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What causes anxiety?

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Posted on Tue, 13 May 2014
Question: Hello! I am 39 year old very active and fit male. I exercise 5 days a week. My normal blood pressure 129/76 pulse 50. I am 200 lbs 6 foot 2 inches with a muscular build. I have been waking up in the middle of the night after bad dreams feeling a small amount of anxiety. This has been happening for several months. I have gotten into a habit of taken my own blood pressure when feeling this way. It reads 150/100 pulse ranging 90- 130. I usually calm down after 10 minutes and take it again and at this time it reads normal 130/70 pulse 58. This happens an average of once every 7-10 days. I am currently taking .25mg Xanax before bed along with 10mg propranolol. I have seen a cardiologist for this 6 months ago and checked out ok. I have also seen a doctor and was told this is not to worry about unless the blood pressure stayed that way for over an hour. I need a second opinion on this matter. Even know this is happening to me only once every 7-10 days it can't be healthy for the heart? Thanks!
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Answered by Dr. Rovena Murati (1 hour later)
Brief Answer: Stress is not good to the heart. Detailed Answer: Hello! I am Dr.Rovena and I had gone through your query and medical history. Being anxious put the body in a stressful situation and our brain perceives anxious situation like life-threatening situation and send signals to the body preparing the body for defense.For this reason acceleration of the heartbeat and increasing blood pressure is a natural response of our body to anxious situation. Is obvious that palpitations and high blood pressure are due to your anxiety and when this symptoms happen it is called Generalized Anxiety Disorder. If you had heart disease you would have these symptoms all time and your cardiologist would figure it out during the physical examination. Is the same thing for high blood pressure.If you had hypertension you would have it all time,not only in anxious situation. This repetitive sympotoms (high blood pressure and fast heart rate) doesn't cause any directly damage to your heart for two reasons :-one is that this doesn't happen all the time and second because your heart is healthy. But you have to understand that stress itself is a risk factor for heart disease. I suggest to take regularly your treatment,avoid stressful situations. There are also self-care measures that people with anxiety can do to help make treatment more effective. Since substances like caffeine, alcohol, and illicit drugs can worsen anxiety, those things should be avoided. Other tips to prevent or manage anxiety symptoms include engaging in aerobic exercise and stress-management techniques like deep breathing, massage therapy, and yoga. Hope I was able to help you.If you have further questions please feel free te write me.I will be happy to answer. Take care. Dr.Rovena
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Dr. Rovena Murati

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2013

Answered : 1243 Questions

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What causes anxiety?

Brief Answer: Stress is not good to the heart. Detailed Answer: Hello! I am Dr.Rovena and I had gone through your query and medical history. Being anxious put the body in a stressful situation and our brain perceives anxious situation like life-threatening situation and send signals to the body preparing the body for defense.For this reason acceleration of the heartbeat and increasing blood pressure is a natural response of our body to anxious situation. Is obvious that palpitations and high blood pressure are due to your anxiety and when this symptoms happen it is called Generalized Anxiety Disorder. If you had heart disease you would have these symptoms all time and your cardiologist would figure it out during the physical examination. Is the same thing for high blood pressure.If you had hypertension you would have it all time,not only in anxious situation. This repetitive sympotoms (high blood pressure and fast heart rate) doesn't cause any directly damage to your heart for two reasons :-one is that this doesn't happen all the time and second because your heart is healthy. But you have to understand that stress itself is a risk factor for heart disease. I suggest to take regularly your treatment,avoid stressful situations. There are also self-care measures that people with anxiety can do to help make treatment more effective. Since substances like caffeine, alcohol, and illicit drugs can worsen anxiety, those things should be avoided. Other tips to prevent or manage anxiety symptoms include engaging in aerobic exercise and stress-management techniques like deep breathing, massage therapy, and yoga. Hope I was able to help you.If you have further questions please feel free te write me.I will be happy to answer. Take care. Dr.Rovena