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High Blood Pressure When Nervous

Recommendations For Keeping Blood Pressure At The Optimum Are:

HBP 004- The Parasympathetic Nervous System and High Blood Pressure

Properly checking the blood pressure at different times of the day. Taking the proper medication advised by your physician. Stop smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages or high sodium colas. If you are a woman, birth control pills have been found to create hypertension . Therefore, physicians advise you not to take them if you have high blood pressure. Consuming coffee and tea and excessive intake of carbonated drinks and salt are not advisable..

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.

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 temporary blood pressure spike is both likely and helpful.

Blood pressure varies moment to moment in all people, says Evan Jacobs, MD, a 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.

But 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, patients feel anxious. When the blood pressure is controlled with medication, patients often feel calmer and less jittery.

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Tips For Taking Your Blood Pressure At Home

Its not uncommon for patients to have normal blood pressure readings at home but high blood pressure readings at their doctor appointments. This can be very frustrating for hypertensive patients, especially those who are diligent about keeping their high blood pressure under control.

Patients often are nervous about what their blood pressure will be when its measured at their doctors office, and that anxiety causes their blood pressure to go up. Its known as white coat hypertension, and its particularly common among elderly patients.

For that reason, I encourage my patients who take hypertension medication to monitor their blood pressure numbers at home.

Summary And Future Directions

Pathophysiology of hypertension

We have attempted to summarize and highlight key elements of our recent thinking on the role of the sympathetic nervous system in long-term blood pressure regulation in humans. Our goal has been to use the marked inter-individual variability in MSNA seen in humans to begin to explore this topic. In normotensive young men MSNA is proportional to total peripheral resistance but the effects of this relationship on blood pressure are limited by a reciprocal relationship between MSNA and cardiac output and the fact that adrenergic sensitivity is blunted in subjects with high levels of MSNA. In young women these relationships are absent and there is some evidence that 2-adrenergic receptor mediated vasodilation limits the relationship between sympathetic activity and vascular resistance.

When we consider our findings and those of others in the context of emerging demographic trends for conditions like obesity, sleep apnea, physical inactivity and perhaps social stress we propose that an era of sympathetically driven hypertension exacerbated by the factors discussed above is here.

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Regular Blood Pressure Checks If Diagnosed With High Blood Pressure

If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, your blood pressure will need to be closely monitored until it is brought under control.

After your blood pressure has been controlled, your GP or practice nurse will measure your blood pressure at agreed regular intervals .

It is important you attend these appointments to ensure your blood pressure is being maintained within an acceptable range.

What Does A Blood Pressure Reading Look Like

Your blood pressure reading will consist of two numbers a high one and a low one, e.g. 120 and 80. It will be written like this: 120/80mmHg.The higher number is when your heart pumps and forces blood through your arteries. This is your systolic blood pressure, its when the pressure against your artery walls is highest. The lower number is when your heart is relaxed and your blood pressure is at its lowest. This is your diastolic blood pressure.

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Can Anxiety Make Blood Pressure Go Up

While occasional anxiety does not cause long-term high blood pressure, it can cause temporary spikes in blood pressure during those anxiety episodes. If those temporary spikes in blood pressure occur every day or frequently, they can damage blood vessels, the heart, and kidneys in the long run or cause high blood pressure. Talk to a healthcare provider about medication if your anxiety interferes with your daily activities.If you want to learn more about hypertension, check our guide What does hypertension mean?

Blood Pressure Cuff Placement

HBP 003- The Sympathetic Nervous System and High Blood Pressure

Most blood pressure reading errors are the result of improper sizing of the blood pressure cuff or placing the cuff over clothing. Improper placement of the cuff over clothing can cause your blood pressure measurement to increase by 10 to 50 points. If the cuff is too small, it can add 2 to 10 points to your bp measurement. Be sure to roll up your sleeve for a blood pressure test and also let your doctor know if the cuff feels too tight around your arm.

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Is White Coat Hypertension Dangerous

While white coat hypertension may not cause immediate danger, some doctors believe that white coat hypertension might indicate a risk of developing high blood pressure as a long-term condition. It is also dangerous in a way that this temporarily increase in your blood pressure is likely to be misdiagnosed as ongoing hypertension, leading to unnecessary and unwanted overmedication. This is why frequent blood pressure monitoring at home is important as it can easily alert your medical health care provider about the possible presence of white coat syndrome.

How Does Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure

Anxiety increases heart rate and constricts blood vessels. It doesnt permanently change your body or cause high blood pressure rather it causes spikes in blood pressure that last until anxiety dispels. Thus, people with high anxiety often have high blood pressure, but this blood pressure returns to its normal baseline range once people get rid of anxiety. Blood pressure changes all throughout the day depending on how we feel and what were doing. Ive written a whole post about anxiety causing high blood pressure, you can find it here.

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High Blood Pressure And Anxiety


Hi all. I posted a message some months ago regarding my BP, I went to the GP and ended up in hypertension crisis 200/110! My GP made me sit in the surgery for couple of hours and started me on amlodipine, this was fine until I had horrific side effects and ended up unable to walk, after few weeks was diagnosed with severe anxiety and stress so started on citalopram and propananol plus ramapril 5mg, it’s been over a year now and I feel really good in myself and happy but have a phobia now of the BP machine, I had my own monitor but my family banned it as it made me worse, really want to visit GP and check it but very scared of Getting a high reading. I have worked so hard to change my life and don’t get stressed and do yoga daily, anyone else feel the same? I am 38 yrs old

2 likes, 134 replies

What Is The Normal Baseline Range Of Blood Pressure

About Hypertension

With current definition, normal blood pressure for adults is 120 over 80. It is normal to change depending on the activity you do. When you are active, your blood pressure normally increases but it returns to the normal baseline range once you get rest. Blood pressure also depends on the size of the body and age. Newborn babies have very low blood pressure while teens have almost the same as the adults have.

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Blood Pressure Checks During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, you should have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis, even if it is not high.

Watching your blood pressure while you are pregnant reduces your risk of developing pregnancy-induced hypertension. This can lead to a serious condition called pre-eclampsia where there is a problem with the placenta .

Blood Pressure Changes And Anxiety

Anxiety is the activation of your fight or flight system a system designed to keep you safe from harm when no danger is present. The fight or flight system causes a number of physical changes that would help you respond to a predator or threat if one was present, but can be distressing when they occur without that danger.

Different types of anxiety can affect your blood pressure in different ways. To understand how anxiety can impact blood pressure, first you must gain a basic understanding of blood pressure and how it fluctuates.

Finally, it is always important to remember that blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day due to exertion, diet, hydration, and more. Blood pressure is not constant even if you do not have any anxiety. So “high blood pressure” may not be high blood pressure at all, and may instead be a reading during one of these fluctuations.

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Secondary High Blood Pressure

Some cases of high blood pressure are the result of underlying factors or cause and this is known as secondary high blood pressure.

Underlying factors include:

  • kidney conditions, such as a kidney infection, or kidney disease
  • narrowing of the arteries
  • hormonal conditions, such as Cushing’s syndrome
  • conditions that affect the bodys tissue, such as lupus
  • medication, such as the oral contraceptive pill, or the type of painkillers that are known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen
  • recreational drugs, such as cocaine, amphetamines and crystal meth

Occasionally, a rise in blood pressure can result from taking herbal remedies, such as herbal supplements.

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High blood pressure corrected by getting the nervous system working correctly

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High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the most common diseases worldwide and is estimated to affect one quarter of all adults. Hypertension has been identified as the leading cause of mortality and the third cause of disability-adjusted life years worldwide. Experiencing anxiety can be a sign your blood pressure is dangerously high.

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Blood Pressure Is Linked To Other Medical Issues

High blood pressure can be the first indication of a serious underlying condition. When a patient comes in with high blood pressure, doctors will check their urine and kidney function do an electrocardiogram to check the size of the heart and look for lung changes.

Stress on the blood vessels makes people with hypertension more prone to heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and aneurysms. Correspondingly, chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, sleep apnea and high cholesterol increase the risk for developing high blood pressure.

In some women, pregnancy can contribute to high blood pressure, leading to preeclampsia. Postpartum blood pressure typically goes back to normal levels within six weeks. However, some women who have high blood pressure during more than one pregnancy may be more likely to develop high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases as they age.

Some of these medical issues can also cause spikes in high blood pressure .

How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed

To figure out your blood pressure rate, your health care provider takes blood pressure readings at different times. You need more than 1 reading because blood pressure changes depending on what you are doing and varies during the day. For example, your blood pressure can increase when you are nervous or in a hurry.

If your blood pressure is high while with your health care provider but normal otherwise, you may just be nervous. This effect is common. Even people already being treated for high blood pressure go through this.

What matters is what happens to your blood pressure outside your health care providers office. If you have high blood pressure, you should use a home blood pressure monitor. Ask your health care provider how to use the monitor correctly.

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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.

The Effects Of Hypertension On The Body

How To Lower Blood Pressure When Nervous

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is when your blood travels through blood vessels with more force than is considered healthy. When blood pressure is high, it can damage artery and blood vessel walls over time. This leads to dangerous complications and even death if left untreated.

Blood pressure is measured by systolic over diastolic pressure. Systolic refers to the pressure when the heart is beating, and diastolic refers to the pressure when the heart rests between beats. For an average adult, a blood pressure reading is considered normal if its below 120/80 mmHg.

High blood pressure has no symptoms, until you begin to experience complications. Thats why its important to have yours checked regularly and know your numbers.

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Reducing Your Salt Intake

The American Heart Association recommends no more than a teaspoon of salt a day for adults. That may sound alarmingly small, but there are many painless ways to reduce your sodium intake.

Reduce canned and processed foods. Much of the salt you eat comes from canned or processed foods like soups, convenience meals, and fast food.

Cook more meals at home. Preparing your own meals gives you more control over your sodium intake. Use fresh ingredients whenever possible and cook without salt.

Use spices as alternatives to salt. Try fresh herbs like basil, thyme, or chives, or dried spices such as allspice, bay leaves, or cumin to flavor your meal without sodium.

Substitute reduced sodium versions. Choose your condiments and packaged foods carefully, looking for foods labeled sodium free, low sodium, or unsalted.

See Heart-Healthy Diet Tips to learn more.

The effects on your blood pressure

  • Adopting the DASH diet, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, and reducing your consumption of unhealthy fats can lower your blood pressure by about 11 mm Hg.
  • Cutting back on sodium by about 1,000 mg per day can reduce your blood pressure by 5 to 6 mm Hg.
  • Increasing your potassium intake from food to 3,500-5,000 mg can knock 4 to 5 mm Hg off your reading.
  • Limiting your alcohol intake to two drinks per day if youre male, or one drink per day if youre female can lower your reading by about 4 mm Hg.

Chairman American Academy Of Neuological And Orthopaedic Surgeons

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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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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