Did you know that stress and anxiety can increase your blood pressure readings?
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, isn’t good for health as it increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes and other serious conditions. There are two types of high blood pressure
- Primary hypertension. The cause is unknown but it can be related to poor lifestyle choices and stress and anxiety.
- Secondary hypertension. The cause is known in secondary hypertension. For example, kidney disease, heart conditions, some medications and blood disorders can cause secondary hypertension.
One form of high blood pressure that is related to anxiety is called ‘White Coat Syndrome’.
White Coat Syndrome
White Coat Syndrome causes a spike in blood pressure when a patient goes to see the doctor or nurse in the health centre or doctors rooms. It doesn’t happen to everyone but we do know that is is related to nervous patients. The high blood pressure is picked up when you have your blood pressure checked. It’s linked to stress and anxiety as feeling anxious can increase body tension as well as confounding negative thoughts. This is because we know that there is a link between how we think, feel and behave and that influences the physical body.
So if you are nervous when you go to see the doctor or nurse and they take a blood pressure reading, it could be higher than normal.
Once a high blood pressure reading is found you will be asked to have it repeated. Often a 24-hour blood pressure machine is recommended as it can record your blood pressure at home throughout a 24 hour period. This will give the doctor a better idea if the blood pressure is high or if it was your anxiety that raised it in his or her rooms.
So what can you do to maintain healthy blood pressure?
- Eat a healthy balanced diet that includes a variety of foods.
- Exercise. This could be walking, cycling or swimming within your limits.
- Reduce alcohol consumption.
- Reduce caffeine that is contained in coffee and fizzy drinks.
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Reduce your stress and anxiety through regular relaxation.
The aspects of the therapy that helped most were the relaxation from having hypnosis and the coaching to change a negative way of thinking about a situation.Mrs M. from Ferndown, Dorset.
For a free initial consultation contact Linda at Awaken the Change today.