Hypertension and Stress

Hypertension and stress: Are they related?

The impact that stress has on our lives has been well documented for a number of years now. It is known to contribute towards a large number of different health problems and one of those problems includes high blood pressure.

While stress does not directly lead to high blood pressure, it can certainly increase your chances of developing the condition. However, there is not enough research to show just how badly stress can affect the blood pressure.

Between hypertension and stress

When you become stressed, your heart rate increases and your blood pressure does increase for a short period of time. However, as soon as your stress levels decrease, your blood pressure does tend to return to normal. If you remain stressed for a long period of time, it is possible that your body could artificially induce high blood pressure.

The main fact remains that not enough research has been done to determine the true extent of the problem. The only thing that is known is that stress definitely does cause a temporary increase in blood pressure. It is our body’s response to stress that ultimately leads to high blood pressure.

First, you have to understand that there are two types of stress

The first is situational and the second is chronic. The chronic is the one that is the main worry in regards to high blood pressure.

- Situational stress occurs when something stressful happens that affects you only for a short period of time. This could be a break up or a house move for example. Your body will go into fight or flight response and this is where adrenaline will be released into the body. The adrenaline causes the heart rate to increase as well as the blood pressure. However, once the stress has gone the problem will return to normal. 

- Chronic stress on the other hand is constant and it could come with a job or a long term illness, for example. If your body is permanently stressed then that is when longer term high blood pressure could occur. Our body’s response to stress can often be to overeat and sleep less than usual. As our bodies begin to feel the strain, our heart rate increases and our blood pressure will increase too. The overeating will also increase your risk of high blood pressure. So it is more a combination of factors that can lead to hypertension.

Stress does affect blood pressure and there is certainly a strong link there. However, further research does need to be done in order to establish just how badly it affects the condition. The only way you can avoid developing high blood pressure because of stress is to relax as much as possible. If you find that you have chronic stress then you need to find a way to stop the cycle and to lead a more relaxed life. 


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