Is Stress Making Your Hypertension Worse?

A stressful situation comes up at work or home, and you feel your pulse racing. Does that mean you have high blood pressure? No. But if this happens often, you might want to shift the ways you respond—especially if your blood pressure levels haven’t been ideal.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is sometimes called the “silent killer” because you may not realize you have it until a life-threatening event, such as a heart attack, happens. Nearly one-third of adults in the US, or over 75 million people, have high blood pressure, making it dangerously familiar.

Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to lower these risks. Besides having your blood pressure checked regularly by your doctor, sticking to any recommended treatment, staying physically active, and eating a heart-healthy diet, better managing stress in your life can go a long way. 

Dr. Daniel Maenner at The Doctor’s House is an expert in helping patients prevent and manage hypertension. Below he offers an overview.

Short-term effects of stress on blood pressure

When you’re faced with a stressful situation, your body releases particular hormones that make your heart beat faster, and your blood vessels start to narrow. Stress alone isn’t known to cause lasting high blood pressure, but if you routinely respond to stress in unhealthy ways, you could develop hypertension. 

Responses to stress that impact blood pressure

Common unhealthy ways that can cause or contribute to high blood pressure, as well as strokes and heart attacks, include:

Aim instead for healthier ways to cope with stress, such as:

Depression and anxiety disorders, which are common and linked with high blood pressure, require seeking quality mental health care. Doing so can help improve your overall quality of life and emotional wellbeing while potentially keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range.

If you have risk factors for high blood pressure, such as family history of the condition, being overweight or obese, leading a sedentary lifestyle, or using tobacco products, you may benefit from more than once-a-year blood pressure testing. 

For more information or to book an appointment, contact our West New York, New Jersey, office today. You can give us a call at 201-869-6220 or book an appointment online. to learn more or to schedule an exam. 

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