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Old 09-23-2008, 11:05 AM   #1
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Blood Pressure Higher when stressed

I have always heard that stress can elevate blood pressure but is this normal. When I'm at work under stress I get a panic feeling and will take my bp and it will be 145/99. Once the stress is gone it will go back down to 124/82. Does being freaked out about high blood pressure raise blood pressure. The more I freak out the more I take it and the higher it goes.

Also I am on Toprol XL 50 mg
Synthroid 112
Lexapro 10 mg (for stress)

 
Old 09-23-2008, 11:34 AM   #2
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Re: Blood Pressure Higher when stressed

Stress and anxiety is all the same to your body on a chemical level. Same things get released that can raise blood pressure whether you're at a social function and having a good time, or worried over a deadline at work.

 
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:39 PM   #3
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Re: Blood Pressure Higher when stressed

I take my bp readings at home when I'm relaxed and show the readings to the Dr. As soon as I'm feeling stressed or anxious, my bp goes up. It's very common.

 
Old 09-26-2008, 07:16 AM   #4
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Re: Blood Pressure Higher when stressed

A few years ago I was taking my BP frequently to see if I could determine what all influenced it. I had just taken my BP while sitting at the computer, then immediately opened an internet news web page and read an article about a grizzly murder with cannibalism. I could just feel the tension in my body rise as I read the article, so out of curiosity took my BP again. My systolic BP had risen 20 points in a matter of a couple of minutes while still seated in the same chair!

Systolic BP tends to be affected much more from stress than diastolic for most people.

 
Old 09-27-2008, 03:29 AM   #5
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Re: Blood Pressure Higher when stressed

Stress also makes my BP soar too. I am almost afraid to let myself feel any emotion.

 
Old 09-27-2008, 07:56 AM   #6
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Re: Blood Pressure Higher when stressed

Carol,

I was wondering if you always were a stressed person or is this a new symptom of life for you. The reason I ask is I see you are taking Toporol, a beta blocker, which does have the side effect of causing stress and panic attack feelings among other things. Check out it's side effects. I recently got off Atenolol, still getting it's nasty side effects out of my system after two months, but beta blockers are mood altering drugs which effect some people negatively.

Just wanted to point that out to you in case it may apply to your situation.

Last edited by ms58; 09-27-2008 at 07:57 AM.

 
Old 09-27-2008, 08:27 AM   #7
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Re: Blood Pressure Higher when stressed

Quote:
Originally Posted by ms58 View Post
Caro... The reason I ask is I see you are taking Toporol, a beta blocker, which does have the side effect of causing stress and panic attack feelings among other things. Check out it's side effects......
Excellent point, excellent advice!!

 
Old 09-27-2008, 10:22 AM   #8
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Re: Blood Pressure Higher when stressed

Quote:
Originally Posted by bethsheba View Post
Excellent point, excellent advice!!
Seconded.

A family member was also taking Lexapro and he had a very bad experience where he was feeling more anxious on the drug and was getting weird electric shocks in his brain! My very unprofessional advice would be to change the beta blocker and perhaps the Lexapro if your up to it. This should make you feel less anxious. All under doctor supervision.

Marantz.
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Last edited by marantz1935; 09-27-2008 at 10:23 AM.

 
Old 09-27-2008, 01:30 PM   #9
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Re: Blood Pressure Higher when stressed

Marantz,

I have read about brain "zaps" and although I have no doubt that it can be a side effect of medication, it can also be caused by a vitamin deficiency.

Bethsheba

 
Old 09-28-2008, 11:06 AM   #10
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Re: Blood Pressure Higher when stressed

Quote:
Originally Posted by bethsheba View Post
Marantz,

I have read about brain "zaps" and although I have no doubt that it can be a side effect of medication, it can also be caused by a vitamin deficiency.

Bethsheba
Hi Beth,

Thanks for that. This family member is a bit stressed and never sits down so it wouldn't surprise me to learn he was deficient in vitamins. He was however getting the 'zaps' while on the pills and shortly after. There gone since discontinuing the medication.

OP, didn't mean to go off-topic.

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Last edited by marantz1935; 09-28-2008 at 11:13 AM.

 
Old 09-28-2008, 02:56 PM   #11
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Re: Blood Pressure Higher when stressed

What are brain zaps? What does it feel like? Fam

 
Old 09-28-2008, 04:02 PM   #12
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Re: Blood Pressure Higher when stressed

I don't think we're off topic, but who knows??

Famnd, I believe I had a brain zap years and years ago...perhaps that's why I was interested in reading about them. My "zap" felt like electricity running along the top of my head between my skull and my scalp. Actually, I was with a nurse (a friend) at the time and she put her hand on my head...but nothing ever came of it and it never happened again. If I recall it was about the time I had mono, and I wasn't eating well due to my swollen throat so perhaps the vitamin deficiency "diagnosis" applied to me then.

But I have read of others on these boards with similar experiences.

Bethsheba

 
Old 09-29-2008, 12:10 AM   #13
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Re: Blood Pressure Higher when stressed

Quote:
Originally Posted by famnd View Post
What are brain zaps? What does it feel like? Fam
Hi Fam,

The family member said it felt like electrical shocks in his head. They stopped shortly after taking Lexapro.

How are you?

Marantz.
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At the moment I am free from medication.

 
Old 09-29-2008, 11:50 AM   #14
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Re: Blood Pressure Higher when stressed

Quote:
Originally Posted by ms58 View Post
Carol,

I was wondering if you always were a stressed person or is this a new symptom of life for you. The reason I ask is I see you are taking Toporol, a beta blocker, which does have the side effect of causing stress and panic attack feelings among other things. Check out it's side effects. I recently got off Atenolol, still getting it's nasty side effects out of my system after two months, but beta blockers are mood altering drugs which effect some people negatively.

Just wanted to point that out to you in case it may apply to your situation.
I have been stressed for the last 5 years when my kids were teenagers. I have always worried about the "what if's". Most of the time at my job I am alone as my boss is always traveling, I think it gives me too much time to think and worry about anything and everything. I did switch to the generic Toporol about 8 months ago and I have tried going off Lexapro but my anxiety gets too bad.

 
Old 09-29-2008, 12:03 PM   #15
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Re: Blood Pressure Higher when stressed

One thing I have found is that when I'm stressed, I tend to breathe very shallowly. This tends to raise blood pressure. With only a couple minutes of deep breathing exercises I can usually reduce my systolic BP by about ten points. I often do deep breathing exercises while I'm driving, as it doesn't seem that I'm wasting time that way. You might want to check your own BP some time when you feel stressed, then again after several minutes of deep breathing. See if it affects you.

The research does back it up that breathing exercises are effective in lowering BP for a lot of people. See the research on the Resperate machine, which provides a combination of guided breathing exercises and musical tones. I considered purchasing one, but reached the conclusion that I was able to do my own breathing exercises and put on a CD with classical music for a lot less money. It might not be quite as effective, but close enough for me.

 
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