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.
What Can You Do To Prevent High Blood Pressure
Making lifestyle changes can help you to prevent high blood pressure. You can:
- Stay at a healthy weight or lose extra weight.
- Eat heart-healthy foods.
- Eat less salt and salty foods.
- Exercise regularly.
- Cut back on drinking. Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day and no more than 14 drinks a week for men and 9 drinks a week for women.
High Blood Pressure Symptoms You Shouldnt Ignore
If youre worried about developing high blood pressure or youve already been diagnosed with this condition, you may be wondering what symptoms to watch out for.
While the symptoms described here may indicate a high blood pressure crisis, its also very important to understand that a persons blood pressure can be dangerously high and yet there are no symptoms at all, notes retired emergency physician Ben Hippen. This is why high blood pressure is sometimes called the silent killer.
For this reason, its important to monitor your blood pressure often. When youre at your doctors office, or even at the pharmacy, take a few minutes to stick your arm in the cuff and get a reading. If you can afford it and will actually use it, a home blood pressure monitor is a worthwhile investment.
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How Does Blood Pressure Work
Blood pressure is the force against blood vessel walls as the heart pumps blood. When the heart squeezes and pushes blood into the vessels, blood pressure goes up. It comes down when the heart relaxes.
Blood pressure changes from minute to minute. It’s affected by activity and rest, body temperature, diet, emotions, posture, and medicines.
How To Treat A Headache
No matter what the cause, those with a headache seek fast relief. However, if you do have diagnosed high blood pressure and are on medication to treat it, its important to be mindful of which treatment you choose.
Always check the label of your medications and make sure that you wont be doing more harm than good with the way you choose to treat your headache.
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When And How To Measure Blood Pressure
Regular use of a home blood pressure monitor can help people better understand their blood pressure fluctuations. It can also allow people to identify episodes of morning hypertension.
The American Heart Association recommend using a cuff-style blood pressure monitor. These monitors are more reliable than monitors that attach to the finger or wrist.
The AHA also provide the following guidelines for measuring blood pressure at home:
Before measuring blood pressure:
- Rest comfortably and quietly for 5 minutes before measuring blood pressure.
- Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, or exercising within 30 minutes of measuring blood pressure.
When measuring blood pressure:
Over The Counter Meds
Myth: All over-the-counter cold and flu medications are safe for people with high blood pressure.
Fact: The active ingredients in decongestants can increase blood pressure and could possibly interfere with blood pressure medications. Be sure to buy cold and flu medications that don’t have decongestants. Always ask the pharmacist for help if you any medication concerns.
Also Check: What Causes Your Blood Pressure To Be High
Secondary Hypertension Treatment Options
If your doctor discovers an underlying issue causing your hypertension, treatment will focus on that other condition. For example, if a medicine youve started taking is causing increased blood pressure, your doctor will try other medicines that dont have this side effect.
Sometimes, hypertension is persistent despite treatment for the underlying cause. In this case, your doctor may work with you to develop lifestyle changes and prescribe medications to help reduce your blood pressure.
Treatment plans for hypertension often evolve. What worked at first may become less useful over time. Your doctor will continue to work with you to refine your treatment.
Many people go through a trial-and-error phase with blood pressure medications. You may need to try different medicines until you find one or a combination of medications that work for you.
Some of the medications used to treat hypertension include:
Healthy lifestyle changes can help you control the factors that cause hypertension. Here are some of the most common home remedies.
What Is A Normal Blood Pressure
Both the American Heart Association and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force have published guidelines for defining healthy and elevated blood pressure. You can follow either guidelines, depending on what you and your doctor agree is acceptable.
|USPSTF Guidelines for Blood Pressure|
|Normal||Systolic: Less than 120 mm Hg Diastolic:Less than 80 mm Hg|
|Elevated||Diastolic: <Less than 80 mm Hg|
|AHA Guidelines for Blood Pressure|
|Normal||Systolic: Less than 120 mm Hg Diastolic: Less than 80 mm Hg|
|Elevated||Diastolic: Less than 80 mm Hg|
|High Blood Pressure Stage 1||Systolic: 130-139 mm Hg|
|High Blood Pressure Stage 2||Systolic: 140 mm Hg or higher Diastolic: 90 mm Hg or higher|
|Hypertensive Crisis||Systolic: Higher than 180 mm Hg Diastolic: Higher than 120 mm Hg|
Also Check: What Gives You High Blood Pressure
How Can You Bring Your Blood Pressure Down Quickly
Here are some simple recommendations:Exercise most days of the week. Exercise is the most effective way to lower your blood pressure. Consume a low-sodium diet. Too much sodium causes blood pressure to rise. Limit alcohol intake to no more than 1 to 2 drinks per day. Make stress reduction a priority.Jun 22, 2019
Protecting Your Cardiovascular Health
The good news is that your doctor can identify high blood pressure with regular checks. If found, it can be successfully treated using a combination of medication and heart-healthy lifestyle changesor sometimes, lifestyle changes alone.
Making small changes to your habits, such as eating a lower sodium diet, getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol intake, and quitting smoking can lower your blood pressure by 10-20 mmHg or more. And, if your doctor has prescribed blood pressure medication, it is important that you take it as directed.
Taking high blood pressure seriously and following your doctors treatment instructions can lower your risks of serious complications and make a big difference in your overall health.
If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure or think you might be at risk, schedule an appointment with your primary care;provider today.
Causes Of High Blood Pressure
Although the exact cause is unknown, certain conditions, traits or habits may raise your risk for the condition. These are known as risk factors and include:
Non-modifiable risk factors: These factors are irreversible and cannot be changed. The more of these risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing HBP.
- Starting at age 18, ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading at least every two years. If you’re age 40 or older, or you’re 18 to 39 with a high risk of high blood pressure, ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading every year.
- Family history/Genetics
- African Americans and non-white Hispanic Americans are at higher risk for developing high blood pressure than any other group in the U.S.
Modifiable risk factors: These factors can be modified, treated or controlled through medications or lifestyle changes.
- Excessive alcohol consumption over many years.
- Little to no physical activity
- Excessive amounts of salt in diet that excess the recommended amounts of 1,500 to 2,300 mg of sodium per day.
- Long history of smoking and/or drug abuse
- Extreme emotional stress
Other conditions that contribute to developing high blood pressure
Don’t Be Too Concerned
High blood pressure spikes can be a concern in those with heart disease, but are generally harmless in those without. Still, you never want to deal with too much high blood pressure. Hypertension can put stress on your heart and possibly damage your blood vessels. That’s why even though there isn’t necessarily any danger to experiencing these blood pressure spikes, you should still make reducing your anxiety a priority.
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A Final Caution: Stroke Symptoms
Since high blood pressure can lead to a stroke, make sure that your family members and caregivers also know the signs of stroke. They should take immediate action if you suddenly experience:
- Numbness or weakness on one side of the face or body
- Confusion or difficulty speaking
- Trouble walking, or lack of balance or coordination
- Severe headache
- Stay aware and seek high blood pressure treatment
Some people may have a tendency to ignore or deny hypertension symptoms because they dont want to go to the doctor or the emergency room, they dont want to admit the possibility of being ill, or they dont understand the seriousness.A key part of healthy aging is communicating health concerns to your doctor or nurse. That includes getting immediate attention to and treatment for potential symptoms of a high blood pressure crisis.Dont disregard professional medical advice, or delay seeking it, because of what you read here. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional consultation, diagnosis or treatment; it is provided as is without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Always consult a healthcare provider if you have specific questions about any medical matter, and seek professional attention immediately if you think you or someone in your care may be suffering from a health condition.
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Get To Know Your Numbers
Because there arent any symptoms, its important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Get to know the numbers and when to get help from your doctor.
Your blood pressure will have two numbers:
- Systolic is the upper number, measuring when your heart is forcing blood through your vessels.
- Diastolic is the lower number, measuring pressure between heart beats.
For example, 120/80 indicates a systolic blood pressure of 120 and a diastolic blood pressure of 80 mm/Hg.
What Causes High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure causes are usually related to medical conditions, diet and lifestyle, although an exact explanation cannot always be determined. Being overweight, consuming too much salt, not exercising regularly, smoking and drinking to excess can all be causes of high blood pressure, as can underlying health conditions including diabetes, kidney disease and hormone problems. Certain medicines may also lead to high blood pressure2.
Some individuals may be at an increased risk of high blood pressure. This includes overweight individuals, smokers, those with long-term sleep deprivation and those with a family history of high blood pressure. Individuals from an African or Caribbean origin also have a higher risk of developing hypertension, as do older individuals as the risk increases as you age.
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.
Putting On The Brakes
Myth: Once you start feeling better, it’s OK to stop taking your medicine for high blood pressure.
Fact: If your doctor has prescribed medicine for your high blood pressure, follow his or her exact directions closely. It would be dangerous for you to decrease dosage or stop taking the medication without your doctor’s approval.
Understanding Your Blood Pressure Numbers
When you get your blood pressure taken, it is given as two numbers. For example, you might be told that your blood pressure is 120/80.
This number is always written as a fraction and refers to two things happening in your heart. The top number in the fraction is called the Systolic pressure . This number measures the highest blood pressure in your arteries when the heart muscle contracts.
The bottom number in the fraction is called the Diastolic pressure . This number measures the lowest blood pressure in your arteries when the heart is relaxed between beats. Both numbers are important in determining if your BP is normal or if you have hypertension.
About High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is usually defined as having a sustained blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or above.
The line between normal and raised blood pressure is not fixed and depends on your individual circumstances. However, most doctors agree that the ideal blood pressure for a physically healthy person is around 120/80mmHg.
A normal blood pressure reading is classed as less than 130/80mmHg.
How Can I Tell If I Have High Blood Pressure Without A Machine
What if I dont have the required equipment? Your resting heart rate, which is another indicator of heart health, does not require the use of a blood pressure cuff. Blood pressure and heart rate are normally displayed on digital monitors, but you can check your pulse manually to ascertain the former.
What Should I Do If I Have High Blood Pressure
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you and your healthcare provider will talk about your target blood pressure. Your provider may suggest that you:
- Check your own blood pressure regularly with a home blood pressure monitor. These electronic monitors are available at most pharmacies or online.
- Work on controlling anger and managing stress.
What Is The Treatment For High Blood Pressure
Mild high blood pressure can often be treated by making lifestyle changes, including:
- losing weight
- limiting your alcohol intake to no more than 2 drinks per day for men, or 1 drink per day for women with high blood pressure
However, lifestyle changes may not be enough. Some people also need medication to help reduce blood pressure levels to normal. While medicines are usually very effective at lowering blood pressure, they may cause side effects in some people.
Usually doctors will start a person on a low dose of a medicine and see how it goes. If it doesnt work well enough, or if there are troublesome side effects, other medicines will be used, sometimes in combination, until the blood pressure is controlled. This can take time. Some people will take medicines for life, although others will find that continuing to lose weight and changing their diet reduces the need for medicines.
Someone whose blood pressure is very high or causing symptoms such as headache, or if they have conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, may need urgent treatment with medicines to bring the blood pressure down to normal levels.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners recommends that you regularly review with your doctor or specialist any medications you are taking for high blood pressure or high cholesterol to assess the ongoing benefits and risks. For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.
Negative Effects Of Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about one out of every three American adults have high blood pressure, or hypertension. Because high blood pressure is so common, it might be tempting to assume that its no big deal. But the truth is, that when left untreated, high blood pressure can put you at risk for potentially life-threatening complications.
Here are eight ways that uncontrolled high blood pressure can negatively affect your health: