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Can hypertension cause panic attack?

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Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 2190 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 1 Feb 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: I have panic attacks. Can they cause hypertension? Last night i had both hypertension and a panic attack. After i was injected with sugar, my panic attack seemed to go away. Could sugar help reduce panic attacks?Additional information. The sugar levels in my body was very low during hypertension and panic attack.
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Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 2 hours later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Panic attacks can be associated with not only psychological symptoms but also with physiological changes. Increase in heart rate, increase in blood presure, increase in respiratory rate, etc. are some of the physiological changes which happen in a panic attack. The reason is because, dring a panic attack, there is an hyperarousal or hyperactivation of the autonomic nervous system, which in turn can result in such symptoms, including an increase in BP. So, to answer your question, panic attacks can indeed cause transient hypertension.

Now, it has also been found that hypoglycemia is one of the factors which can trigger a panic attack. So, it could be very well possible that your low blood sugars could have actually triggered the panic attack, which in turn could have got relieved by the administration of sugar.

I would suggest that you avoid hypoglycemia in the future by taking regular meals and avoiding overexertion and stress. Also, just to be sure that we are not missing an independent problem of hypertension, it would be advisable to regularly monitor your BP for a week or so.

Wish you all the best.

Regards,
Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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