Blood Pressure Spikes Concern!?

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi guys, I'm not sure if this is in the right section to post this but it does pertain to blood pressure. Also sorry for the lengthy post in advance.

2 years ago I was diagnosed with panic disorder and generalized anxiety. Sometime last year I had two really bad panic attacks which I called the paramedics for. The took my vitals and my blood pressure was 172/128 the first time and 180/124 the second panic attack. I had another one recently which shot my blood pressure up to 172/117. When I got to the hospital, my blood pressure had dropped to about 135-140/85-90. This frightened me so I decided to buy a blood pressure machine which isn't smart for someone with anxiety but I needed to know if my blood pressure spiked on other occasions. One night I had a panic attack that woke me from my sleep, I immediately got up and took my blood pressure and it was 205/115. 5 minutes later 150/90. Then eventually went back to 120/79.

This part is a bit personal and a little embarrassing, but I was curious about blood pressure during certain activities like self pleasure. So, each time I engage in self pleasure I take my blood pressure in the arm that I am not using and each time my blood pressure spikes upward 170-182/120-130. This can't be normal. I brought up this issue with my doctor who just brushed it off as anxiety. He says I am too young, (28) and in shape to be worried about blood pressure because every time he takes it, it's normal. He says of course your blood pressure is going to spike with anxiety + activity. However from what I read, your diastolic shouldn't change much and mine spikes along with my systolic to extreme numbers.

I guess my question to you guys is, do you agree with my doctor or should I look into seeing another doctor about these concerns? Does anyone else experience these kind of spikes? What could be causing this high of a spike?

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear you are having these issues; I can certainly relate, to a degree. I am 65 and mine has recently spiked to those levels as well, but I'm pretty sure, in my case, that salt is the culprit.

    But, when mine is elevated it doesn't go down for hours, possibly because I also have a congenital heart defect and and some degree of right heart failure, with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction. I don't know if you eat foods with much salt, but it certainly can and does raise BP. When I was in cardiac rehab (following a MI) years ago, nurses would caution patients about not eating foods that are salt laden, unless you want to make a visit to the ER later in the day or the following. High numbers like this can be catastrophic when you get to be my age. And yes, anxiety only makes BP worse. Fortunately, for me, I don't have panic

    attacks, but I've talked to many people who have, and I'm sure they're quite distressing.

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    • Posted

      I don't eat many foods that are high in salt. I try to eat mostly plant based and whole foods. Every now and then I would indulge in sweets and an occasional slice of pizza. But most days it's chicken or fish, vegetables and fruit. The doctor I was seeing before all of this started told me my cholesterol was a little high, but I didn't get the numbers because I was unaware that there were different numbers. This kind of kick started the panic disorder/health related anxiety.

      I asked my current doctor about checking my cholesterol and he told me once again I am too young to be worried about it. At my age, he doesn't treat or even check for cholesterol especially being that I am not overweight and my blood pressure is otherwise normal aside from during panic attacks and physical activities.

      My concern is that these spike may lead to problems in the future and definitely fuels my anxiety. Everything I've read says that spikes like these, especially if they happen often like everyday can have the same effect as consistent high blood pressure.

      I think I may have to find another doctor who take my concerns a bit more seriously, because these spikes don't seem normal.

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  • Posted

    You should certainly check your cholesterol at any age.

    He says I am too young, (28) and in shape to be worried about blood pressure

    because every time he takes it, it's normal.

    They all do that, and they should all be sent back for retraining.

    As to the rest, the question is always which comes first, the high BP or the anxiety, because if the BP comes first then you may feel anxious - and you should!!! But I mean, the mere effects of the BP might make you feel anxious, even if you have no idea what it means.

    However, as to during your activities yes, BP will rise, and I think both systolic and diastolic are going to do so, depending of course on details that go beyond what we want to discuss here, LOL.

    As to what can cause those spikes out of the blue - any number of things. As to what to do about them, it depends. If it's anxiety-based that may suggest a small dose of beta blockers that work on both anxiety and blood pressure.

    How about your pulse rate, that can be another clue to what's going on.

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    • Posted

      Yes that's what I was thinking. I am going to see another doctor about checking my cholesterol.

      As for the BP, when I have a panic attack my pulse rate is over 100 bpm. I can certainly say that there is a period of anxiety before this happens. I often trigger panic attacks thinking that my pressure may be that high out of the blue leading to the panic attack and bp spikes.

      The other activities however, my pulse rate only reaches about 86 but the pressure still goes up.

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  • Posted

    Pulse of 100 doesn't sound awful to me, at least not dangerous by itself, would have to be 150-200 at your age to even get a glance from the doctor. Probably a good sign.

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  • Posted

    i am 55 and get high readings once in a while. kinda wierd but it only happens at my knee doctors. had it taken at other doctor apps and its fine. 117/75, 120/80. even during what i considered high stress situations like going in for operations it was ok. i go to the knee docs its high. just something about that place sets me off. had a app at my gastros office. pressure was 117/75. week later at knee docs was 155/98. its usually 155/105 at that place. i leave there, check it when i get home, its 120/75. BTW i was told home machines can be very inaccurate. spoke to my primary doc about it a few times, she seemed to not be to concerned. had a few operations past couple years. they do full work ups before them. ( blood work, cardiac enzyms, ekg, etc). tests always come back fine.

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