Blood Pressure and Anxiety

There are many variables to consider when assessing blood pressure in people from moment to moment and these can include

    Emotion
    Exercise
    Respiration
    Heavy meal
    Smoking
    Alcohol intake
    Temperature
    Pain
    Bladder problems
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    Age
    Gender
    Race

When having their blood pressure taken, the person should be relaxed and if possible sat in a quiet room with the temperature set at a comfortable degree. If possible the person should have had a period of relaxation before their blood pressure is taken. If these optimum conditions cannot be maintained, it should be realised if the blood pressure is raised that the conditions in which it was taken were not ideal.

Anxiety can raise the blood pressure by as much as 30mm Hg. The fight or flight automatic response to danger is manifested in a raised blood pressure, so if the person is anxious etc, it will then be reflected in their blood pressure being raised.

Lots of reassurance for the individual having their blood pressure checked is often needed, and the person checking their blood pressure should ensure they give that individual the assurance they need that they are very capable.

Once the person becomes accustomed to the person checking their blood pressure and their surroundings, then their blood pressure should subside to a more normal limit. It has been noted that a persons blood pressure is always higher when measured by a doctor and to a lesser degree by nurses. This is known as “white coat syndrome”

When checking someones blood pressure, it is always wise to monitor their respirations, and pulse rate. If their respirations or pulse rate are above a “normal” rate for that person, then they should be left to rest and their resting pulse rate rechecked again about fifteen minutes later. If it is within normal limits then the blood pressure can be taken.

Many people are anxious to learn more about high blood pressure, and if full explanations are given then this often helps to alleviate their anxiety over their medical problem.

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