Discussions By Condition: Cardiovascular disease

High blood pressure from stress? In a 28 yr old with no other risk factors... seems

Posted In: Cardiovascular disease 29 Replies
  • Posted By: New MKE User
  • October 24, 2006
  • 04:47 PM

worrisome to me.
to give background....
I have always been very healthy. I am 28 years old, 5'4.5'', 108 pounds. I exercise 3-4 times per week and played college sports. I have low bad cholesterol and high good cholestoral. Bad Cholesteral is 100, good is 72. Glucose is 80 (so good). I do not eat red meat, virtually no processed foods, lots of veggies. I do not smoke, do not drink. My grandma developed high blood pressure at 62. Neither parent, none of my aunts have it (do not have siblings).

The only medication I have ever taken is birth control pills (never bothered me for 5+ years).

Anyways-- i do have a stressful job (65+ hour weeks and a lot of travel). About 1.5 months ago I had what was diagnosed as a panic attack (I had EKGs, blood work, full physical, etc at an emergency room as I thought I was having a heart attack). Only abnormally while there was "slightly low potassium" (.1 under the lowest in the normal range). Said not to worry about it as it was common in a panic attack, but had high blood pressure (145/90) whilte there having this attack.

2 days later went to my gyno for my annual pap smear again, my blood pressure was elevated 140/90.

Then went to my regular physican for a full physical 1 week later--- again the blood pressure was 140/90.

Prior to this panic attack, my blood pressure was always 110/70 (for every appointment I have ever had-- each year since I can remember and happened to have a reading from June (so 3 months before the panic attack).

My family doctor says that she doubts I actually have high blood pressure and it is the anxiety, so she wants me to take Lexapro or Xanax. I am leary of taking a medication and she said to try bio-feedback. I do not feel anxious though.. so it is hard to understand this.

I am very worried as I have since then taken my blood pressure at Target several times... 125/80, 135/90, 118/75, 130/70, 145/90 have been the readings.

What should I do? Should I take Lexapro or Xanax (eventhough I do not feel anxious and have only had 2 of these attacks in my life and this susposed "anxiety" is not impacting my professional or personal life in any way). I am so upset as I do everything that I can do be very healthy and to get high blood pressure this young would be devastating to me.

My husband and I want to have children and I have heard that women with high blood pressure have very difficult pregnancy.

Any advise or help is greatly appreciated? can stress really cause high blood pressure with no other symptoms? is medication the only remedy in my case?

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29 Replies:

  • hi just read your post. I have had anxiety attacks just like you described. I was in my 20's, I am 37 now with 2 kids. Been to the ER several times until I realized I wasn't dieing. I am alot like you in size, and activity and my BP usually runs normal to low unless I'm stressed or going into an attack. If I were you, I'd take the xanax for awhile (3 mos. or so) and see if your BP goes down. I used to take .25mg of xanax daily and it helped me greatly with the level of stress my body could handle. (I didn't really think I was stressed either.) It's a low dose and short-term, so you're less likely to get addicted. Over .25mg made me to sleepy.You probably don't realize how anxious you are because you are on the move so much 65+ hrs/wk,. Wow! The human body can't go at that rate for very long without something starting to give, especially as you get older.Try to find some ways to relax, even if you think you aren't stressed. Don't worry too much about yourself, avoid caffeine, slow down, and I'm sure you'll level out and be just fine in time to start a family.Best wishes to you.
    medhugger 2 Replies
    • October 29, 2006
    • 01:15 AM
    • 0
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  • I have ALWAYS had BP 110/70 until I changed jobs, went thru hurricane Katrina and survived, raising teenagers 13 & 15, not overweight, 41 yrs old and exercise!!! I went thru several tests, chest pains, heart racing, irritable etc.. went to the ER just like you with elevated BP 138/90 and up higher at times. Visited doctors constantly for heart tests, stress tests, my GP blood tests, everything you can imagine. Boils down to my GP offered me Xanax and my cardiologist offered me BP medicine. I was adamit about NOT taking a drug I would become addicted to but against my better judgement I did. I took the BP meds for 3 mos then stopped myself because I gained about 10lbs which isnt bad but who wants to gain weight from meds. I took Xanax at the same time everyday, i was prescribed .25 mg and could only take 1/2 of that dosage (yes the docs laughed at me). I gradually worked up to the .25 mg daily and now 10 mos. later I take the Xanax only when I need it and no longer take the BP meds. Xanax is the best I could have ever done for myself. I didnt feel the effect of the pill but I know it helped me because I was more mellow with what I was doing daily. My two year old car has 85K miles on it. I travel constantly and live out of my car between my job and two girls. My body was obviously so stressed and I didnt even know it. I no longer have high BP ... sometimes it is up but is normal at home and before I go to bed. I only take my BP in the morning and evening (DO NOT OBSESS yourself with taking your BP)... make time for yourself it is very important, down time for relaxation. Good luck and take the Xanax if you are strong willed you will never become dependent to it, but I truly believe it was a big factor in helping me to deal with stress at a better level. GOOD LUCK!!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 7, 2006
    • 04:37 AM
    • 0
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  • Ok your post is almost exactly like me. When I was 27, I'm now 30, I slowly started developing high blood pressure. My background shockingly like yours. I was active in sports and gymnastics all my life and have always worked out 3-4 times per week. I do not eat red meat etc. I went in for my yearly and my blood pressure was142/80 all my life it has been awesome120/60. For six months I would monitor my bp and it gradually went even higher. I was told by two dr that is was NOTmy birth control pill and I trusted them. One night at work I had sudden vision problems and some tinglig in my feet and hands. I went back to the dr and was told I was "stressed out" because I had two kids, a husband and work. However I didn't feel all that stressed out. They put me on zoloft and sleepiing pills because I wasn't sleeping like I used to. MY bp at this point 6mths later was now 155/105!! I was amazed and was also instructed in addition to the meds to quit working out! I went to fill my scrips at CVS and happened to tell the pharmacist and she told me that she suspected that is was my birth control pill causing the rise in bp. I told her I had been on it in between kids for 8 years and she assured me it didn't matter. I got the scripts filled and never took them. I quit my pill that next morning and within two weeks I returned to the dr and my bp was135/75 already making a difference. I am fine now but according to my new obgyn I will never be able to take any pill with estrogen in it again. BE CAREFUL you could be at risk for a stoke look this stuff up online ask around. Your only options for birth control are depo and an IUD. I urge you to try to go off your pill for one month and check on your pressure -you might be amazed. A pharmacist saved my life. They know a lot more about drugs than the dr.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 7, 2006
    • 11:06 PM
    • 0
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  • you sound overwhelmed not hypertensive. i would not suggest going on anything at all if you are planning on having children. just relax. i hate when people tell me that , however, it is exactly what needs to be done. try 10minutes a day just in silence and just be in that 10minutes. pills are a bandaide. find out what it is that is making you go go go and then regroup. find a way to do the simple things. otherwise you'll lose the small stuff (that is the real meaning of life) all the hustle and material stuff....it is just stuff. you are ok - maybe a little bit of white coat syndrome. good luck with baby.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 8, 2006
    • 08:29 AM
    • 0
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  • "My family doctor says that she doubts I actually have high blood pressure and it is the anxiety, so she wants me to take Lexapro or Xanax. I am leary of taking a medication and she said to try bio-feedback. I do not feel anxious though.. so it is hard to understand this. " One can be under stress and not realise it if one is used to being stressed out to that degree all the time, it then feels like normal. "Anyways-- i do have a stressful job (65+ hour weeks and a lot of travel). About 1.5 months ago I had what was diagnosed as a panic attack" All that does sound like stress... You even said "i do have a STRESSFUL job" If you dont want to take the anxiety med.. you could try to do something like go to weekly meditation classes and learn relaxation or cut back on how much you work. Making some life changes if possible are likely to help.
    taniaaust1 2267 Replies
    • November 21, 2006
    • 05:19 AM
    • 0
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  • I was having panic attacks for a while too.Try going of the BC for a bit, it may help.I was off it for about 4 months, started again, and I was alright.Also, be carefull if your PCP (primary care physician) wants to prescribe cardiovascular medicines.I had a bit of a nasty experience with being prescribed inderal with no real reason.Good luck!Sheena
    ShawneeGirl 37 Replies
    • November 24, 2006
    • 06:16 AM
    • 0
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  • I was on Lexapro and developed sludge (cholesteral clumping) in my gall bladder and needed to have it removed. I searched the internet and found that this was a rare side effect.xsj32c
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 25, 2007
    • 02:27 AM
    • 0
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  • If you are used to taking good care of your body then I would ask Doc to maybe run some blood work on you before starting any meds. Xana, though given in low doses can make you become dependent. Doesn't sound like that fits your lifestyle. Tell Doc to check your adrenaline levels. It may be something hormaonal. good luck
    miserableMOE 52 Replies
    • January 25, 2007
    • 03:25 AM
    • 0
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  • i had the same problem you had with my blood pressure. i never had any blood pressure till i started having panic attacks do to stressfull events that happened to me. my blood pressure was only high in the moment of readings. and this is do because of anxiate prior to readings. thats because you fear it will be high again the, xanac really helped me a lot but ****s and my faith was what really cured me at the end.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 30, 2007
    • 04:21 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • i had the same problem you had with my blood pressure. i never had any blood pressure till i started having panic attacks do to stressfull events that happened to me. my blood pressure was only high in the moment of readings. and this is do because of anxiate prior to readings. thats because you fear it will be high again the, xanac really helped me a lot but ****s and my faith was what really cured me at the end.am only 21
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 30, 2007
    • 04:22 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I have this problem. Im so glad I found your post. I was freaking out thinking i was dieing. Like you I check my BP non stop. I took it today and it was 145/90, so I took some deep breaths and took it again and it went down to 133/90. I have panic attacks but have always had low BP and I am on birth control. Im totaly panicked over this whole thing. If anyone has some words to ease my mind please email me brandiabbott29@yahoo.comStress factor....just quit a 4 yr job, 15 mo. old (the love of my life but crazy :-), family on my case all the time.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 9, 2007
    • 00:33 AM
    • 0
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  • I Really Do Understand What You Have Been Going Through Since I Have Suffered Every Five Years Or So With Same Symptoms During Stressful Times. These Boughts Of Anxiety And High Blood Pressure ( One Time 170 /110!) Happen During Panic Attacks For Me. I Will Go For Years With Great Blood Pressure 125/70 And Then A Week Of Terrible Readings And Me Panicking Every Time I Take It. The Doctors Have Tried To Give Me Every Medication In The World And I Finally Found A Naturopathic M.d. Who Talked To Me And Told Me I Was Healthy And Wouldn't Die So To Stop Taking Blood Pressure Obsessively And Gave Me Vitamins And Told Me To Exercise And Do Yoga. Always Works,even Though Every Time I Experience A Week Of Anxiety Every So Many Years It Always Scares Me And I Think I Will Have A Stroke. (that Is All Part Of Panic )i Am Now 53 And Still Here And Am Going Through It For The Past Few Days Again. I Suggest You Do Not Take Your Blood Pressure Too Much And Forget It For A Few Days. Try To Exercise And Cut Back On Caffeine And Salt. Cry A Lot And Get The Stress Out. Good Luck. You Are Young And Healthy , Don't Worry You Will Regulate Yourself Again. Find A Good Doctor Who You Can Talk To About This.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 9, 2007
    • 02:17 AM
    • 0
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  • I work for the company who manufacturers RESPeRATE (an OTC device that can lower your BP without medication), and I came across your story. I am not going to get into a sales pitch, but wanted to let you know that one of our affiliate doctors answers questions that are similar to yours on our website at http://www.resperate.com/drrowena.aspx. Check these Q&A’s out: Q: My blood pressure is way up due to a high level of anxiety. Can this device and counseling help me?A: Anxiety is just one of many factors that cause high blood pressure. Regular use of the RESPeRATE has been clinically shown to lower blood pressure. It is the only device cleared by the FDA to treat hypertension and reduce stress. It does not have the side effects associated with medications to treat high blood pressure. Q: I seem to get high BP during emotional situations. When I take medication it drops too low and I don't feel well. I meditate exercise, eat well, and am not overweight. What would you recommend?A: Emotional stress can contribute to high blood pressure. Meditation and regular exercise are good choices to help lower stress. If you are unable to tolerate a drug prescribed to control blood pressure, you need to report this to your doctor. There are multiple medications to choose from. In addition, the RESPeRATE has been clinically proven to lower blood pressure. I personally find the RESPeRATE very soothing and stress alleviating to use. Q: Can I use this system if I’m pregnant? Should my OB clear it first?A: As a matter of principal, when you are pregnant you should clear any change from your normal routine with your Obstetrician. Clinical studies with the RESPeRATE have not been done on pregnant women but the effect of yoga on pregnancy has been studied (Narendran S- J Altern Complement MED-01-Apr-2005: 11(2): 237-44). It is felt that yoga during pregnancy, including breathing exercises, is beneficial. Some people have even reduced and come off their meds with RESPeRATE. So there definitely are options out there for you. Chris P.www.resperate.com
    Chris P 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • worrisome to me. to give background.... I have always been very healthy. I am 28 years old, 5'4.5'', 108 pounds. I exercise 3-4 times per week and played college sports. I have low bad cholesterol and high good cholestoral. Bad Cholesteral is 100, good is 72. Glucose is 80 (so good). I do not eat red meat, virtually no processed foods, lots of veggies. I do not smoke, do not drink. My grandma developed high blood pressure at 62. Neither parent, none of my aunts have it (do not have siblings). The only medication I have ever taken is birth control pills (never bothered me for 5+ years). Anyways-- i do have a stressful job (65+ hour weeks and a lot of travel). About 1.5 months ago I had what was diagnosed as a panic attack (I had EKGs, blood work, full physical, etc at an emergency room as I thought I was having a heart attack). Only abnormally while there was "slightly low potassium" (.1 under the lowest in the normal range). Said not to worry about it as it was common in a panic attack, but had high blood pressure (145/90) whilte there having this attack. 2 days later went to my gyno for my annual pap smear again, my blood pressure was elevated 140/90. Then went to my regular physican for a full physical 1 week later--- again the blood pressure was 140/90. Prior to this panic attack, my blood pressure was always 110/70 (for every appointment I have ever had-- each year since I can remember and happened to have a reading from June (so 3 months before the panic attack). My family doctor says that she doubts I actually have high blood pressure and it is the anxiety, so she wants me to take Lexapro or Xanax. I am leary of taking a medication and she said to try bio-feedback. I do not feel anxious though.. so it is hard to understand this. I am very worried as I have since then taken my blood pressure at Target several times... 125/80, 135/90, 118/75, 130/70, 145/90 have been the readings. What should I do? Should I take Lexapro or Xanax (eventhough I do not feel anxious and have only had 2 of these attacks in my life and this susposed "anxiety" is not impacting my professional or personal life in any way). I am so upset as I do everything that I can do be very healthy and to get high blood pressure this young would be devastating to me. My husband and I want to have children and I have heard that women with high blood pressure have very difficult pregnancy. Any advise or help is greatly appreciated? can stress really cause high blood pressure with no other symptoms? is medication the only remedy in my case? I'm 27 years old and I've been going through the same problem you are going through since I was 21 years old. It comes and it goes away, its anxiety and depression. Routine visit to my obgyn when I was 21 years old, ended up a disaster. To this day, I am suffering the consequences. My blood pressure was extremely elevated according to doctors that day. Instead of finding out what stress, what problems I was going through, they scared me. I was taking 6-8 pills of metabolife and I was drinking everyday because I was depressed. They said I was close to having a stroke and I had to be taken to the emergency room. Ever since, on and off, I remember those words. It has affected my life and now, if you let it get to you, it will control your thoughts and even worse, when you are getting your blood pressure checked at the doctors office it will come back to you. I bought a blood pressure cuff to see if at home I had high blood pressure, but I don't. When I am under stress and I have anxiety I check my blood pressure because I think I am feeling ill, and the first reading can be high, but as I get relaxed, it goes down. Don't check your blood pressure every day. It can also become an obssession. Check it once or twice a week. We are too young to be feeling like this. I also want to get pregnant in a couple of years and I know I have to over come this fear. I was diagnosed with obssessive compulsive disorder. I am not taking medication at this time for anything. I have been put on high blood pressure medication and it just makes things worse. Having faith in God and talking about how you feel will make you feel better. Good luck.
    Jcnjen 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • The thing is that most cases of hypertension (>95%) turn out to be what doctors call "essential" and are not due to kidney disease, narrowing of arteries, or tumors of the adrenal gland. Sometimes high BP is transient and caused by over-the-counter medications like decongestants or prescription medications, like birth control pills. If you're not sure you're suffering from high BP, you should get it rechecked, along with a good physical exam and some basic blood and urine tests before you keep worrying about it (which will probably raise the BP even more) and consider simplifying your life.
    DrMistrust 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • There is a good chance this will pass. Give it a little more time.
    birdie 40 Replies
    • August 11, 2007
    • 03:18 AM
    • 0
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  • well, i am 21 years old, and for some reason have pretty much always had high blood pressure. i have to go to the doctor's for 5 days in two weeks to get my blood pressure checked. i have NEVER had a panic attack. but when i was pregnant at 18, i developed preclampsia, and hyperactive edema, and hypertension. i dont know if that made it worse, but i am not sure what the problem is at all. i am 5'2 and 110 pounds and although i like junk food, i dont gorge myself in it. i dont excercise like i should, but i am like any other 21 year old i know that do not smoke, or even drink. i dont know why my blood pressure is so high, but i need help!!!!!!!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 4, 2007
    • 07:28 PM
    • 0
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  • Wow. I am similar to you. To narrow it down, at 25, I drove myself to the hospital because my blood pressure was 235/120. I had a year of panic attacks at age 18 after a very stressful event in my life. Didn't have another one until they diagnosed a panic attack, when I got to the hospital that day, and gave me some ativan. With the ativan it was 145/66. What this tells me is that worrying and freaking out will raise your blood pressure unrealistically- and temporarily. They did eventually diagnose me with hypertension and put me on BP meds and xanax. Now I'm 28. I will agree with another poster that ****s can do what no medicene can. What I strive for now is a tranquil, natural life, without drugs. It stands to be mentioned here that I no longer worry that I'm having a heart attack, going to have a heart attack, going to die, etc. I am fully liberated of that fear. Of course I'll die. That is not a big concern for me anymore. My dose of xanax has been repeatedly reduced, and I want it eliminated. Remember that blood pressure of 140s/high 80s or low 90s is really not that bad. If your doc isn't concerned about it, then you shouldn't be either. If the doc is, then they'll give you some medicene. Whatever they- and you- do... don't worry. You don't have to call all the plays. Leave that to God. You just go out and play the game and leave things in His capable hands. And remember my story: I worried my blood pressure up to 235/120. The mind is a very powerful thing. Don't use it to worry. Use it to relax, enlighten, and focus yourself! All the best to you, and God bless you.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks for your message Eric. It really helped and was exactly what I needed to hear. I agree that through HIM you can find relief. I have been struggling with this new feeling of uncomfortable rapid heart beats for the past couple months and have high blood pressure. I was starting to think I wasn't normal and that maybe something more physical is wrong with me. I'm starting to think that it really is my worrying and stress that's causing it rather than something physical from reading the posts. There really are times as the original poster stated where I don't feel stressed out and the rapid heart beats still happen. But I have been extremely stressed out for the last two years which makes me think that even when I'm not thinking about stressful things, the stress is still there and has been building up for quite sometime.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hello all, My name is John and a 25 year old nursing student...I completely understand what your all going through with the anxiety, panic attacks, and STRESS! I went to the doctors yesterday and when they went to take my blood pressure I went it to a full blown panic attack, probably the worst one I've ever had and when they took my blood pressure it was 200/90 which made my anxiety even WORSE to the point where I almost passed out....I was on paxil CR 12.5 MG a few years ago and it worked great, then I was taken off of it and was fine for about 4 years, until the panic attacks and anxiety started again, but even worse this time around....My doctor prescribed me 30 Mg of Paxil and .5 Mg of Xanax....I wish the best of luck to all of you and god bless!!!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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