What Is High Blood Pressure
Every time your heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries, and blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the arterial walls.3 Every time your heart beats, blood pressure is at its highest and is measured as systolic pressure, which is the first number on a blood pressure reading.3 In between beats, blood pressure is relatively lower, which is known as diastolic pressure.3
Blood pressure measures include both a persons systolic and diastolic numbers, with the former coming before the latter. Some important blood pressure thresholds to know include:3
- Normal: Less than 120/80 mmHg.
- Prehypertension : Between 120/80 mmHg and 139/89 mmHg.
- Stage 1 Hypertension: Between 130-139 mmHg/80-89 mmHg.
- Stage 2 Hypertension: Higher than 140/90 mmHg.
- Hypertension Crisis : higher than 180/120 mmHg.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is when a persons blood pressure stays elevated longer than normal.4 When it stays high over time, it causes the heart to consistently pump harder.3
The increased cardiovascular stress may lead to serious health problems such as:
- Heart attack
- Having diabetes
- Smoking, and other forms of substance abuse, including too much alcohol5
High blood pressure is often characterized as a silent killer because, given the lack of warning signs or symptoms, many people do not know they have it.4
Taking Care Of Yourself When Stressed
When were stressed, we typically dont take good care of ourselves.
Theres a reason they call it comfort food. For most people, chocolate or fast food seems to be the first thing they reach for when were stressed.
Stress also makes it tempting to put off your regular exercise routine in favor of the couch and a Netflix binge.
These can all become deciding factors in a spike in blood sugar.
Need a solution? Get moving when youre stressed. Dont feel like you have to complete an extensive cardio routine. Often something as simple as a walk around the block can make a difference in your mood.
Why Does My Blood Pressure Drop After Exercise
After a workout, blood tends to pool in the extremities, meaning less blood returning to the heart and a decrease in blood pressure. Also, the blood vessels near the skin surface widen to help release heat, causing a drop in blood pressure as well. Let your healthcare provider know if you feel dizzy or lightheaded during exercise, as it could indicate an underlying condition.
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How Does Stress Put Me At Risk For High Blood Pressure
In stressful situations, your body produces hormones like adrenaline, which triggers your fight or flight response. This natural, fear-based response can make your heart temporarily beat faster and work harder. When your heart beats faster and harder, your blood vessels become narrower, which can lead to high blood pressure.;
During stressful times, your blood pressure may rise for a short time. Typically, your blood pressure will return to normal once the stressful situation ends.
Making Changes If You Have Anxiety Or Depression
If your high blood pressure is co-occurring with a mental health problem such as depression or anxiety, it can be even tougher to find the energy and motivation to make the necessary lifestyle changes. Just thinking about exercising or preparing a healthy meal, for example, can seem overwhelming. But by focusing all your efforts on one tiny change at a time, youll find that youre capable of more than you realized.
Take the first step. It could be as simple as going for a walk or downloading a meditation app or buying some nicotine patches. It can take time for lifestyle changes to register as a reduction in blood pressurebut sometimes they can improve your mood much sooner. Taking that first step is always the hardest.
Focus on small steps. Its easy to get overwhelmed by daily life when youre battling depression, anxiety, or another mood disorder. By taking small but positive steps each day, though, youll find that your energy and outlook will gradually start to improve. Once you feel happier and more positive, youll find it easier to forge ahead with lifestyle changes and see the results in both your blood pressure readings and your overall outlook and wellbeing.
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High Blood Pressure Facts
What every adult should know about high blood pressure, or hypertension
There’s a good reason why every doctor’s appointment starts with a blood pressure check. While one in three American adults has high blood pressure, about 20% of people are unaware that they have it because it is largely symptomless.
In fact, most people find out they have high blood pressure during a routine office visit.;
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is when that force is too high and begins harming the body.;If left untreated, it willl eventually cause damage to the heart and blood vessels.
Your blood pressure is measured in two numbers: The top systolic blood pressure measures the force pushing against artery walls when the heart is contracting. The bottom diastolic blood pressure measures pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting between beats.
Normal blood pressure levels are 120 mmHg/80 mmHg or lower. At risk levels are 120-139 mmHg/80-89 mmHg. Readings of 140 mmHg/90 mmHg or higher are defined as high blood pressure.
Here are six other things you should know about high blood pressure.
Blood Pressure After Exercise
Quite simply, your blood pressure should not be 120/80 even after exercise. This idea sometimes confuses people who are being treated for high blood pressure.
It’s important to know that all physical activity increases blood pressure. This is a natural result of increased blood demand from the muscles and a process called autoregulation.
In order to meet the increased blood demand, the heart has to pump faster and harder, pushing a larger volume of blood into the fixed space of the blood vessels. Because arteries cannot expand very much to accommodate this extra blood, the blood pressure will rise.
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Tips For Making Healthy Lifestyle Changes
If you suffer with high blood pressure, its easy to feel intimidated by the changes you need to make in order to improve your health. While some people may only need to work on one or two areas to reduce their blood pressuregetting more exercise or quitting smoking, for examplemost of us find that we need to improve our habits in at least 3 or 4 areas. But even if you smoke, drink heavily, are overweight, stressed out, sedentary, and eat nothing but junk and processed food, that doesnt mean you have to tackle everything all at once. Making lots of different lifestyle changes at the same time can be overwhelming. And when we feel overwhelmed, its easy to opt for doing nothing rather than doing something.
Start gradually and make one or two changes to begin with. Once those changes have become habit, you can tackle one or two more, and so on. For example, you may decide to start by giving up smokingand adopting some relaxation techniques to help with the stress of quittingthen move on to losing weight or improving your diet.
Lose the all or nothing thinking. Doing something, no matter how small, is always better than doing nothing. If youre eating healthy food during the week, for example, then resorting to takeouts at the weekends, your blood pressure and overall health will still be in better shape than if you were eating takeout every day.
Keeping Your Blood Sugar Under Control During Anxiety: Raleigh Medical Group Can Help
This is a team effort.
Dont feel you have to go it alone.
For decades weve been the provider of choice in the Raleigh, Cary and Triangle areas. Our experienced, compassionate physicians and health care team are ready to guide you toward the healthiest life possible.
Scheduling an appointment is easyand now we even offer convenient;telehealth;appointments.
Dont let stress ruin your health.;Contact us;today.
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Making The Exercise Habit Stick
Despite our best intentions, many of us struggle ditching our sedentary lifestyle. But there are steps you can take to make exercise less intimidating and more fun.
Start small and build momentum. If exercising for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week sounds overwhelming, set a smaller goal and gradually build up as you gain self-confidence and momentum.
Reward yourself. Once it becomes a regular habit, exercise will reward you with more energy, better sleep, a greater sense of well-being, and improved cardiovascular health. When youre starting out, though, give yourself a simple reward for successfully completing a workout, such as having a hot bath or a favorite cup of coffee.
Choose activities you enjoy. Youre more likely to stick with a workout you find pleasurable. If you hate running but like yoga or dancing, for example, dont force yourself onto the treadmill every day. Pick activities that fit your lifestyle, abilities, and taste.
See How to Start Exercising and Stick to It to learn more.
The effects on your blood pressure
- 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, such as walking, for five days of the week can reduce your reading by 4 to 11 mm Hg.
Keep A Close Eye On Your Blood Sugar Levels
Its always important to keep tabs on your stress and blood sugar. Thats why we recommend a fasting blood sugar test at every;yearly physical.If your blood sugar starts to creep upwards, we can be proactive and start measures to help you.
This is particularly important if you have diabetes or prediabetes. In fact, if you have these conditions, we may suggest that you have blood sugar screenings more often. We can guide you through when you should check your blood sugar, and our dietitian can help you select healthy meals.
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Factors That Can Exaggerate Blood Pressure Readings
When you go to the doctors office, measuring blood pressure is one ofthe ways doctors can check up on your heart health. The only way to diagnosehigh blood pressure, or hypertension, is by a blood pressure test.
A healthy blood pressure reading is anywhere between 90/60 and 120/80.Anything 140/90 or above is considered a highblood pressure reading, which couldbe a diagnosis of hypertension, one of the leading causes of heart disease thatcan lead to heart attacks, kidney failure, stroke, and even dementia. If yourblood pressure measures below 90/60, that could be an indicator of hypotension,or low blood pressure, which can result in dizziness, fainting, and long-termdamage to the heart and brain.;
Because of the associated risks, a higher or lower than normal blood pressurereading in a healthy adult can be alarming. But did you know there are a numberof factors that can cause a temporary spike or drop in your blood pressure,leading to a false reading? Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to preparefor your test to ensure an accurate reading.
Blood Pressure Changes Can Cause Anxiety
It’s also possible for blood pressure to cause anxiety. Both low blood pressure and high blood pressure can cause changes in your heartbeat, dizziness and lightheadedness, and more. These symptoms can themselves create anxiety or trigger panic attacks, and that in turn may increase your anxiety. However, not everyone who suffers from high blood pressure experiences anxiety.;
Is it Dangerous When Anxiety Affects Blood Pressure?
The greatest concern is whether or not your blood pressure changes are dangerous. The answer is a bit complicated. On the most basic level, affected blood pressure is not dangerous. Remember, random fluctuations happen all the time with no ill effects. Blood pressure is a symptom of an issue whether it’s anxiety or heart disease and not a cause of heart problems.
Your heart rate and your blood pressure also may get a break with anxiety. The body is remarkable and adjusts to chronic conditions. Some people that experience anxiety for hours on end actually find that their blood pressure adjusts to that anxiety, which ultimately means that it goes back to a base level. High blood pressure changes tend to be fairly short term, and are most common in the early stages of anxiety or during panic attacks.
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How To Overcome Affected Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure is specifically monitored by your brain to ensure that your body is operating at an ideal level. Temporary spikes in blood pressure can cause concerns, but your body creates them for a reason.
It is important to make sure you learn to manage your anxiety to help ensure healthy blood pressure. Whether you have panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc., you still need to make sure that you’re treating your anxiety in order to also treat your anxiety-related high blood pressure. ;
Anxiety typically makes blood pressure increase, and in some cases can make blood pressure decrease. However, blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day with or without anxiety. It is best to not be too concerned with ones own blood pressure, and instead focus on anxiety reduction.;
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How To Reduce Stress
The good news is that managing stress is easy, and its free. Infusing a few simple, healthy habits into your lifestyle can help lower your stress levels.
Its perfectly OK to take some time off to relax and recharge, whether thats with some gardening, binge-watching a favorite show or taking a walk, reminds Dr. Kayal.
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Wait For A Few Minutes
Waiting for a few minutes after getting in the proper position lets you rest and relax before taking your blood pressure. Lark has tips on the correct position, such as placing your arm on a flat surface with the upper arm at heart level, keeping your legs uncrossed, and sitting upright on a chair with a back.
Literature Search And Study Selection
The studys identified and selected procedures are summarized in . Twenty-one studies were finally included in our analysis. Among them, 13 cross-sectional studies,,,, and eight prospective studies,,, of the association between anxiety and hypertension were included in the analysis. General characteristics in the published articles included in this meta-analysis are shown in and . The duration of follow-up ranged from 1 to 25 years for the prospective studies. Stars in and indicate the quality of the study. Among the 13 studies in , three scored nine stars, five scored eight stars, and five scored seven stars. Among the eight studies in , one scored nine stars, five scored eight stars, and one scored six stars. The ORs were extracted or calculated from the original articles. Other characteristics, such as age of participants, sample size, and diagnostic criteria for anxiety were also presented in and .
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What Should I Do If My Blood Pressure Is 160 Over 100
If your blood pressure is higher than 160/100 mmHg, then three visits are enough. If your blood pressure is higher than 140/90 mmHg, then five visits are needed before a diagnosis can be made. If either your systolic or diastolic blood pressure stays high, then the diagnosis of hypertension can be made.
Temporary Spikes Are Not Dangerous
Those with chronic anxiety may be more prone to high blood pressure spikes, but the body does do a good job of adjusting and blood pressure often gets back to its normal rate for most of the day. You can’t necessarily feel high blood pressure, and while any stress on the body can cause anxiety, it’s more likely that your anxiety causes the spikes than the other way around.
It’s never a bad idea to speak with a doctor about your blood pressure concerns either. Only a doctor can tell you if there is something you should worry about. Also, remember that the more you worry about your blood pressure, the more anxiety you’ll experience, and the more likely you’ll suffer from these blood pressure spikes.
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How Do You Feel When You Have High Blood Pressure
Believe it or not, you probably feel fine.
High blood pressure is called a silent disease because often, there arent any symptoms. Many Americans may not even be aware that they have high blood pressure
This means its vital for you to have your blood pressure checked regularly as a part of your annual wellness checkups.
Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 . If your blood pressure is consistently 130/80 or higher, you have high blood pressure.
What Are The Typical Effects Of Xanax And How Long Do These Effects Last
Xanax alleviates symptoms of anxiety, such as restlessness, racing thoughts, and muscle tension. After taking Xanax, youll typically feel calmer and more relaxed.
Unlike other psychotropic drugs, Xanax isnt associated with a euphoric high, although it may leave you with a general sense of well-being.
If youre taking Xanax for an off-label use, such as for insomnia, it may help you fall asleep. Its not unusual to feel drowsy or tired after taking it.
Depending on the formulation of Xanax , the effects typically last between 2 and 4 hours. Factors such as the dose taken, your weight, age, and gender can also affect how long the drug works in your system.
The recommended dosage can vary from person to person. Your doctor will let you know how much Xanax to take and how often you should take it. Its very important to follow your doctors directions.
For tablets and oral solution, the adult dosage ranges from:
- 0.25 to 2 milligrams for oral disintegrating tablets
- 0.5 to 3 mg for extended release
- 1 milligram per milliliter for oral solution
How often you need to take a dose depends on the condition youre taking it for as well as the formulation. Dont take more than the recommended dose.
Your doctor may increase your dose as necessary. Never take a different dose without first speaking to your doctor.
How long Xanax takes to work depends on the formulation. For instance, it can take:
Xanax poses a risk of side effects. Some of the most common side effects include:
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