Anxiety and blood pressure appear to go hand in hand, but the symptoms of anxiety usually only lead to a short-term spike in your blood pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic’s Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D. “But episodes of anxiety can cause dramatic, temporary spikes in your blood pressure. If those temporary spikes occur frequently, such as every day, they can cause damage to your blood vessels, heart, and kidneys.
WHO HAS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?
People with high blood pressure are sometimes worried or stressed, signs that could lead to anxiety. According to the American Heart Association, more than 100 million people in the U.S. including children have high blood pressure. People at risk of high blood pressure share the same risks as people who may be predisposed to signs of anxiety, including:
- Slightly higher than normal blood pressure
- Poor eating habits, including consuming sodium-rich foods
- Lack of exercise
- Lack of sleep
- Misuse or abuse of alcohol or tobacco
- Genetics and family history, especially with blood relatives
Reversing any of the signs mentioned above may reduce high blood pressure and lessen the symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders may be treated with drugs like ketamine.
SYMPTOMS OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
One of the hazardous characteristics of hypertension is many people don’t know they have it. According to WebMD, about a third of people with high blood pressure are unaware of that fact.
If your blood pressure is extremely high, such as 150/90, there may be certain symptoms to look out for:
- Serious headaches
- Confusion or fatigue
- Eye problems
- Chest pains
- Trouble breathing
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Urine that contains blood
- Thumping in your neck, chest, or ears
SIGNS OF ANXIETY
Anxiety is a natural part of life. Dealing with it means you must recognize the signs as they happen. It doesn’t have to be debilitating. Physical and behavioral changes may indicate anxiety.
- You have sensations of nervousness.
- You feel as if you’re powerless.
- You feel as if there’s impending danger in your future.
- Anxiety may result in a faster heart rate.
- You have bouts of hyperventilation without any physical activity.
- You tremble or sweat profusely.
- You are weak and fatigued.
- You can’t concentrate, and when you do it’s only worrying.
- You’re preoccupied with compulsive or repetitive actions.
- Changes in personality become apparent.
- You experience relationship problems or trouble at work.
- You prefer isolation.
- You are increasingly afraid of everyday life and doing things considered normal.
LOWER STRESS LEVELS AND YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE
If left untreated, symptoms of stress leading to anxiety can cause short- and long-term psychological and physical problems like high blood pressure, but thankfully there are ways to relieve both before it’s too late.
- You shouldn’t always feel hurried. If you feel this way, then it’s time to look at your personal to-do lists and calendar. Look for activities that take a lot of time and prioritize them by what’s important. The least important events should get less time or removed completely.
- Slow, deep breaths can help you relax.
- Get moving. Exercise is a pure stress reducer, but you may need to ask for a doctor’s approval especially if you have high blood pressure.
- Meditation and yoga can help you relax and improve your body. Research shows they may reduce your systolic blood pressure by 5 or more millimeters of mercury.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep can help reduce anxiety.
- Change your perspective. When grappling with issues, avoid the inclination to complain. Recognize your feelings about the incident, and then concentrate on uncovering solutions.
TREATING ANXIETY AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
The steps for treating anxiety, sometimes through medicines like ketamine, and high blood pressure are often related. If you have symptoms of either, you can reduce them through a variety of ways: A healthy diet, better sleeping habits, relaxation techniques or meditation, exercise, avoid alcohol and tobacco, monitor your health with regular doctor visits, take or use medicine as prescribed, better interpersonal relationships, positive thoughts, and minimizing events or situations that are stressful.
If you have symptoms of high blood pressure or anxiety which persist for months, please consult with a medical or mental health professional about treatment options.
Research tells us there may be causality between high blood pressure and anxiety, but neither has to be a death sentence if the symptoms are recognized and managed. Treating anxiety with ketamine infusion therapy or other ketamine-like drugs are options worth exploring. If you or a loved one have questions about the clinical use of ketamine to help treat the symptoms of anxiety we can help. Contact us today to learn more.