Does stress cause high blood pressure?

Stress can make blood pressure go up for a while, and it has been thought to contribute to high blood pressure. But the long-term effects of stress are as yet unclear. Stress management techniques do not seem to prevent high blood pressure. However, such techniques may have other benefits, such as making you feel better or helping you to control over-eating.
This answer is based on source information from National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Suzanne Steinbaum, DO
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Stress can indeed lead to high blood pressure, so it's important to manage stress properly. Watch cardiologist Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, discuss why it's imperative to get your numbers checked, especially if you have a family history of hypertension.
Also called “white-coat hypertension,” stress-related high blood pressure requires treatment. Stress occurs daily in all of our lives, and none of us can predict, control or prevent it. When our bodies are stressed, our blood pressure naturally goes up. When we have high blood pressure, it goes up higher than it should (>140/90). Doctors want to treat people who have white-coat hypertension so their blood pressure does not get dangerously high under stress.
Emotional stress and anxiety from problems on the job, family problems, and other personal problems can raise blood pressure. Most of the time you don't even realize you are stressed out until you burn out, or as in the case of 1.1 million people in America each year, until you have a heart attack. Stress can show itself through a wide variety of physical changes and emotional responses, and these symptoms vary greatly from one person to the next. 

Perhaps the most universal sign of stress is a feeling of being pressured or overwhelmed. If you are experiencing symptoms of stress, chances are good that your level of stress is excessive. If left untreated, stress can lead to permanent feelings of helplessness and ineffectiveness. See your doctor or a mental health counselor to get back in control. Learning how to manage stress, relax, and cope with problems can improve your emotional and physical health.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.