Anxiety And High Blood Pressure

Covering anxiety and high blood pressure medications



Anxiety and high blood pressure association is a matter of concern in the hypertension world. Anxiety can be understood to be a state of worry and nervousness that affects particular individuals. It can also be said to be a psychological and physiological state that can be accompanied by cognitive, somatic and emotional and behavioral elements. In terms of statistics a significant number of people in America suffer from anxiety. This number is as high as 40 million people. This represents 18 percent of the American population. Anxiety is independently associated with high blood pressure. Previously before conclusive studies some medical professionals were of the opinion that depression also caused high blood pressure. However studies such as those done in France amongst a community of elderly people has shown that anxiety but nor depression is associated with elevated blood pressure. This particular study involved up to 1389 subjects aged between the ages of 59 to 71 years old. Anxiety appeared to elevate blood pressure both systolic and diastolic blood pressure numbers in both male and female subjects.

The effects of anxiety on long-term high blood pressure is not fully appreciated. It would appear to some medical professionals that anxiety and high blood pressure association goes as far as only causing temporary spikes in blood pressure. This possibly points to a situation whereby blood pressure goes up during the time when the individual is anxious for some treason. In particular anxiety has also been linked to white coat syndrome which occurs when blood pressure gets elevated when a person is anxious about being in a hospital or the doctor's office for blood pressure measurements. The effects of anxiety on high blood pressure is further somewhat likened to the effects of stress on high blood pressure. In fact individuals who are anxious for any reason are discouraged from taking blood pressure. Measuring blood pressure in this state using a home blood pressure monitor for example will lead to inaccurate blood pressure readings. It is likely that women are more at risk of the effects of anxiety is as far as high blood pressure is concerned. This because statistical data shows that women suffer from anxiety twice the rate of men.

In as much as anxiety is a temporary occurrence in the majority of people, there are particular individuals who suffer from anxiety more so as a mental health problem. This affects their productivity and overall control over day to day life. Doctors are generally agreed that repeated or sustained anxiety can cause an equal amount of damage to specific organs such as the heart and the kidneys in much the same way as chronic high blood pressure which is also known as hypertension. It is possible that sustained anxiety may indirectly cause hypertension by first damaging specific organs. This creates what is commonly known as secondary hypertension. Heart disease can lead to hypertension so can kidney disease. In particular high blood pressure caused by damage to kidneys will include renovascular hypertension.

Conditions such as anxiety and stress are known to affect the individual's ability to be adequately in charge or control of their life. This directly affects how one eats healthy of unhealthy. Doctors note this as an important consideration.



People who are under stress or frequently anxious will tend to eat unhealthy. This may include high cholesterol foods, high sodium foods and sugary snacks which may lead to obesity. The association between obesity and high blood pressure is well established. This also includes the link between salt and high blood pressure. High cholesterol foods may form plaque in vessel walls leading to high blood pressure. Stressed and anxious individuals may also resort to smoking and drinking to escape their troubles. Nicotine in cigarettes is known to damage nerves and vessels which may lead to hypertension so does ethanol in alcohol. In fact smoking and drinking are recognized risk factors of hypertension. This illustrates how anxiety or stress may slowly lead a person down the road of high blood pressure through their food choices. Perhaps what is important to note is that this relates mostly to individuals who frequently suffer from anxious situations. It may apply less to sporadic anxious moments that naturally happen to almost all individuals at one point or the other through-out day to day life.

Anxiety and High Blood Pressure Medication

In considering anxiety causes side effects of some hypertension medications can be responsible for anxiety for people who are already hypertensive and taking high blood pressure meds. In cases such as these it is important for the patient to approach their doctor to consider a move to a different medication therapy. For individuals who already have anxiety but have no high blood pressure, taking anxiety medications will also reduce the risk of the development of chronic high blood pressure through organ damage as mentioned earlier above. Anxiety is treated using pharmaceutical anti-hypertensive drugs as well as lifestyle changes. It is generally recommended that individuals with chronic anxiety be treated using lifestyle changes such as frequent exercise and eating healthy. use of drugs such as anti-depressants may actually lead to high blood pressure as a side effect. Some stronger drugs also lead to permanent addiction and behavioral dependency. The link between anxiety and high blood pressure is therefore clear and apparent.


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