#AskDrMalik: DOES WORRYING CAUSE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE (HYPERTENSION)?

QUESTION: Does worrying cause high blood pressure (or hypertension)?

hypertension

Answer:

Several people erroneously believe hypertension is caused by too much worry, anger, anxiety, and fear!

Hmmm… not really o!

I take care of people with hypertension everyday; sometimes up to 30 per day! And, I am tired of correcting this impression most of them have!

Worry, anger, shame, anxiety, fear, etc. don’t CAUSE hypertension. In fact, their effect on blood pressure is minimal and transient.

A rich medical article describe it this way: “Anxiety doesn’t cause long-term high blood pressure (hypertension). But episodes of anxiety can cause dramatic, temporary spikes in your blood pressure.

If those temporary spikes occur frequently, such as every day, they can cause damage to your blood vessels, heart and kidneys, as can chronic high blood pressure. In addition, when you have anxiety you’re more likely to resort to other unhealthy habits that can increase your blood pressure, such as:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages
  • Overeating.”

Hypertension, like diabetes, has been linked to genetic factors and lifestyle. Kidney diseases and some “hormonal” disorders cause hypertension.

Obesity, alcoholism, diabetes, pregnancy, herbal concoctions, drug abuse, etc are also associated.

Stress and emotional states, like worry, might temporarily WORSEN the condition. But, placing “too much thinking” as a original CAUSE of hypertension is WRONG!

I hope you have been enlightened…

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