Sunday, October 25, 2009

How are high blood pressure and anxiety related?

Are high blood pressure and anxiety related, and if so what sort of risk is there.
During periods of anxiety blood pressure rises. This is a normal reaction and once the anxiety lessens the blood pressure lowers again. However, if anxiety is a constant state then problems can occur. Think about it. When people are worried or anxious they tend to use props to help them cope - normally these are unhealthy choices like 'comfort' food, drinking more alcohol and smoking more. All things that can increase a persons risk of high blood pressure.Also having periods of high blood pressure caused by anxiety that are prolonged or happen with regular occurence can damage blood vessels, the kidneys and heart. Not good.If you're worried about the effect anxiety is having on your blood pressure then you need to take steps to reduce it.I found these suggestions from here: http://natural-blood-pressure-reduction.1. Focus your attention on one project at a time – Instead of trying to multitask, focus all your attention on completing one task at a time. When your mind is fully absorbed on one task, you put all your mental and emotional efforts into the job at hand, which stops your mind from wondering and becoming overwhelmed with other thoughts, priorities and demands. The more overwhelmed a person feels, the less productive they are, and the more their anxiety grows. 2. Learn to say “No” – If you go out of your way to try and please everyone, you’ll stretch yourself too thin and be living in a constant state of high blood pressure and anxiety. Over-committing yourself stretches you beyond your physical and emotional limits, causing you to become fatigued, stressed, overworked and rundown – all factors that lead to anxiety. You need to learn to say “No” to others who are asking more of your time than you can handle or are willing to give. 3. Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake – Both alcohol and caffeine can worsen anxiety. Therefore, when you are feeling anxious, refrain from ingesting caffeinated products including chocolate, coffee, tea, and soda. In regards to high blood pressure and anxiety and alcohol, one may think that since consuming alcohol reduces feelings of anxiety, this would be an ideal method. The truth is, while alcohol may suppress feelings of anxiety, it increases the risk of high blood pressure and depression. Thus, it is imperative to your health that you never use alcohol as a remedy for relieving anxiety as this can become a bad and deadly habit.4. Breathe Deep – Deep breathing exercises are an excellent way to focus the mind and calm anxiety episodes. Here is one type of deep breathing exercise you can try:
- Take a deep breath by inhaling through your nose and slowly count to four while you inhale.
- Hold your breath for a count of three
- Exhale slowly through your mouth and count down from four while you exhale.
- Repeat four times5. Engage in regular exercise - Exercise is an excellent stress reliever. It helps to clear your mind and improve your mental outlook on life. Exercise helps improve your sleep and increases your physical stamina. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins; chemicals that make your body feel good. Studies have found that people who engage in long term exercise programs (I.E. 30 minutes of daily exercise) increase their ability to cope with stress. Moreover, don’t forget that exercise also helps maintain healthy weight levels, as being overweight increases a person’s risk of hypertension. However, you should first speak to your doctor before engaging in any exercise regimen.Should you have difficulty controlling your anxiety on your own, you may want to speak with your doctor about seeking help from a qualified therapist, because the bottom line is you need to get your high blood pressure and anxiety under control.
Anxiety causes your BP to raise. Some have "white coat syndrome" where everytime they go to the doctor they are so anxious that they report increased BP. Worrying and increase sympathetic stimulation cause increase BP. This is a bit of an oversimplified explanation but should suffice.
Anxiety activates your bodies fight or flight response. Part of this response is dilate your airway while constricting your blood vessels. Additionally, your pulse increases. The compound effect is to increase blood pressure. Furthermore, the body while in this state decreases urine production, this added fluid adds to blood pressure.

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