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Is low blood pressure stress related?

Answered by
Dr. Rakhi Tayal


Practicing since :2001

Answered : 13143 Questions

Posted on Mon, 21 Jan 2013 in Anxiety and Stress
Question: My blood pressure has always been low and I just had an annual well woman exam and found it to be 153/100. Today, I took it and it was 160/87. I purchased a blood pressure machine to continue checking it and will make an appt tomorrow with doctor. While is this happening? Can it be stress related? I haven't been to the doctor in 10 months but it was very good then.I am working a full time job as the Vice President and going to school now for two years carrying 10-12 hours a semester. I have a 16 year old daughter and I watch my two grandchildren twice a month. My husband has been laid off for over a year and so I carry the financial burden in household. I also am a smoker.
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 5 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
I would like to reassure you that there is nothing that you need to be worried about at present. While the normal blood pressure is usually around 120/80mmHg, your blood pressure of 153/100mmHg or 160/87 mm Hg cannot be labelled as hypertension. To label it as hypertension, we would need to have consistently high readings which have been measured repeatedly over a period of few months.
Such sudden rise in blood pressure could be related to stress, anxiety, increased salt intake, obesity, etc.
However, if the readings are high repeatedly, then some lifestyle modifications would need to be done to bring these readings in the normal range. The following modifications are needed:
a. Decrease your salt intake to less than 1 tsp a day
b. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and XXXXXXX leafy vegetables
c. Exercise daily ( you can walk/jog/skip/swim, whatever you prefer) for 50 minutes
d. Yoga, Pranayam and meditation help relieve stress
e. Avoid junk food
c. If the blood pressure is not controlled by the diet and exercise modification for a few weeks, you may need anti-hypertensive drugs. Half the battle involves diet and exercise modification which will be of great benefit in your case.
d. I would suggest that you consult your physician for repeated evaluation of your blood pressure and investigations like an Electrocardiogram (ECG) and kidney function tests.

Hope this answers your query. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Rakhi Tayal.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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