Does Anxiety Cause High blood Pressure?
When it comes to anxiety and its affect on your health there is more assumption and myth than you could imagine. Some of these myths are based in fact, but of course they’re not entirely accurate. And, although there is a connection between anxiety and blood pressure, that connection has been overblown somewhat.
See, anxiety can increase your blood pressure but it doesn’t do so over long periods of time. In other words, when you feel stressed and anxious your blood pressure does go up as your bloodstream is injected with stress hormones which make your heart work harder at rest.
However, despite the fact that you may have a spike in blood pressure during a panic attack or stressful situation – this doesn’t mean that you’ll have chronically elevated blood pressure because of anxiety alone.
An anxiety attack, or any other stressful event, only has a limited ability to increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Your bodies systems go back to their normal state relatively quickly after the stress has gone away.
If you have chronic high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, it’s likely due to other causes. Things like inactivity, poor diet, family history and even your race can be contributing factors.
But always keep in mind that anxiety can spike your blood pressure in the short-term. For example, in the past when I’d go to my doctor I used to get nervous. My assumption of course was that every time I went there the staff was going to give me some kind of dire diagnosis. For this reason when the nurse took my blood pressure it would sky-rocket to 150/90.
The nurse would wait about five minutes and take the reading again and when she did my blood pressure would come back down to around 125/80 – 120/80 is considered optimal.
So does anxiety increase blood pressure? Yes it does, but on a temporary basis. Does it cause long-term elevation in blood pressure? No it doesn’t.
If you have issues with high blood pressure be sure to speak with your doctor as this condition can lead to serious health problems. This is just another reason why we all need to learn how to relax more and give our bodies a break from the chronic stress we often experience.
To read more about this issue read this related article by Dr. Craig Weber.