I am 30yr/m and have had high blood pressure for the past 4-5 years. I currently take 25mg Atenolol once daily. My blood pressure is normally around 130/85 or so. Over the past 4 days I have been experiencing, what I believe are, panic attacks. I had some bad anxiety issues a few years ago, and the symptoms are very similar. During these attacks my blood pressure sky rockets. I check it yesterday after having one of these attacks and the reading was 165/110. Im quite sure it was much higher when I was actually having the symptoms since I was feeling much better at the time I took the reading. I think part of the fuel for the continued anxiety is the fear that I am going to have a stroke due to the sudden increase in blood pressure during the anxiety attacks. I have an appointment scheduled with my Dr. for this afternoon.
My question is this: Is my fear that I could have a stroke due to my blood pressure getting so high during one these episodes legitimate or am I just worrying myself more? I have read different information that this sudden increase in blood pressure could cause a stroke, and then other which say that is not true, and that it takes many years of high blood pressure to cause a stroke to occur.
I suppose i am afraid that my blood pressure will get too high during one of these episodes and a stroke will occur.
I think you are worrying yourself too much. Step back and relax a little. It is extremely important to be concerned about blood pressure, especially when it's higher than it should be, as in your case, however, when your anxiety causes it to be even higher, that's, of course, not good either. You need to find a way to relax yourself. maybe even see someone that could help you. Of course, continue to take your blood pressure medications and make sure that it is well controlled. If anxiety is playing a role, you may even consider seeing a specialist, and even taking medications that will help you deal with this problem. The likelihood that you will have an acute stroke from a simple rise in BP is low. As you stated earlier, it is the chronically poorly controlled BP that causes strokes in most cases.
165/110 may be unsettling but if that's only during the anxiety attack then the risk of having a stroke is very low. Chronic high blood pressure or malignant hypertension is the major risk factor.
When you work out, the sysolic blood pressure often go that high up to 200 at times. So, the risk of a stroke is the same as when you're exercising and when you're having a panic attack. The difference though is that panic attack doesn't help your health at all while exercise does and reduces the risk of strokes in the long term.
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