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High BP, anxiety, taken BP medication, had divorce

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I'm 39 years old and have been having high blood pressure when I have anxiety. My last reading was 162/112. I recently went through a difficult divorce, having trouble paying my bills and my business has has major swings in the last couple of years. I do not have a history of high blood pressure. This has been frustrating. I have gone to emergency room and urgent care due to panic attacks thus creating more anxiety for my friends and family. I am hoping that this is just a temporary situation. One doctor put me on BP meds and my general physician told me that I do not need the meds. Ironically, when I have a drink or two in the evening my BP drops to 100/70. Generally, when I have a high reading it goes down within a couple of hours but today it has stayed around 148/103 with my last reading at 162/112. I was having anxiety today, after dropping my son off at school and getting ready to go to work after the holiday (Labor Day) break. What are your thoughts?
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 4 hours later
Thanks for writing to us.
Dropping of blood pressure after taking a drink or two is a normal response as drinking alcohol causes peripheral vasodilatation thus decreasing blood flow to heart. But this is not a way to reduce the blood pressure as it harms in the long run.
Having an increase in B.P. records during anxiety is normal response and is not called as hypertension. B.P. readings at rest are considered to stamp a case as hypertension.
To help this problem you can take a few measures-
1.Check your caffeine intake-Avoid drinking too much tea, coffee or cola.
2.Avoid alcohol and cigarette smoking.
3.Try physical exercise like aerobic exercises daily for twenty minutes.
4.Avoid your worries and problems or solve them with the help of your family and friends.
5. Learn controlled breathing.
6. Do simple relaxation exercises like yoga, meditation, etc.
You can also discuss the problem with your GP who will help you in choosing a good antianxiety drug with low day time sedation.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.
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