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Does Stress Really Cause High Blood Pressure?

Posted in General Health 27 Mar, 2015

Stress is the feeling of overwhelming pressure both mentally and physically. Stress can stem from everyday pressures that can arise from issues concerning both work and family.

Stress can affect how you feel, work and behave. Symptoms of stress can include: sleeping problems, loss of appetite, muscle tension and headaches. However, do all these things actually lead to high blood pressure?

So does stress actually cause high blood pressure?

The mental and psychological impacts of excessive levels of stress can be detrimental to your health, which in turn can exacerbate high blood pressure.

However, the common perception that those who suffer from stress must also have high blood pressure is not actually quite correct. Whilst your blood pressure may temporarily increase whilst you're stressed, this has not been proven to be a direct cause of chronically high blood pressure.

Dangers of leaving stress and high blood pressure untreated

The dangers of leaving either condition untreated could potentially have fatal consequences; with one of the most severe being that the great strain on the heart could lead to a heart attack.

Furthermore, high blood pressure can cause harm to the brain, by damaging or narrowing the blood vessels that carry vital oxygen to the brain. The risk of blood vessels bursting or becoming blocked increases dramatically in someone with high blood pressure, and this could ultimately lead to a stroke.

Moreover, the dangers of stress and high blood pressure is that when combined together, the heart has to work at an increasingly rapid rate to pump blood around the body, which places a great level of strain on the heart. This can cause damage to the heart and blood vessels.

Managing stress and high blood pressure

Managing stress can go a long way to helping to lower your blood pressure. Spotting the signs of stress early on is important if you want to avoid potential damage to your body.

Mastering relaxation techniques and making various lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet, exercising more and drinking less alcohol, can help better manage both stress and high blood pressure.

Using the support around you is also a great way to help relieve stress. Knowing that you have a network of friends and family to channel your stress through can help to bring down high blood pressure. Stress management groups and exercise classes are also great ways to help high blood pressure and reduce stress.

If, despite making lifestyle changes, you are still concerned about high blood pressure, there is a wide range of treatments available to help lower high blood pressure. Take an online consultation with one of our doctors to find out which course of action is best for you.

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