Stress is a part of life but there comes two kind of stress; one is good and other is bad. Good stress is not harmful in fact it keeps you working toward your goals while bad stress is that kind you can’t control that affect physical and mental health. The stress which persist for weeks, months and years risk your health and well-being. Hypertension or High blood pressure is one of the condition caused by long term stress.
High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by blood against the wall of arteries or blood vessels. When this pressure exceeds the normal limit which is 120/80 than it’s known as high blood pressure, medically called Hypertension. High blood pressure is also known as silent killer, it effects many organs and causes complications. It doesn’t cause symptoms until damage occurs that’s why known as silent killer.
Can Stress Cause Hypertension?
Chronic stress can lead to hypertension. During stress some hormones are released known as cortisol and adrenaline but soon become normal as stress vanished within days or few weeks but as stress persist for months or years or become chronic than the cortisol level doesn’t drop and cause hypertension. Cortisol increase serum concentration of erythropoietin and erythropoietin has vasoconstrictor effect so increase blood pressure.
Beside hormones, many unhealthy ways are adopted to cope with stress like smoking, alcohol consumption, unhealthy food, lack of exercise, all this can lead to high blood pressure.
How you prevent Stress from causing High blood Pressure
- Exercise: Regular exercise is one of best way to combat stress. It decreases stress, anxiety, depression and overall well-being. If you cope with your stress your blood pressure automatically drops to normal if stress is the cause.
- Get Enough Sleep: Too little sleep can worse your problems so it is better to focus on quality and quantity of your sleep. Get 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep to combat with stress and high blood pressure.
- Yoga and Meditation: Try yoga and meditation, these two strengthen and relax your body. Yoga and meditation decrease blood pressure by 5mmhg. Yoga decrease the feelings of stress and also improves quality of life. Also take deep breathes, deep and slow breathe helps to relax mind.
- Maintain Heart-Healthy diet: Take antioxidant rich foods and avoid salt and fat consumptions. Food high in salt and fat increases the blood pressure. Increase intake of fruits and vegetables, take omega 3 fish oil which is really good for heart health and helps to reduce risk of high blood pressure. And also kick out alcohol and smoking, these are risk factors for hypertension. Avoid them while you are stressed and try above techniques to deal with stress.
- Remove Stressor: things that cause stress try to avoid or remove them. If people around you drains your energy and spread negativity than there is no need to give importance to them just avoid them. Have a look on your to-do list if something which is unimportant and taking too much time than remove it from your list. If your stressor is a family member or your job which you can’t escape than try to have therapy sessions.
Medications to Manage Stress
Stress and blood pressure management is all up to mainly lifestyle modifications. It is 70% lifestyle changes and 30% medications.
Medications that helps with stress and hypertension are;
- Beta blockers
- Calcium channel blockers
- Angiotensin receptor blockers
But first you have to work on your lifestyle and then you can proceed to medications to drop your blood pressure. Prioritize your health.