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Blood pressure fluctuation and anxiety disorder

I'm 19 years old and a little overweight.In July I had my first panic/anxiety attack, I however thought i was having a heart problem and went to the E.R. My pulse was 160 and BP was 167/100 the doctors did EKG and blood tests and everything came back normal. I however continued to have a high heart rate and consulted my family doctor. He put me on an ace inhibitor until the results of the echocardiogram came back. Everything in the echocardiogram was normal, there were no abnormalities. I continued to worry and worry and worry about my health and everything everyday so my doctor diagnosed me with generalized anxiety disorder and started me on 20mgs of citalopram. This helped to ease my anxiety however i check my pulse all the time, when im not nervous about it, it is good usually 60-72 however right when i go to check my blood pressure either at the doctors office or the drug store my heart races. Today i just decided to check it:
First reading - Pulse of 140 BP 167/60
after about 6 times my pulse dropped to 80 and my blood pressure was 122/65, i NEVER get high diastolic readings
My doctor tells me that i do not have hypertension and the high readings correspond with the anxiety. In the last 4 months i have lost over 40 pounds and I am eating really healthy, yet I still get high readings sometimes?
2 Responses
Avatar universal
You did the right thing by getting checked out by the doctor.  My original experience with anxiety came about with concerns about heart health.  Whenever I go to the doc's office, my bp is in the 150s-160s....I had the tests done as well.  Many people have 'white coat hypertension' when we visit the doc's office.  My GP doesn't even read my chart when it comes to blood pressure now.  I have had it checked out numerous times at home and it ranges from 119-to the mid 130s when I have had a long day at work.  Panic can cause blood pressure to spike and if we are nervous about it, just the anticipation can raise our heart rates and bp in my opinion.  My resting heart rate is actually in the low 50s (I run a lot), but if I am at the doctors it can run to over a 100.

So, you know you are ok medically...that is GREAT news.  Now, confront and learn about your anxiety and panic.  For me, going to seek help through counseling with a therapist not only helped me deal with it, but it taught me a lot about myself and I think I am a better person for going through the experience.

I know it can be frightening and confusing, but you can and will get through it!  Keep us posted!
Avatar universal
Thanks for the comment cj, it's funny though, even though i know my echocardiogram was normal i'm still worried about it. My pulse is always low when i'm relaxed, and even though i'm a little overweight i'm in pretty good shape, i work a physical job and am never out of breath, my doctor however does want me to do a stress test now because my heart rate is always high in his office.
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Arlington, VA
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Arlington, WA
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