Have you ever had a panic attack or an overwhelming feeling of anxiety and dizziness? If so, you’ve probably felt your heart rate increase, thumping in your ears. But can anxiety cause high blood pressure? Are problems with blood pressure something to look out for if you struggle with anxiety disorders?
What is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is when your blood makes its way through your artery walls at a higher rate than normal, increasing the pressure. It’s also referred to as hypertension. Long-term hypertension can damage the arteries and subsequent pathways in your body, increasing your risk of things like a heart attack or stroke.
High blood pressure is one of the most common diseases across the United States, but it doesn’t have any noticeable warning signs, and most people don’t realize they have high blood pressure unless they go to a doctor to get their blood pressure checked or they have something like a heart attack or stroke.
Can Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure?
Anxiety disorders can cause symptoms of uncontrollable fear, worry, anxiety, muscle tension, trembling, or shaking.
Untreated anxiety can cause you to feel trapped or paralyzed with fear, unable to complete your daily tasks. With that fear, you might also feel an increase in your blood pressure.
Technically low to moderate levels of anxiety do not impact blood pressure significantly, but small bursts of anxiety can result in short-term increases in blood pressure.
Can Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure with Panic Attacks?
Yes, short bursts of extreme anxiety, like panic attacks, can result in short increases or spikes in blood pressure.
Can Anxiety Affect Blood Pressure During Social Situations?
If you have social anxiety or a phobia directly related to social situations, then any circumstance or event that might cause increased anxiety levels could temporarily and moderately increase your blood pressure.
Can Anxiety Increase Blood Pressure Short-Term?
Yes, short-term firsts of anxiety can cause an increase in cortisol levels. Cortisol is one of your stress hormones. If you don’t get treatment for anxiety disorders, and those cortisol levels increase during short-term bursts of anxiety or panic attacks, it can increase your blood pressure temporarily.
Can Anxiety Affect Blood Pressure Long-Term?
Anxiety, on its own, doesn’t cause long-term high blood pressure issues, but it can cause temporary spikes, and these temporary spikes can damage your heart and kidneys if they happen frequently. The more often you have episodes of anxiety, the more likely you are to struggle with chronic high blood pressure.
Untreated anxiety can result in excess cortisol levels. Some experiments have confirmed that excess cortisol levels or stress hormones increase blood pressure and metabolism. Regular levels of extreme cortisol can contribute to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
Other research has confirmed that excess cortisol increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, hyperglycemia, and insulin resistance.
How to Avoid High Blood Pressure from Anxiety
When you have anxiety of any kind, it can briefly increase your blood pressure. People with untreated, chronic anxiety have those increases in blood pressure more often than the average American. It’s important that you get treatment for your anxiety and learn how to manage stress healthier to reduce symptoms of anxiety and potentially high blood pressure.
Without any noticeable warning signs or symptoms, untreated high blood pressure can cause severe health problems unexpectedly. Simple things like cognitive behavioral therapy and medication can give you the coping skills to handle stressful situations more effectively.
Can anxiety cause high blood pressure? Studies show that untreated low-grade cortisol increases can increase your risks of many other serious health concerns. By coming to facilities like Water Gap Wellness Center, you can get individualized anxiety treatment to give you the skills to cope with things like panic attacks or fear and anxiety in social situations. These skills can help you reduce your cortisol levels at the moment and reduce the risk of subsequent cardiovascular issues long-term.
We understand that you might be busy, so we provide partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, and traditional outpatient programs to give you optimum flexibility when scheduling your treatment. We can work with you around other personal or professional obligations to ensure you get the help you need.
Reach out to Water Gap Wellness Center today to learn how to treat high blood pressure from anxiety.