Anxiety & High Blood Pressure
Anxiety, Stress & High Blood Pressure. A Naturopath Perspective
Stress generally makes many conditions worse but is not always the only cause for a condition. This is the case for high blood pressure or hypertension. However anxiety is significant factor in contributing to chronic elevation in blood pressure. As a Naturopath I often help people address the physical effects of anxiety on the body. Everything from muscle tension and gastrointestinal issues to headaches and hives. I have often wondered though about the long term impact of anxiety on cardiovascular health. Here is what I have found.
Research Studies on the Relationship Between Anxiety and Hypertension
A 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis in the Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment Journal investigated the association between anxiety and hypertension. They summarized the available data from cross-sectional and prospective studies. All of these studies were original peer-reviewed and included adults over 18 years of age. They found that anxiety and hypertension were significantly correlated in cross-sectional studies and they found a direct association in prospective studies.
How Does Anxiety Cause Chronic Hypertension?
All of these factors directly increased blood volume and blood pressure. So the overall effect of Angiotensin II is to increase blood pressure, body water and salt content.
Short term, these factors increase resistance to the flow of blood being pushed through the circulatory system but long term, this vascular resistance can result in chronic ongoing hypertension.
There is clearly a relationship between anxiety and hypertension that should be addressed as part of a treatment plan designed to decrease blood pressure.
To find out how natural medicine can effectively treat hypertension, contact Dr. Andresen at one of her Toronto Naturopathic Clinics and book your appointment today.