The Link Between Stress And Hypertension
When taken alone, stress cant cause you to have high blood pressure. Age, race, weight, and certain habits all are factors that contribute to hypertension.
Stressful situations may play a part in some of these contributing factors. For instance, you may smoke to relieve stress or eat unhealthy foods when youre feeling strained.
How Does Stress Affect Your Overall Health
Feeling stressed for a long time can affect your mood and how well you sleep, and sometimes people take on unhealthy ways of coping, such as smoking, drinking alcohol or eating too much. These can lead to health problems in the future including raised blood pressure, clogged up arteries, heart disease and stroke.
Look out for the early signs of stress, like sweating, loss of appetite, headaches, poor concentration and feeling irritable or worried, so you can see if you need to make changes and find ways to manage it.
How Stress Affects Your Blood Pressure
Your body produces more hormones when youre under stress, causing your heart to work overtime. As this happens, your blood vessels constrict, making it harder for the blood to flow properly. Unless you get treatment, or perhaps change some lifestyle habits, you could risk damaging your arteries. Over time, this can increase your chance of developing heart disease.
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Regardless Of The Cause Anxiety Needs To Be Controlled
Before getting into the relationship between anxiety and high blood pressure, the reality is that your anxiety needs to be controlled in order to avoid further raising your blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure – caused by anxiety or not – you’re putting your body through considerable stress every day. Reducing anxiety is one of the first steps towards reducing the stress on your body.
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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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.
How Exactly Does Chronic Stress Affect Your Blood Pressure
Everyone experiences stress of some form during their life. Small instances of stress are normal for everyone, but leading a perpetually stressful life can start an onslaught of problems that can eventually lead to hypertension, and even worsen heart disease risk.During stressful situations, your body will produce a whole slew of hormones, such as adrenaline, to trigger your flight or fight response. This is the bodys automatic response to fear, and it can make your heart beat faster, and cause your blood pressure to rise. This temporary increase in stress can help you complete your task faster. But this response was meant for handling one-off physical dangers, rather than the constant psychological stressors that you live with.
In the short term, stress induces symptoms like sleep issues, racing heart , headaches, dizziness, and a gradual change in appetite. But these symptoms can escalate and become chronic, and eventually affect your other organ systems. Chronic stress manifests as:
- Sleep problems
- Stomach issues
- Headaches and body pains
When your body experiences these symptoms without any treatment, the condition can eventually lead to higher blood pressure. Since high BP doesnt show symptoms earlier on, you might miss out on getting the help that you need in time.
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Job Stress Poor Sleep Hypertension A Deadly Trio
MONDAY, April 29, 2019 — Job stress, high blood pressure and poor sleep may be a recipe for an early death, German researchers report.
In a study of nearly 2,000 workers with high blood pressure who were followed for almost 18 years, those who reported having both a stressful job and poor sleep were three times more likely to die from heart disease than those who slept well and didn’t have a trying job, the investigators found.
“As many as 50% of adults have high blood pressure,” said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
It’s a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease and premature cardiovascular death, said Fonarow, who had no role in the new study.
“A number of studies have found associations between greater work stress and subsequent risk of cardiovascular events. Impairment in sleep has also been associated with increased risk,” he said. However, these associations did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
In the new study, the researchers reported that among people with high blood pressure , those who had work stress alone had a twofold higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, as did those who reported having poor sleep alone.
“Unfortunately, poor sleep and job stress often go hand in hand, and when combined with hypertension, the effect is even more toxic,” he added in a statement.
European Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Stress And Heart Disease
As we touched upon in the previous section, stress is linked to a higher risk of heart disease. Although stress may not be a direct risk factor, frequently feeling stressed is linked to other factors that increase heart disease risk, such as high blood pressure, bad eating, lack of exercise, and smoking.
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What Happens In Your Body When You Get Stressed
Stress hormones have a big role to play.
When youre experiencing physical or emotional stress, hormones are released that increase your blood sugar. Cortisol and adrenaline are other primary hormones involved.
This is a perfectly natural response. For example, if youre being chased by a barking dog or youre in a dangerous situation, you need these hormones to prepare your body for a fight or flight situation.
But when youre stressed, your body releases these hormones, even if there isnt a major physical threat involved.
The result? Higher blood pressure, increased heart rate and a rise in blood sugar.
The problem becomes more complicated.
If youre consistently under stress, your hormones and sugar will continue to surge.
Over time, this can put you at risk for:
- Heart disease
This is one reason why its so important to treat your stress and anxiety.
Can Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure
According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America , anxiety disorders affect more than 40 million adults every year in the United States. Anxiety can cause a wide range of physical symptoms, including an increase in blood pressure levels.
Although anxiety isnt linked to chronic high blood pressure, both short-term and chronic anxiety may cause your blood pressure to spike.
In this article, well explore the link between anxiety and high blood pressure and treatment options for both.
doesnt cause chronic high blood pressure. However, it can lead to a short-term increase in blood pressure.
When you begin to feel anxious because of a stressful situation, your body enters fight-or-flight mode. This happens due to the activation of your sympathetic nervous system. During fight-or-flight mode, your adrenaline and cortisol levels rise, both of which can lead to an increase in blood pressure.
Although stress and anxiety can cause high blood pressure, its only temporary, and levels generally return to normal once youve calmed down again.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a chronic condition that occurs when blood pressure levels are elevated. Chronic high blood pressure can be quite dangerous and can cause significant damage to the body, especially the brain, heart, kidneys, and eyes.
Hypertension is classified into two categories:
Just like anxiety can cause temporary high blood pressure, high blood pressure can sometimes cause anxiety.
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Can High Blood Pressure Cause Anxiety
Just like anxiety and stress reactions can cause spikes in blood pressure, having a medical condition like high blood pressure or heart disease can also contribute to anxiety. Depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder are particularly common after heart attacks. However, people with high blood pressure alone may feel fearful over what damage the elevated blood pressure could do to the body, and about their overall health and future.
Another source of anxiety in patients with hypertension is the symptoms that can be caused by significantly elevated blood pressure. These include:
Changes in vision
Remember that many people do not have symptoms with high blood pressure, but the knowledge of having the condition may lead to increased anxiety.
Another common source of anxiety in people with a new diagnosis of hypertension is the need for blood pressure lowering medications. Talking with your healthcare provider can often relieve fears about side effects and financial concerns associated with new medications.
It is uncommon for most blood pressure lowering medications to cause anxiety. In fact, some blood pressure medications, such as beta blockers and clonidine ,can be used to treat anxiety. That being said, different people can respond differently to medications, so if you develop increased anxiety after starting a new blood pressure medication, please contact your healthcare provider.
Understanding How Chronic Stress Can Cause Hypertension
Cold sweats and palpitations are the pesky symptoms that many of you may associate with stressful situations. In the short term, it may just be a normal, albeit annoying, response to a challenging situation.
But continued bouts of stress can cause high blood pressure, and eventually, hypertension.
And before you start stressing about your stress levels, know that there are things that you can start doing today, to prevent these long term complications.
Heres more on how stress affects your blood pressure, the holistic approach for lowering stress levels, and the habits that you need to start forming today for this.
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Anxiety And High Blood Pressure
Hi I was wondering how may people have high blood pressure with anxiety. When I’m relaxed my bp is normally 130/78. If I’m anxious it can easily go up to 180/90 it’s pretty scary! If I can relax it takes about 2 mins to go back to around 140/80.
With my anxiety this worries me the most I’m on BP medication which keeps it check most of the time with some awful side effects.
I’ve had all the tests done over the years which have all been good. My GP assures me my anxiety does this to me and it’s nothing to worry about. Unfortunately when all this started 5 years ago I googled high BP and over 180 is an hypertensive crisis and you should immediately go to the hospital.
When I had my first panic attack 5 years ago which started this madness my BP was 230/110/150 it was the worst day of my life.
Over the years my anxiety has sometimes just vanished and at one stage went for about 8 months. Lately it has come back. I can handle everything about it the pain/ palpitations dizziness feeling awful. Buts it the high blood pressure that worries me. I had a complete medical as recent as 3 weeks ago which was fine for my age 57.
Do other people have Blood pressure issues with their anxiety?
4 likes, 58 replies
5 years ago
Cristina I had to look up long qt syndrome it sounds pretty scary have you been diagnosed with that?
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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How To Reduce Stress
The good news is that managing stress is easy, and its free. Infusing a few simple, healthy habits into your lifestyle can help lower your stress levels.
Its perfectly OK to take some time off to relax and recharge, whether thats with some gardening, binge-watching a favorite show or taking a walk, reminds Dr. Kayal.
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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How Anxiety Causes High Blood Pressure
Typically, all of us go through a certain level of anxiety. It is the bodys natural response to stress. But if the feeling of dread persists for more than six months or is quite intense, and then the person might be experiencing an anxiety disorder. This is a useful adaptive response in a case of physical danger however, prolonged exposure to these stress hormones are quite damaging to health. Doctors also suspect that it is anxiety that leads to white coat hypertension a phenomenon in which people show a higher blood pressure reading at a doctors clinic than at their own home. According to research conducted by the US Library of Medicine in the year 2015, people who suffer from intense anxiety are more prone to falling victims to hypertension compared to those who have lower levels of stress. Living with an anxiety disorder can lead a person to adopt unhealthy lifestyle habits, which may include alcohol abuse, lack of exercise, low diet, and tobacco addiction.
Can Stress Cause High Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure contributes to more than 1,000 deaths per year. Over 50 million Americans are dealing with this condition. No knowledge about the causes of high pressure is one of the biggest reasons why more and more people are becoming a victim of this potentially life-threatening condition.
It is true that the exact cause of hypertension isn’t clear, but several factors and other conditions can contribute to the development of this condition. Some of the most common factors are obesity, smoking, excessive salt intake, lack of physical activities and stress. Many people understand how obesity or smoking can play a role in the development of high blood pressure, but they really want to know the relationship between high blood pressure and stress. Can stress cause high blood pressure? Keep reading to find the answer.
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High Blood Pressure Risks
Advancing age and a family history of heart disease increase your chances of developing high blood pressure. Other risks include eating an unhealthy diet that contains lots of salt, not exercising regularly, smoking, and drinking too much alcohol.
Obesity and diabetes also raise your risk of developing high blood pressure.
Can Anxiety Treatment Cause High Blood Pressure
Yes. Some medications used for treatment of anxiety can lead to increased blood pressure when taken alone or in combination with other medications. These include:
Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors , such as venlafaxine
Norepinephrine-Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors , such as bupropion
After prescribing medication for anxiety, your physician will monitor you closely to determine if there are significant changes in your blood pressure.
Physicians take special care to avoid prescribing medications that can cause high blood pressure to those who already have a diagnosis of hypertension. This is why it is important to remind your doctor about any personal or family history of high blood pressure, so that they can select the safest medication for you.
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