Does Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure?

When you consider common symptoms of anxiety, such as a pounding heart, sweating, and dizziness or lightheadedness, it seems obvious that anxiety can cause high blood pressure. And indeed, periods of high anxiety do cause temporary spikes in blood pressure that can be quite dramatic.

You may think that people with chronic anxiety have a constant increase in blood pressure, but they seem to adapt in a way to their body’s constant increase in stress hormones. Instead of experiencing high blood pressure all the time, chronic anxiety sufferers only see the same temporary increases during periods when their anxiety is even greater than usual--they do not have a chronic increase in baseline blood pressure.

Although these increases in blood pressure are temporary and do not cause long-term or chronic high blood pressure, known as hypertension, they can still be cause for concern. Frequent episodes of anxiety-induced high blood pressure can cause as much damage to blood vessels, the heart, and kidneys as hypertension does. This damage, whether caused by multiple short episodes or gradually over time, is cumulative and results in an increased risk of organ damage, heart attack, and stroke.

Anxiety sufferers should also be conscious of unhealthy lifestyle habits that may increase blood pressure, like smoking, drinking, and overeating. Some people develop these habits as coping mechanisms in response to their anxiety symptoms, and they can lead to blood pressure problems. In addition, some medications used to treat anxiety, like SSRIs, can increase blood pressure in some people and in combinations with certain other medications.

Anxiety Support Groups

More Articles

As adults, we are well aware that our work environment has an effect on our mental health. When we're trying to do our jobs without the resources...

In many cases, a mental disorder can be just as disabling as a physical one. That seems to be the case with Los Angeles Dodger Hong-Chih Kuo, who...

It’s pleasant to think that daydreaming, the time we spend musing or fantasizing while we are awake, makes us happier people. Then researchers...

One of the most prescribed drugs for the treatment of acute anxiety, valium has a host of other uses. It can treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms,...

In what probably doesn't come as a surprise to many people, a research study published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology reports that the...

More Articles

In the first study of its kind in this specific patient population, researchers from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found...

Sometimes the best antidote to anxiety is the humor of Woody Allen. He has a genius for turning thoughts that make us quake with fear into ideas...

Controlling stress and anxiety could lead to a reduction in the number of hot or cold flashes. Hot flashes also include sweaty palms. The more...

Beta-blockers are a class of drugs most commonly used to treat heart conditions, although they are useful in the treatment of a variety of other...

A new study has successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of a novel treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Using drugs that don't...

Uncontrollable shaking can happen when your arms, hands, legs and even your entire body may feel shaky or like they are trembling.

Some...

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, more commonly known as SSRIs, are a class of prescription drugs first developed to treat depression....

Cortisol is often referred to as the "stress hormone", because of your body's levels of cortisol increase in response to stressors. Since cortisol...

Tenormin (known generically as atenolol) is a beta blocker often used to control the physical symptoms of anxiety. Beta blockers are quite...

No one is a complete stranger to anxiety. We all have times when we feel worried or fearful--sometimes extremely so. Feeling anxious now and then...

Calming your anxiety and nerves is easier said than done. “Just relax” doesn’t work, and “it’s okay” doesn’t help! So what do you do?

First...

The phrase “natural remedy” means different things to different people, but people searching for natural remedies for anxiety attacks are usually...

Anxiety levels can be affected by a number of different physiological disorders, including the common sleep disorder known as sleep apnea....

According to new research, T cells—best known for their role in fighting infections—may be one of the key players in elevated blood pressure...

Neurontin, generically known as gabapentin, is an anticonvulsant drug approved by the FDA to treat certain types of seizures in epileptics...