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Variable blood pressure
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Variable blood pressure

I'm 26, male, slim, don't drink or smoke or have any cafeine.  My blood pressure goes up and down alot ... in the evenings resting it might be 110/70 ... but it can go up alot during the day ... often upto as much as 160/100 or more under stress (i've evaluated it myself with a home monitor) ... i suffer from bad anxiety and am being treated for this by a psychologist (with paxil and cog therapy) ... i also got my doctor to prescribe inderal (10mg's 3 x daily) to help with palpitations and pvc's although it tends to make me feel fatigued.  

He doesn't feel there is anything wrong with my BP and it's just responding to stress (it's normally a bit elevated in the doc's office due to nervousness ... last reading 150/80).  True.  But what about the longer term risks as anxiety problems can take a long time to 'cure' and i've been suffereing with this on and off for 4 years ... should i be trying to control my bloodpressure better and if so how??  I eat a low fat low salt diet, exercise ... what else can i do?  My job is not hugely stressful but my body overreacts to 'minor' stresses such as meetings or discussions and my BP rises accordingly but probably higher than it should.  Obviosly I don't want to and can't abandon my work but how do i stop it affecting my health.

Basically I'm very confused about how best to treat this, if at all.  I realise the BP will regulate itself when the anxiety diminishes.  I don't have sustained high BP but what are the dangers of periodic peaks in BP of the sort experienced by most anxiety sufferers??

Thanks

Gordon.
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Dear Gordon,  
The best thing would be to control your anxiety and your BP will improve. These BP swings are of little consequence.

I hope this has been useful. I wish you the best of luck. Feel free to write back.

Information provided here is for general purposes only. Specific questions should be addressed to your own doctor. If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at www.ccf.org/heartcenter. The Heart Center website contains a directory of the cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your cardiac problem.




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