Firstly, thank you for taking your time on clicking on my question - it is rather unconventional for me to go online and post on a forum, particularly about something regarding my health. However, I have noticed that my worry and concern is truly affecting the way I live and it prevents me from enjoying my life to the fullest.
I have noticed that since last year I have become a hypochondriac. The symptoms have been slowly becoming more severe with my worries revolving around my heart i.e fear of getting a heart attack and brain; fear of stroke. They became even worse when I had my blood pressure checked at an appointment for a contraception pill, and it was extremely high - I have always had low blood pressure for instance 97/60 and have always felt fine, but at the appointment it was sky high. I thought, maybe I was anxious of being at the Dr's office, so I went back for a top up of my contraception, another blood pressure test and it was high once more. To be fair, she did measure it after I had just smoked a cigarette and literally made me run down the corridor into the room and I felt anxious from my previous appointment, but deep down, I felt it was not normal. SO - my mother owns her own blood pressure checker - it is the electronic kind and I am aware they are not entirely the best for accurate readings. Either way I was certain that my blood pressure readings from my appointments were not true so I decided to check for myself - and again, they ranged from 120/80 to 130/90. This just all added to my anxiety.
I have reflected back on my lifestyle and the life I had been leading. I won't lie, I am currently 22, but have smoked since I was 16 and gained a substantial amount of weight over a period of two years. Drank excessive amounts of alcohol, ate unhealthy food and abused stimulant drugs - but have never had any health problems. I knew that my lifestyle was a massive contributor to my blood pressure, so I decided to cut down on the booze to now drinking once a week (2 drinks max), stopped smoking and adopted a healthy diet since the start of the year. I go to the gym, walk to and from work (25 mins each way) and have lost around 15kg off my weight, almost being at my original weight of 60kg. I decided to check my blood pressure again to see if my life style changes have made an improvement... and right before I checked it myself, I felt my stress levels rise, my pulse sped up and the reading was sky-high. I kept on taking readings one after the other, which I know is not what should be done, but they were fluctuating between becoming lower and increasing again. My lowest reading I got was 127 over 76.
This is becoming insanely annoying, particularly as I feel fine par the anxiety which prevents me from living a normal life as I am scared if I have a drink, my blood pressure will go up through the roof and I will suffer the consequences. I had my blood work done last year and it came back perfect however it did not calm me down, particularly with my readings being consistently higher than what I want them to be. I live in fear that I am going to have a heart attack, or a stroke and continue to google my symptoms online which I know are over-exaggerated due to my hypochondria. It is even harder now with Covid to see a Dr and I am afraid that a phone consultation will not give me the peace that I need.
What should I do? Should I be concerned? Should I see a Dr anyway? Is it possible that my anxiety and hypochondria are increasing my BP readings?
Thank you all for taking your time reading this. I know what I wrote may be silly and ridiculous but I am scared of talking to my family about this in case they don't take it seriously.
P.S my mum had an increase in blood pressure following her menopause which she took medication for, but her BP is back to normal now - she is a smoker, does not drink alcohol but drinks a substantial amount of coffee.
My father has low BP.
I am unsure of my family history in its entirety but I don't think high BP was a problem.
Thank you again!