the axis occur. This leads to problems with getting quality sleep as well as changes in sleeping patterns. When a person isnt getting enough sleep, it can cause glucose intolerance, which describes metabolic conditions that cause high blood sugar levels.

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    What Is The Link Between Anxiety And High Blood Pressure

    Anxiety and high blood pressure can sometimes go hand in hand. Anxiety may lead to high blood pressure, and high blood pressure may trigger feelings of anxiety.

    Doctors characterize anxiety as feelings of intense worry or fear. It causes many physical symptoms, including increased heart rate and shallow breathing. Periods of anxiety may also temporarily increase blood pressure.

    Meanwhile, having long-term high blood pressure which doctors refer to as hypertension can cause people to feel anxious about their health and future.

    Keep reading to learn more about the link between anxiety and high blood pressure, as well as how to treat both conditions.

    Anxiety causes the release of stress hormones in the body. These hormones trigger an increase in the heart rate and a narrowing of the blood vessels. Both of these changes cause blood pressure to rise, sometimes dramatically.

    Doctors believe that anxiety is the reason behind white coat hypertension a phenomenon in which some individuals consistently have higher blood pressure readings at the doctors office than at home.

    Anxiety-induced increases in blood pressure are temporary and will subside once the anxiety lessens. Regularly having high levels of anxiety, however, can cause damage to the heart, kidneys, and blood vessels, in the same way that long-term hypertension can.

    • alcohol use

    Anxiety Causes Low Blood Pressure

    Can Stress Cause High Blood Pressure?  Nirogam

    What you may not know is that some forms of anxiety can cause low blood pressure as well. During periods of anxiety attacks, a person may start to hyperventilate. Hyperventilation occurs when the body gets too much oxygen through either fast breathing or taking breaths that are too deep.

    Hyperventilation is known to cause drops in blood pressure that can lead to feelings of lightheadedness and dizziness. So while high blood pressure is more common during anxiety, low blood pressure may occur as well.

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