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Old 04-29-2011, 02:45 PM   #1
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Panic attacks and spikes in blood pressure

Hello, I have severe anxiety and panic attacks. My panic attacks would cause my heart rate to climb as high as 180 and my blood pressure to sky rocket around 160/95 and when it is really bad I have seen numbers as high as 180/115. Now these recordings have been taken at my local E.R. only when I was experiencing a panic attack and would always drop to around 140/85 after a 15 minute duration and would drop to 125/78 after about 40 minutes of relaxation. My question is does short blood pressure spikes pose any threat to my health? I know that numbers like this are not healthy for anyone but a rise this high for 10 or 20 minutes will it affect my arteries, blood vessels, heart or kidneys in the same manner that chronic high blood pressure would?

 
Old 04-29-2011, 03:33 PM   #2
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Re: Panic attacks and spikes in blood pressure

You need to be on meds. I realize this is a controversial topic, but this is the same as the so called white coat syndrome. Many people who say they have it, don't really need medication. They just need anti anxienty meds because they just panic! Yes they need meds for HBP, they have hypertension. So do you. If this is a common occurance and it sounds like it is, see a doctor and get on something.

 
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:06 PM   #3
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Re: Panic attacks and spikes in blood pressure

Sorry to hear you are having such a hard time with anxiety and bp spikes. A person's blood pressure is supposed to spike when it feels it is threatened. During a panic attack our bodies experience the fight or flight response even though we are not really in danger our mind is telling our bodies that we are and the body is responding appropriately. You can see this by the fact that your bp returns to normal rather quickly. Rather than diagnose you as hypertensive I would ask you if you have consulted your physician about your bp spikes and what does he/she say about your bp?

I am not sure why the controversy over white coat syndrome and anxiety bp spikes it is well studied and documented as a real and common issue.

Check with your doctor on both the treatment of the anxiety and get his opinion on your bp. I too suffer from anxiety related spikes, I think my highest was 160/100 or something like that but my average right now is 109/75 so big difference. I still get spikes although not as high as they used to be 130s/80s usually are the highest. My doctor flat out told me he was not concerned about my spikes, he believes they are anxiety related and to stop checking my bp at home...I too suffer from anxiety fortunately not so much panic but I have worked on it for a long time. It is hard to accept though when you see your body have such high spikes sometimes but it really is best to listen to your doctor.

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Old 04-29-2011, 06:50 PM   #4
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Re: Panic attacks and spikes in blood pressure

cfree...Even though your spikes seem to only be during a panic attack, you don't know for sure how many other times it spikes that your not aware of. You don't always need to have a panic attack for it to spike, just ordinary things during the day could set it off. Obviously we don't walk around with a monitor 24/7 so it may be spiking at times besides attacks.

I think you need to be on maybe a small doseage of some kind of BP med. just so when you do have an attack it might hold the numbers down. I'm certainly sure after enough spiking, even during attacks, over time it will do damage. Obviously not as fast as someone with total uncontrolled BP, but it sure isn't helping. Have a good chat with your Dr.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:45 PM   #5
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Re: Panic attacks and spikes in blood pressure

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfreeland View Post
Hello, I have severe anxiety and panic attacks. My panic attacks would cause my heart rate to climb as high as 180 and my blood pressure to sky rocket around 160/95 and when it is really bad I have seen numbers as high as 180/115. Now these recordings have been taken at my local E.R. only when I was experiencing a panic attack and would always drop to around 140/85 after a 15 minute duration and would drop to 125/78 after about 40 minutes of relaxation. My question is does short blood pressure spikes pose any threat to my health? I know that numbers like this are not healthy for anyone but a rise this high for 10 or 20 minutes will it affect my arteries, blood vessels, heart or kidneys in the same manner that chronic high blood pressure would?
Everyones blood pressure spikes. The only meds you probably need are Lexapro and a benxo like Klonopin. Measure someones BP when they are on a treadmill, it will be that high too, does that mean they need meds. Its the running average that matters

 
Old 04-29-2011, 09:05 PM   #6
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Talking Re: Panic attacks and spikes in blood pressure

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Everyones blood pressure spikes. The only meds you probably need are Lexapro and a benxo like Klonopin. Measure someones BP when they are on a treadmill, it will be that high too, does that mean they need meds. Its the running average that matters
So you mean that when jogging blood pressure can raise similar to mine. So I'm wondering if I'm just as much at risk for cardiovascular disease as much as a runner. But anyway yeah my BP is great when I am not panicking and normal so is my heart rate. Yeah I know I have been on Prozac, zoloft, buspar, paxil, cymbalta, kolonpin, Xanax, effexor xr and effexor worked great for about a year then I would build a tolerance to the med then have to go off it for a half year to a year and then get back on it. Now the Benzos worked great but could only find one doc that would prescribe it to me and he got in some legal trouble so no longer practices and other soca would always tell me it us addicting so they wouldn't prescribe but effexor is more addicting in my opinion and not to mention withdrawals. I would like to personally think everyone that replied to this posting

 
Old 04-30-2011, 11:24 AM   #7
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Re: Panic attacks and spikes in blood pressure

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Originally Posted by Ms_T View Post
I am not sure why the controversy over white coat syndrome and anxiety bp spikes it is well studied and documented as a real and common issue.

Ivy
It is common, with people who are hypertensive. The problem is, people make claims they have white coat syndrome, but don't really have hypertension and that's not true.

Last edited by Flutterbye77; 04-30-2011 at 11:24 AM.

 
Old 04-30-2011, 12:26 PM   #8
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Re: Panic attacks and spikes in blood pressure

well I hope it all works out for you, it is a hard thing to deal with that is for sure but as many people here will tell you it is easily treatable if you in fact end up finding out you have hbp. I once read that some fact like 3/4s of people will deal with bp issues in their life at some time so pretty much everyone has to deal with it to some extent.

Hang in there and see your doc.
Ivy

Last edited by Ms_T; 04-30-2011 at 12:26 PM.

 
Old 07-28-2011, 11:58 AM   #9
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Re: Panic attacks and spikes in blood pressure

Hi everyone,
I just experienced my first full blown anxiety attack four days ago (scariest thing I have ever experienced thought I was having a heart attack called 911), I was at my doctors today to talk to him about what happened and when he took my blood pressure it was 160/90 and normally I'm 120/80. I'm 41yrs old 5foot 2 and 120lbs is this normal or should I be concerned? I'm going back for tests but till then looking for some feedback.

Thank you for any feedback.

 
Old 07-28-2011, 12:24 PM   #10
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Cool Re: Panic attacks and spikes in blood pressure

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Originally Posted by ScaredMe70 View Post
Hi everyone,
I just experienced my first full blown anxiety attack four days ago (scariest thing I have ever experienced thought I was having a heart attack called 911), I was at my doctors today to talk to him about what happened and when he took my blood pressure it was 160/90 and normally I'm 120/80. I'm 41yrs old 5foot 2 and 120lbs is this normal or should I be concerned? I'm going back for tests but till then looking for some feedback.

Thank you for any feedback.
I know the feeling panic attacks can be very scary. But to answer your question I'm not a doctor but if your normal resting blood pressure is 120/80 then your in good health as far as your blood pressure is concerned. And yes I have thought on many occasions that I was having a heart attack and would get heart rates as high as 180. I even went as far as buying both a digital and manual blood pressure monitor and what I learned was that when I wasn't panicking or thinking about panicking my blood pressure would be as low as 120/60 with heart rates recorded around 50 bpm but if I was having a panic attack my heart rate would skyrocket along with my blood pressure going as high as 180/115. So yes it is normal for your blood pressure to rise during a panic attack its a natural response the main thing to keep in mind is not to panic. I would catch myself freaking out because I thought sometimes my blood pressure was to low then it would spike then I would be concerned about it being to high so you see how it can be a trap. My advice get a checkup if you haven't already and when you have you blood pressure taken make sure you calm and sometimes we can think we are calm were really not. If you think it would make you feel better then buy a blood pressure monitor just listen closely NEVER TAKE IT WHEN YOUR PANICKING I have made this mistake many times and its a cycle. I would take it and I'm already nervous so of course its high then it would rise higher because I saw it was high so I end up making things worse. What I do is I usually take mine when I wake up and it's always in the low 120's over low 70's and this is because I'm in a normal state instead of panicking. I hope I helped feel free to message me I can relate to you

 
Old 07-28-2011, 12:33 PM   #11
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Re: Panic attacks and spikes in blood pressure

I understand for the bp to spike while an attack but it's 4 days later and my bp is 160/90 - taken at my doctor, thought it would have already went back to normal, my normal is 120/80. I don't want to take my own bp at home.

P.S. thank you

Last edited by ScaredMe70; 07-28-2011 at 12:34 PM.

 
Old 07-28-2011, 12:50 PM   #12
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Re: Panic attacks and spikes in blood pressure

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Originally Posted by ScaredMe70 View Post
I understand for the bp to spike while an attack but it's 4 days later and my bp is 160/90 - taken at my doctor, thought it would have already went back to normal, my normal is 120/80. I don't want to take my own bp at home.

P.S. thank you
Were you panicking when the doctor took your blood pressure?

 
Old 07-28-2011, 12:55 PM   #13
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Re: Panic attacks and spikes in blood pressure

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Originally Posted by cfreeland View Post
Were you panicking when the doctor took your blood pressure?
I felt calm, just felt tired if anything. He took it twice and both were the exact same.

Last edited by ScaredMe70; 07-28-2011 at 12:56 PM.

 
Old 07-28-2011, 01:05 PM   #14
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Re: Panic attacks and spikes in blood pressure

It could be that you developed blood pressure issues that aren't caused by panic attacks or anxiety. It could be your diet or it could just be that you truly need to be on blood pressure medications but I would let one reading freak me out because while 160/90 is high it's not going to kill you or harm you now if it goes untreated for many years then it will start to do damage so I would talk to your doc about possible treatments. And remember don't let it freak you out my I have went to doctor appointments with my girlfriend and hers would be as high as 170 over 120 and I'm not talking one visit I mean over the course of about 10 visits even to the point were she was admitted into the ER due to my nagging. So it could be a lot worse trust me the best thing you can do is just relax and not think about it and talk with your doc about treatment because while it's not dangerous you do want to get it under control within the next years.

 
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:47 AM   #15
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Re: Panic attacks and spikes in blood pressure

I would love to know the answer to this as well. I have some of the same similar spikes but it as always happened when i'm sleeping. are you on bp meds now?

 
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