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Panic due to high BP - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Excellent Posted in: Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2585 Questions
User :   Hello, I went to a doctor this week who put me on Zoloft, Clonazepam, and metaprolol, all lowest dose for anxiety. My fear is blood pressure machines in general and the doctor told me not to take my pressure, and he'll treat it. I have always had white coat syndrome. In his office last friday it was 144/80, and normally in the last 6 weeks or so its always been 110-125/65-80. However instead of listening to the doctor I went to the machine at Walmart and even before I sat down I freaked, and panicked like crazy. Anyway it was 180/105. Can it get this high during a panic attack. My normal heart rate is 55-65bpm, but when I did this it was 120bpm in a matter of seconds.
Doctor :   Hi,
Doctor :   Let me read your query for few minutes to be able to have a good discussion here.
User :   Hi, good evening.. My problem is anxiety, I hate blood pressure machines
Doctor :   yes, the readings of the BP and heart rate you mentioned can be expected in the panic
User :   Right now my heart rate is back down to about 65
Doctor :   ok,
User :   Can it raise that quickly, in just a few seconds.
Doctor :   yes, sometimes it can cross 130
User :   I mean I panicked..... Like I thought I was going to pass out. Even before sitting down I felt like I was bieng thrown into a pit of snakes.
User :   heart rate at 130
Doctor :   panic is a very stressful period releasing a lot od=f adrenaline into the blood leading to such a reading
Doctor :   lot of*
User :   So a blood pressure during a panick attack of 180/105 during this event can be expected? I had no chest pain or headache
Doctor :   yes, it can be expected.
User :   Thanks. As soon as I left the machine I calmed down.
Doctor :   for the safety avoid it as much as possible
User :   Thats what my doctor told me, he said let me take it.
Doctor :   as a severe attack can lead to arrhythmia
User :   Oh ok, That is good to know. I ppreciate the help.
Doctor :   since you are not a hypertensive , i dont see a use of BP machine again
Doctor :   You are welcome
User :   I like this site and appreciate your help.
Doctor :   Thanks for consulting me , kindly provide your feedback
Doctor :   Bye for now
Doctor :   take care
User :   One quick last question. For the past six weeks my BP at home was 111/65 - 130/80, but I had two machines. Could I be just working myself into a panic because of these silly machines. When I get a higher number possibly, I freak and it goes higher,.
Doctor :   yes, please
Doctor :   yes,
User :   Thanks. I will leave the treatment to my doctor.
Doctor :   as i said you are not hypertensive , just consider that there is no need of the machine anywhere
User :   You are awesome. Thank you. This makes me feel much better. I know I do not have high BP. They did an echogram and ekg also on me and both were fine
Doctor :   that completes the story
Doctor :   you have nothing to worry about
User :   Thanks Doctor. Hope to see you again. You have been wonderful. Have a nice day
Doctor :   You too
Doctor :   have nice times ahead
User :   Same to you.
Doctor :   Bye for now
Doctor :   your feedback will be appreciated
User :   It will be A+++
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