Anxiety attacks & High BP

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Anxiety attacks & High BP

Postby jjbeck » Mon Nov 03, 2003 11:42 am

Hi. I am wondering if anyone would happen to know about anxiety and high BP in pg?
As with my last PG, I began having anxiety attacks. This only happens during PG and post pardum. My attacks feel like I am losing my mind. They last about an hour or so.
My last PG, I had severe hyperemesis, low BP down to 70/45, brachyardia and 2nd degree av block.
This PG, I have hyperemesis once again but my hr has been 100 plus daily and my Bp hits 140/90 at least once a day. So far the highest has been 155/103. My hr has been upto 113. This is all resting.
Once again I began having anxiety attacks at aroung 7 or 8 wks. That is about when my BP began going up.

The attacks usually only came on with extreme nausea, it was like a switch was hit. Today I began having an anxiety attck for no appearent reason....other than it is that time of day nausea would usually hit ( afternoons) and I checked my BP ad it was at 146/93 and hr was 103.

My question is, is are the anxiety attacks increasing my BP or is my increased BP increasing my anxiety?

Thanks
Jen
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Re : Anxiety attacks & High BP

Postby sarahedgcomb » Mon Nov 03, 2003 01:17 pm

Hi Jen,

I'm not sure (medically) if there's a connection between anxiety and BP in pregnancy, but I do think that if you have anxiety attacks, your blood pressure increases - as well your heart rate. Whether one is triggering the other, I think it's probably a possibility.

I had many anxiety attacks after I was diagnosed with pre-e - before I gave birth and afterwards when my son was born and in the NICU for 3 months. It was so scary and I was convinced that I was going to keel over. I told my doctor how I was feeling (this was after my son was born) and I had a complete medical workup. When we determined that there was nothing "medically" wrong, they referred me to a very good therapist. It helped so much to be able to talk about what was happening and she gave me some very good coping techniques to deal with the anxiety.

I'm not that familiar with hyperemesis, but could you have been dehydrated or not have had any food for a while when your last anxiety attack and BP and heart rate was up? Maybe that has something to do with your increased heart rate/BP. Either way, anxiety attacks are very scary and real. You should talk to your doctor and tell him/her how you're feeling. Don't feel silly bringing these things up. I remember thinking that it was all in my head and that I should just get a hold of myself and calm down. But I should have talked to my doctor earlier (when I was still pregnant). I think it would have made a big difference after my son was born.

Good luck with everything and take care of yourself.


Sarah
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Re : Anxiety attacks & High BP

Postby jjbeck » Mon Nov 03, 2003 02:27 pm

Thanks Sarah. I have an appt with my cardiologist next week. My heart is a bit on the sensitive side and its rythem does react to meds and changes. My last PG I had 2nd degree AV block. That was scary for me. I also have mild mitral valve prolapse and mitral regurgitation.


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Re : Anxiety attacks & High BP

Postby lisac » Mon Nov 03, 2003 03:08 pm

Hi Jen,
After a severe case of preeclampsia about 11 months ago, I began to experience anxiety too. I know what a terrible feeling it is, and I'm sorry that you're going through it.
I have personally noticed an increase in blood pressure (both systolic & diastolic)when I'm going through an episode of anxiety. Some say that diastolic (the low number) shouldn't change, only the top number, but this hasn't been the case for me. My normal bp is around 107/72. When I have anxiety it goes up to 135/89. Sometimes knowing I'm about to take my bp makes it shoot up as well. Then when I'm relaxed it goes back to normal. In fact, I was just watching a show about stress last night and they had various subjects hooked up to machines. When they retold an emotional experience, their bp shot up too. I've been completely at rest before and had my heart rate go up to 125/min. from stress.
So I do believe that anxiety can cause those physiological changes. Of course to be sure I hope that you're discussing this with your doctor. Also, fear of anxiety seems to make the whole situation worse. What's helped me is to not fight the anxiety when it comes around, just let it pass through. Here's a book that's helped me too:
The Anxiety Cure (Author: Robert DuPont, MD). Also, exercise helps such as walking, breathing exercises and anything you can do to distract yourself (from yourself!).
I feel for you. Those anxious moments can be such a challenge to get through. If you'd like to talk more about this, you can write me at
mandala@pacbell.net
Lisa
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Re : Anxiety attacks & High BP

Postby jjbeck » Tue Nov 04, 2003 06:50 am

For me, I don't have a fear of the anxiety. I know it is some cycle for whatever reason will come and will go. At this point, I do not worry about my BP, yes I do have some concerns as I know high BP in pg should be taken seriously, and this is the first time in my life having high bp. The feelings I get when anxiety comes is more like a feeling of crazyness, or a highly exaggerated fight/flight response, only there is know real fear of anything. When the attacks come on, I am not thinking or worried about anything, just anxiously awaiting for the episode to past. It is like a switch that goes on and usually happens the same time of day. Weather I have an anxiety attck or not, around the same time of day is when I see an increase in my BP.
Thanks
Jen
mainiacs97@aol.com
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Re : Anxiety attacks & High BP

Postby annegarrett » Tue Nov 04, 2003 10:55 am

Just to clarify--our medical board is strongly of the opinion that the anxiety is the RESULT of your increased blood volume and increasing blood pressure and heart rate. While stress, exercise, etc...can increase your systolic (upper number) your diastolic (your rate of blood pressure BETWEEN heart beats) does not flux with stress. That is why anxiety or a rapid heart beat is a symptom of the disease--because it indicates something is wrong. Do not ever feel that you have brought on your blood pressure issues due to stress, work or anxiety. Your anxiety is a symptom that you have this disease.


Anne Garrett
Executive Director
Preeclampsia Foundation
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Re : Anxiety attacks & High BP

Postby jjbeck » Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:42 am

Thank you Anne.
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