Dysfunctional Coping Skills Can Lead To High Blood Pressure And Hypertension
Short periods of high blood pressure can be brought on sporadically, but people with anxiety disorders have the same likelihood to develop chronic high blood pressure as those without.
These spikes can also happen frequently enough to cause the blood vessel damage found in hypertension, which in turn places stress on the heart, kidneys, and brain.
In addition to periodic spikes, associated dysfunctional coping skills for anxiety are other contributors to increased high blood pressure in the long term. These include smoking, drinking alcohol, and overeating.
Common Causes Of High Blood Pressure Spikes
Some people with high blood pressure will experience sharp rises in their blood pressure. These spikes, which typically last only a short period of time, are also known as sudden high blood pressure. These are some possible causes:
- Certain medications or combinations of medications
- Chronic kidney disease
How Does High Blood Pressure Affect You
But if you have truly high blood pressure, it can cause several complications on the vital parts of body and also more serious health problems if not addressed as soon as possible. One of the effects is narrowed and damaged arteries. Arteries are strong and elastic and their inner lining is smooth to keep the blood freely flowing and supplying oxygen and nutrients to different organs of the body. The abnormal increase in the pressure of blood through these arteries can cause damaged cells in the inner linings. It will cause arteriosclerosis or the thickening of artery walls, or atherosclerosis or the hardening of the arteries.
Untreated high blood pressure may also cause damage to the heart , brain , and kidneys .
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Responding To Low Blood Pressure
Everyones blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day. At any moment, it may be lower or higher than recommended based on what a person has eaten, how much water they have ingested, whether they are sitting or standing, or even how they cross their legs.
That low or high blood pressure alone is usually not a concern unless a person has a heart problem, as the body is expected to go through these different fluctuations.
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How To Reduce Anxiety
First, lets be clear: If youre experiencing anxiety, we want to know about it. We care about much more than your physical health. We know that mental health is an important part of your overall well-being.
We care about our patients, and we are always in your corner, ready to help you.
Following are some useful tips for reducing anxiety:
- Any type of physical activity, even if its just a quick walk around the block during your lunch break.
- Reducing or eliminating your alcohol and caffeine consumption
- Getting enough sleep
If your anxiety continues for more than two weeks or if youre finding it difficult to complete everyday activities, you should consider talking to a counselor or psychologist who can provide help and direction. We can provide a referral if needed.
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Blood Pressure And The Heart
Theres a reason why your blood pressure is taken every time you visit a doctors office or hospital, regardless of the complaint that brought you there. High blood pressure is rightly known as the silent killer. It often carries no symptoms or warning signs but can drastically increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The higher the number, the harder your heart is having to work to pump blood around your body and the more likely it is that damage is being done to the heart muscle. Since all parts of your body rely on circulation, though, its not just your heart that high blood pressure can impact. If blood doesnt flow easily, it can harm your arteries as well as vital organs such as the kidneys, eyes, and brain.
High blood pressure has been shown to damage the tiny blood vessels in the parts of your brain responsible for cognition and memory, greatly increasing your risk of developing Alzheimers disease or another dementia. Being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease can also take an emotional toll, affecting your outlook and making you more susceptible to anxiety and depression. And just as blood pressure may have an impact your mood, the reverse can also be true:
Anxiety Vs High Blood Pressure
It is not secret that stress and tension in your life can cause your blood pressure to rise. High blood pressure is an extremely common health condition that affects millions of people. Anxiety is a cause of high blood pressure, and having an anxiety disorder can up this risk even higher. It is important to know the differences and relations that these two conditions have to each other.
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The Link Between Anxiety And High Blood Pressure
There is an undeniable link between bouts of anxiety and blood pressure spikes. Whenever we face moments of stress, it can cause anxious behaviors.
Simultaneously, stress triggers the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. These hormones intact our fight-or-flight instincts that promote a rise in body temperature and increase in blood pressure.
While it seems like anxiety triggers high blood pressure, they’re really both just mental and physical reactions to stress.
Stress causes the mental anguish that promotes anxious behaviors and the physiological change in hormones that causes high blood pressure. If anything, anxiety and high blood pressure are symptoms of stress rather than of each other.
What Should I Do If My Blood Pressure Is 160 Over 100
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.
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How Does Hypertension Affect Your Health
Hypertension affects every organ in the body including the eyes, ears, nose, throat, mouth, skin, bones, joints, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, intestines, urinary tract, reproductive organs, respiratory tract, thyroid, parathyroid, endocrine system, immune system, nervous system, and heart. Because of its impact on so many systems, hypertension often goes undiagnosed until later stages.
Untreated hypertension can lead to complications ranging from mild to severe. Milder conditions include hardening of the arteries, strokes, heart attacks, eye damage, kidney stones, gout, nerve disorders, ulcers, impotence, memory loss, depression, dementia, and death. Severe cases include congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, aortic dissection, and myocardial infarction.
Anxiety And Low Blood Pressure
Occasionally, anxiety works in the opposite way, causing a reduction in blood pressure.
This drop may occur because, during periods of intense anxiety, some people take very shallow breaths. The blood vessels then become wider, reducing blood pressure.
A 2011 study identified an association between the symptoms of anxiety and depression and a decrease in blood pressure, especially in people who have experienced a high level of anxiety symptoms over a prolonged period of decades.
This relationship also seems to work in both directions as low blood pressure, or hypotension, may sometimes cause anxiety and panic. Its symptoms can be similar to those of anxiety and include:
- blurred vision
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Can Stress Cause High Blood Pressure
Nearly half of all American adults have high blood pressure, also called hypertension.
Its a condition that can be deadly: In 2019, more than 500,000 deaths in the U.S. involved hypertension as either a primary or secondary cause.
There can be many causes of high blood pressure. In some cases, stress may worsen it or trigger it.
In this article, Ill explain what hypertension and stress are and how stress can affect your blood pressure.
Ill also discuss some treatment options, and tell you when you should talk to your doctor or healthcare providerand how K Health can help.
Psychological Benefits Of Exercise
Besides being physically beneficial, exercise enhances psychological well-being. It relieves tension, stress, fatigue, anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness, boredom, worry, guilt, shame, self-consciousness, fear, insecurity, inferiority complex, low self-esteem, hopelessness, helplessness, despair, grief, resentment, jealousy, envy, hatred, hostility, suspicion, paranoia, and confusion.
People with anxiety often feel guilty about not doing enough exercise. But there is no need to beat oneself up about feeling anxious. Instead, try talking to someone close to you about what youre going through. You might want to consider joining an online support group where members share similar problems. Or join a local gym and meet new friends.
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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 can’t necessarily feel high blood pressure, and while any stress on the body can cause anxiety, it’s more likely that your anxiety causes the spikes than the other way around.
It’s 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 you’ll experience, and the more likely you’ll suffer from these blood pressure spikes.
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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Can Stress Cause Subconjunctival Hemorrhage
The straining associated with vomiting, coughing, or sneezing can also sometimes lead to subconjunctival hemorrhage. Stress is not a recognized cause of subconjunctival hemorrhage. The good news is, if you had a conjunctival hemorrhage, these are only cosmetically annoying but go away and do not endanger the vision.
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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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Blood Pressure Changes Can Cause Anxiety
It’s also possible for blood pressure to cause anxiety. Both low blood pressure and high blood pressure can cause changes in your heartbeat, dizziness and lightheadedness, and more. These symptoms can themselves create anxiety or trigger panic attacks, and that in turn may increase your anxiety. However, not everyone who suffers from high blood pressure experiences anxiety.
Is it Dangerous When Anxiety Affects Blood Pressure?
The greatest concern is whether or not your blood pressure changes are dangerous. The answer is a bit complicated. On the most basic level, affected blood pressure is not dangerous. Remember, random fluctuations happen all the time with no ill effects. Blood pressure is a symptom of an issue whether it’s anxiety or heart disease and not a cause of heart problems.
Your heart rate and your blood pressure also may get a break with anxiety. The body is remarkable and adjusts to chronic conditions. Some people that experience anxiety for hours on end actually find that their blood pressure adjusts to that anxiety, which ultimately means that it goes back to a base level. High blood pressure changes tend to be fairly short term, and are most common in the early stages of anxiety or during panic attacks.
How Does Stress Put Me At Risk For High Blood Pressure
In stressful situations, your body produces hormones like adrenaline, which triggers your fight or flight response. This natural, fear-based response can make your heart temporarily beat faster and work harder. When your heart beats faster and harder, your blood vessels become narrower, which can lead to high blood pressure.
During stressful times, your blood pressure may rise for a short time. Typically, your blood pressure will return to normal once the stressful situation ends.
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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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How Anxiety Affects Blood Pressure
- Anxiety has a complicated relationship to blood pressure.
- Typically, blood pressure changes from anxiety are not dangerous unless you have a pre-existing condition.
- We identify 4 different causes of blood pressure changes with anxiety.
- Those that frequently monitor blood pressure may also be giving themselves anxiety.
- Blood pressure varies throughout the day, even without anxiety, but an anxiety treatment plan offers a longer-term solution.
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Keep A Close Eye On Your Blood Sugar Levels
Its always important to keep tabs on your stress and blood sugar. Thats why we recommend a fasting blood sugar test at every yearly physical.If your blood sugar starts to creep upwards, we can be proactive and start measures to help you.
This is particularly important if you have diabetes or prediabetes. In fact, if you have these conditions, we may suggest that you have blood sugar screenings more often. We can guide you through when you should check your blood sugar, and our dietitian can help you select healthy meals.
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Treating Anxiety: Medication And Therapy
There are several approved treatments for anxiety that you should consider, and in many cases it will be recommended that you employ more than one for the most effective anxiety management.
Lets start with prescription medications, which are generally considered the go-to solution these days. Typically, the primary medication for treating anxiety disorders are actually antidepressants.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs are the most often prescribed, but other medications like SNRIs will sometimes be employed if SSRIs are ineffective.
Theres also therapy, which is frequently recommended as a parallel treatment with medication. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps anxiety disorder sufferers to recognize their disordered thought patterns, which may otherwise let anxiety control your life.
CBT can create coping strategies to mitigate future anxiety or panic attacks. For more, check out our guide, What Is Psychotherapy & How Does It Work?.
Healthcare providers may also ask you to address diet, regular exercise and even substance abuse or alcohol intake issues, which may be making your anxiety worse addressing those issues could alleviate some anxiety symptoms, including blood pressure issues.
The link between anxiety and cardiovascular diseases may not be perfect, but its more than enough to tell us that anxiety isnt good for your health, long or short term.
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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.
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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