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Whether you’re aware of it or not, there’s an inextricable link between anxiety and high blood pressure.
When you feel an air of anxiety, you tend to experience a slew of physical symptoms, with high blood pressure being a constant one.
Similarly, when you experience severe high blood pressure, you also tend to experience a more rapid heart rate, which can lead you to become anxious.
Having bouts of anxiety can happen from time to time—and it’s normal to feel that way before high-pressure situations.
And, the good news is that in many cases, blood pressure dips as soon as the body calms down.
But when severe anxiety attacks happen regularly, it can cause long-term organ damage, from the kidneys to the sexual organs.
Let’s look more intimately into the connection between anxiety and high blood pressure, and explore ways to curb both health conditions.
The Dangers of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure damages the arteries. This hinders blood flow circulation and prevents a healthy supply of blood from providing enough oxygenated blood to various organs.
To illustrate the point, a healthy heart and artery is flexible and elastic. It’s efficient enough to supply tissues and organs with oxygen-rich blood, keeping them healthy and functional.
If a person has high blood pressure, on the other hand, the increased pressure can erode the inner lining of the blood vessels, rendering it more rigid and inelastic.
It also causes the blood vessels to narrow permanently, making it harder to circulate blood throughout the body.
When this happens, the odds of you developing cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart disease greatly increase.
These conditions are some of the leading causes of death worldwide—so it’s important to treat your underlying disorder if you have severe or recurrent symptoms of these diseases.
Can Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure?
Yes, facing constant anxiety episodes can take a toll on your physical health. One of its most harmful ramifications is its influence on blood pressure.
Chronic anxiety can perpetuate a cycle of stress within the body, perpetually engaging the ‘fight or flight’ response and leading to sustained and elevated blood pressure levels.
The repeated triggering of this stress response releases adrenaline. When this hormone is released, it causes a surge in heart rate and, consequently, an increase in blood pressure.
While episodic moments of anxiety don’t lead to sustained hypertension (elevated blood pressure) on their own, persistent stress and anxiety can cause the emergence of chronic high blood pressure.
As such, it’s important to treat anxiety disorders and other mental health issues to avoid severe symptoms of high blood pressure from forming.
The best way to go about it is by talking with a doctor as they have the expertise and tools to control high blood pressure in a safe and sanitary environment.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure—or hypertension—can be attributed to a myriad of factors. It’s also often the case that hypertension in individuals forms as a combination of various elements that increase blood pressure.
Common causes can be categorized broadly into essential and secondary hypertension. Here’s a quick glimpse on both:
1. Essential Hypertension
The most common form of hypertension is essential hypertension, also known as primary hypertension.
This health complication springs as a result of multiple factors, particularly:
- Genetics: There are proven hereditary factors that can lead to increased hypertension risk in individuals with family with this condition.
- Sedentary lifestyle: Inactive people who eat a high-sodium, high-sugar diet are at increased risk of developing high blood pressure.
- Age: Older people are more at risk of developing high blood pressure, although not all senior-aged men necessarily develop hypertension.
Primary hypertension is diagnosed when there’s an absence of an actual, single cause of hypertension. It’s the most common type of hypertension in the world, with over 90% of HBP cases being of this type.
2. Secondary Hypertension
Secondary hypertension is one that’s prompted by an underlying condition. Unlike primary hypertension, this type of health complication has an identifiable root cause.
It’s also more likely for individuals diagnosed with this condition to have a higher-than-average blood pressure than those diagnosed with primary hypertension.
These are some of the causes of this type of disorder:
- Kidney disease
- Adrenal disease
- Erectile dysfunction
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- Aortic coarctation
Furthermore, some medications may also lead individuals to succumb to secondary hypertension. These medications are some types of medicine that may trigger feelings of anxiety and hypertension:
- Diet pills
- Immune system suppressants
If you are currently taking any of these types of medication to treat an underlying condition, talk with your doctor to have them adjust your dosage or switch your medication.
How to Treat High Blood Pressure
Treating high blood pressure requires careful and consistent effort. Those afflicted by primary hypertension must implement new lifestyle changes to lower blood pressure sustainably.
For those diagnosed with secondary conditions, it often starts by treating the underlying condition.
If generalized anxiety disorder is the main culprit, doctors will focus on this intense anxiety for treatment. Not only would treating anxiety symptoms affect blood pressure, but it can also help in inhibiting a slew of cardiovascular disease types.
Here are more actionable ways to lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure:
- Embrace the DASH diet, or a Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet.
- Keep sodium intake low
- Engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise
- Avoid overworking yourself and set aside time to rest
- Manage your medication profile
- Find time to manage stress
- Monitor your blood pressure and make adjustments accordingly
Read here for more health tips for men over 50 to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
It’s also important to talk to a doctor regularly, even before you develop this condition. Early detection of the condition can save you from a lot of stress and heartbreak down the line, so be sure to get in touch with a qualified medical professional.
Consult Expert Medical Professionals for Treatment in Orlando, Florida
So, to answer the question “can anxiety raise blood pressure?”, the answer is yes. Anxiety can raise high blood pressure, and both these conditions can be classified as a medical emergency in severe cases.
It’s also true that anxiety may give rise to sexual health irregularities and dysfunctions, such as erectile dysfunction and low testosterone levels.
Want to maintain a new, low blood pressure that encourages a healthy lifestyle inside and outside of the bedroom? The medical professionals at Premier Men’s Medical Center in Orlando provide ED treatment, hormone therapy, medical weight loss, thyroid disorder treatment and adrenal fatigue for people who need reliable medical assistance.
Schedule a consultation with us today, your initial consultation and first treatment are completely free.