Medications To Manage Stress And Anxiety
Managing hypertension is really 70% lifestyle and 30% medications, Dr. Laffin says.
To start, expect your doctor to ask questions about your lifestyle and habits, including your sleep. I always talk to patients about the impact of sleep on heart health, and how stress impacts sleep, he adds.
You may also need to rely on medication to bring down your anxiety. But just like the ability to handle stress, what medication will work best varies from person to person and requires consultation with your healthcare provider.
If stress and anxiety are leading to a lot of blood pressure elevation, we can try medications called beta-blockers, Dr. Laffin says. Theyre not the first line of treatment for blood pressure in most people, but they can be helpful for people with significant stress and anxiety because they decrease your sympathetic nervous system activity and slow down your heart rate in stressful situations.
Other medications for bringing down blood pressure include calcium channel blockers and angiotensin receptor blockers. But its not all about medication. Remember: Theres no cure-all medication that will ensure a healthy heart, so its up to you to embrace a lifestyle that will help keep your ticker in tip-top shape.
To hear more from Dr. Laffin on this topic, listen to the Health Essentials Podcast episode Combating High Blood Pressure. New episodes of the Health Essentials Podcast publish every Wednesday.
Can Your Blood Pressure Go Up From Anxiety
Anxiety can increase your blood pressure. But its important to note that occasional spikes in your blood pressure dont mean you have high blood pressure. Elevated anxiety can cause temporary spikes in your blood pressure, which is not the same as having hypertension.
Long-term anxiety and stress can lead to chronic hypertension and increase your risk of developing heart disease. But if youre managing your thoughts with healthy coping mechanisms, your blood pressure should return to normal levels after a few hours.
It might be difficult for someone who lives with long-term anxiety to notice these short-term spikes in their blood pressure because they are so used to living with stress or worrying all the time.
Can Stress And Anxiety Raise Blood Sugar Levels
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?
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Keeping Your Blood Sugar Under Control During Anxiety: Raleigh Medical Group Can Help
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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.
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.
The next time you feel yourself experiencing symptoms of anxiety like a rapid heart rate, you may want to take note and look into treatment.
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Can Stress And Anxiety Raise Blood Pressure
Yes, stress and anxiety can raise blood pressure. It is known that stress and anxiety can trigger your bodys fight or flight response, which raises your heart rate and blood pressure.
Some causes of stress and anxiety that can raise your blood pressure include:
- Being unhappy in your job
- Having too heavy workload at your job or at home
- Working long hours
- Having poor management at work or school
- Challenges of school, projects, and homework
- Getting married
- The death of a spouse or loved one
- Increased financial obligations or struggles
- Moving to a new home
- Chronic illness or injury
- Do not overbook yourself
When To See A Doctor
Learning stress management on your own can help with anxiety and blood pressure.
However, if youve been experiencing high blood pressure and anxiety for a prolonged period, you should speak with a doctor.
If you experience any of the following symptoms along with a blood pressure reading of over 180/120, seek emergency medical care:
- Sudden loss of speech
- Severe headache or chest pain
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When To Contact A Doctor For Anxiety
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.
How Much Does Anxiety Raise Blood Pressure
The exact amount that anxiety raises blood pressure varies with each individual. Normal blood pressure is defined as 120/80 mmHg. Anxiety-induced blood pressure can be any blood pressure measuring above this level.
Anxiety triggers the release of brain chemicals called norepinephrine and epinephrine which raise blood pressure. In a medical setting, epinephrine or norepinephrine can be given intravenously to increase blood pressure in patients who are critically ill. This is a proven event that these chemicals increase blood pressure, so it is assumed that it also does so in a normal setting.
Evidence of anxiety-induced blood pressure is also apparent in a condition called white-coat syndrome, which is a condition where people have high blood pressure around medical professionals but have normal blood pressure at home. This effect is usually caused by anxiety provoked during doctor office visits.
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Does Stress Cause High Blood Pressure
Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, is a condition that currently affects millions of adults. Roughly 37 million people deal with uncontrolled hypertension, and it caused or contributed to nearly half a million deaths in 2018 alone. Hypertension increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, and it can be caused by many factors, including poor diet, alcohol abuse, obesity, and smoking. Stress is commonly linked with hypertension, but what is the link?
If youre having problems controlling your blood pressure and you live in the Little River, South Carolina area, help is available. Dr. Rogers Walker and Walker Urgent & Family Care offer medical help for high blood pressure and many other conditions for you and your whole family.
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Will Xanax Help Lower Blood Pressure
Yes, it may lower your blood pressure over the long term but regular uptake is not recommended.
Xanax is a powerful benzodiazepine and its not recommended for long-term use. The body becomes dependent on the drug at which point regular usage is necessary to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
When you stop taking Xanax, your blood pressure may go up. If you need to lower your BP, there are other options such as lifestyle changes, supplements, and herbal remedies that dont have the same risks.
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Data Extraction And Quality Assessment
The following data were extracted from each study: the first authors name, year of publication, study site, number of participants, and years of follow-up for prospective studies, participants characteristics , anxiety measures, analysis strategy , and results . For some studies providing ORs for different types of anxiety, we used meta-analysis to incorporate these values into one combined OR that presents the association of anxiety with hypertension. The nine-star Newcastle-Ottawa Scale21 and eleven-score Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality22 were used, respectively, to estimate the quality of prospective studies and cross-sectional studies. Study inclusion, data extraction, and quality assessment were performed by two independent investigators . Any disagreement was settled by discussion among all of the authors.
What Is White Coat Syndrome
One interesting phenomenon related to anxiety and hypertension is white coat syndrome or white coat hypertension. This occurs in 15% to 30% of patients who have a rise in their blood pressure due to nerves or anxiety when they are in a clinical setting, such as a dentists or doctors office . In fact, this type of anxiety can raise blood pressure by 10 points. Its a concern for patients because they may be prescribed unnecessary medication that can have detrimental side effects. What makes it even trickier is that white coat syndrome can sometimes be an early warning sign for actual hypertension.
Luckily, its unlikely that a doctor will prescribe medication or treatment based on one high blood pressure reading. If you or your doctor believe you may be experiencing white coat syndrome, its likely youll be asked to monitor your blood pressure readings at home or wear an ambulatory blood pressure monitor for a few days to get a more accurate depiction of your blood pressure. Blood pressure goals are under 135/85 mmHg.
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What Can Cause Anxiety And Stress To Affect Bp
Many factors can contribute to a persons stress levels. An individuals personality, work environment, and social life are just some of the contributing factors. Some people may experience stress that comes from their job, while others may experience stress as a result of a hectic social life or anxiety-inducing personality traits. It could also be a combination of these things that lead someone to feel more stressed than usual.
Anxiety is one major contributor to stress that can affect blood pressure. When you have anxiety, your body enters fight-or-flight mode raising adrenaline and cortisol levels. This can cause your blood pressure to rise because it triggers your sympathetic nervous system and activates your fight-or-flight responses.
In addition to this natural physical response from feeling anxious, there are other things that may also trigger an increase in blood pressure such as chronic pain or even physical activity.
Stress and anxiety can affect your blood pressure in a number of ways. For example, your heart rate is increased during stress and is a major determinant of your blood pressure. However, when you have high levels of stress and anxiety, your heart rate is higher even when youre at rest. This can cause your blood pressure to stay the same, or even decrease slightly.
How Do You Cure A Stressed Heart
Top Ways to Reduce Stress Exercise. Getting regular exercise and making it a point to increase your activity level throughout the day can reduce stress. Laugh. Laughter is a great way to reduce stress hormones. Practice yoga. Give thanks. Meditate or pray. Breathe deep. Listen to music. Go for a hike.
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How To Overcome Affected Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure is specifically monitored by your brain to ensure that your body is operating at an ideal level. Temporary spikes in blood pressure can cause concerns, but your body creates them for a reason.
It is important to make sure you learn to manage your anxiety to help ensure healthy blood pressure. Whether you have panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc., you still need to make sure that you’re treating your anxiety in order to also treat your anxiety-related high blood pressure.
Anxiety typically makes blood pressure increase, and in some cases can make blood pressure decrease. However, blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day with or without anxiety. It is best to not be too concerned with ones own blood pressure, and instead focus on anxiety reduction.
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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:
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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.
Nine Strategies To Manage Anxiety
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Can Anxiety Cause Hypertension
Because anxiety can cause symptoms like a pounding heart, many believe that anxiety can result in blood pressure issues like hypertension.
While some studies do show a link between anxiety and risk for high blood pressure, many others do not.
A recent study of over 17,000 subjects in Norway found little evidence to support the suggestion that anxiety causes hypertension.
In fact, the study demonstrated that the opposite is actually true.
Findings showed that anxiety and depression was actually associated with lowered blood pressure.
So what does this mean?
Anxiety is a form of stress, and stress can cause temporary spikes in blood pressure.
This is because your body reacts to stress by increasing your heart rate and blood pressure during a fight-or-flight response, preparing you to face the danger you perceive.
A 2021 study demonstrates that the fewer resources you feel that you have to deal with the stressful situation, the more likely you are to have a greater blood pressure spike.
However, its unlikely that these temporary spikes in blood pressure when anxious will directly lead to high blood pressure issues later in life.
Pay attention, instead, to other factors that are proven to put you at risk for hypertension.
- Diet: Eating a high-carbohydrate low-fat diet increases your risk of developing hypertension.
- Genetics and Family History: A child of hypertensive parents often has a greater risk for developing high blood pressure.