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Can Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure?

While periods of high anxiety or panic attacks can cause temporary rises in blood pressure and heart rate, there is not enough evidence to confirm that anxiety disorders cause long-term hypertension — though it has been suggested in certain studies.

When you become anxious or stressed, your body responds with surges in certain hormones, which can raise your heart rate and blood pressure. In isolation, occasional spikes in blood pressure do not lead to hypertension. You can even know more about anxiety symptoms and their cures from serenity-method.com/generalised-anxiety-disorder.

But, if stress-induced spikes in blood pressure happen often enough, like every day, this can cause blood vessel damage and put stress on the heart and kidneys. These harmful effects are similar to what happens in people with hypertension. 

Another way that anxiety can contribute to high blood pressure is that people often respond to stress with unhealthy lifestyle behaviors. Here are some behaviors that can cause hypertension:

  • Smoking or vaping

  • Drinking too much alcohol

  • Drinking too much caffeine

  • Eating too much and/or eating unhealthy food

  • Not exercising or maintaining a healthy weight

  • Not getting enough sleep

  • Not taking their prescribed medications for high blood pressure

Rarely, medications to treat anxiety, such as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) can cause an increase in blood pressure. Your health care provider may have to adjust your medications if you develop high blood pressure as a side effect.