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Stress causing my hypertension - Anti-stress supplements

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 29, 2012 at 11:39 PM

I've had idiopathic, isolated systolic hypertension for about 7-8 years now. This basically means it's a high reading of the systolic reading that can't be attributed to any medical cause. I've talked about it more in depth here A short time ago I discovered that stress plays a very big part in my BP readings. I'm not sure if I have an overactive sympathetic nervous system, or what exactly is the problem, but I have been paying close attention to my stress levels in conjunction to my BP. I have a BP monitor at home, and I regularly check my BP. I actually get a 'normal' reading of around 125/60 first thing in the morning when I wake up, and it can fluctuate anywhere from 130/60 to 150/80 throughout the day. I've been taking medication for the HBP but it's really made a negligible impact in controlling it. I discussed this with a new doctor who agreed that the medication isn't really doing much, and explained that it wont do anything if there is nothing medically wrong with me, and if the cause is stress related.

I'm not currently taking meds, as my doc suggested, and my BP has more or less hovered around 130/65. In the last week or so I've been particularly stressed, I broke up with my girlfriend and due to a broken wrist I got a few weeks ago, I've been mostly housebound and I am unable to work (so I've got very little money). I get quite edgy and frustrated when I'm sedentary for too long. Anyway, as I suspected, my BP reading was 140/70 first thing this morning.

At this point there isn't a lot I can do lifestyle wise about reducing my stressors. My diet has remained quite healthy, although I'm probably not eating as much as I should (I've lost a bit of appetite). This situation is temporary, I've just gotta ride it out til I can get back to work and get over this break up, but I was wondering if there are any good natural supplements around that can reduce stress, specifically calming the sympathetic nervous system down. I wouldn't mind something I can just take as needed in times of high levels of stress. I do take magnesium which does help my sleep, but if there is something that can help calm nerves throughout the day without causing drowsiness that would be great.

Thanks!

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on October 02, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Wikipedia claims that in middle age up to 24% of men have moderate sleep apnea (AHI >20) that is undiagnosed. They all think they sleep well too. The test is cheap and easy; many are even in nice hotels. They attach some wires to you and then you relax until you are ready to sleep.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on September 30, 2012
at 11:44 AM

I very much agree, but as I said, I'm not able to exercise at the moment due to injuries. Normally my lifestyle is pretty stress free, and I'm pretty comfortable being unmedicated for my HBP condition, though at times when the stressors just get ut of control for me, I'd like a quick fix just to put my mind at ease that my blood pressure isn't getting too bad.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on September 30, 2012
at 11:39 AM

Hey mate, you are on the money with that tea concoction, I picked some up at my health food shop, had two teas this arvo and it really helped me chill out. Haven't checked the BP but I'm feeling a lot less chaotic. I also grabbed some valerian complex, which is supposedly reduces cortisol levels in the blood.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on September 30, 2012
at 05:27 AM

Never been checked for sleep apnea, I've always slept really well, feel well rested etc.

531b053b68e92ac509fc1544f88dc103

(1205)

on September 30, 2012
at 01:54 AM

Yeah, watch out with the 5-HTP. I had the same blood pressure problems from stress and that stuff made my heart race within minutes of taking it and it made my blood pressure go up even higher.

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4 Answers

2
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 30, 2012
at 12:52 AM

Supplements are still focusing on the symptoms. I would focus on meditation, yoga, bodywork (chiropractic and/or massage), exercise, sound sleep in a dark room, siestas, and sex.....not necessarily in that order.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on September 30, 2012
at 11:44 AM

I very much agree, but as I said, I'm not able to exercise at the moment due to injuries. Normally my lifestyle is pretty stress free, and I'm pretty comfortable being unmedicated for my HBP condition, though at times when the stressors just get ut of control for me, I'd like a quick fix just to put my mind at ease that my blood pressure isn't getting too bad.

1
531b053b68e92ac509fc1544f88dc103

(1205)

on September 30, 2012
at 01:59 AM

I have the same problem as you. I found that drinking really strong Hibiscus and Hawthorn tea lowers my blood pressure so much that even when I'm stressed it stays pretty low now. I used to spike up to 160/90 but now I stay under 120/80. I usually put 2 Hibiscus and 2 Hawthorn teabags in a 20oz cup. The tea is really dark and medicinally strong.

But more you check your blood pressure, the more it'll go up cause it'll make you worry more. Exercise is the best way to channel that stress.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on September 30, 2012
at 11:39 AM

Hey mate, you are on the money with that tea concoction, I picked some up at my health food shop, had two teas this arvo and it really helped me chill out. Haven't checked the BP but I'm feeling a lot less chaotic. I also grabbed some valerian complex, which is supposedly reduces cortisol levels in the blood.

0
De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on September 30, 2012
at 04:02 AM

Have you been checked for sleep apnea? Prevalence is known to be very high with low diagnosis rate because only the most extreme cases are easily recognized (and sometimes not even then, like in my case). My blood pressure was almost always in the 130s/80s until I started the CPAP and overnight it dropped to 110/70.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on September 30, 2012
at 05:27 AM

Never been checked for sleep apnea, I've always slept really well, feel well rested etc.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on October 02, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Wikipedia claims that in middle age up to 24% of men have moderate sleep apnea (AHI >20) that is undiagnosed. They all think they sleep well too. The test is cheap and easy; many are even in nice hotels. They attach some wires to you and then you relax until you are ready to sleep.

0
0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

on September 29, 2012
at 11:48 PM

  • Psilocybin/Psilocin
  • 5-HTP
  • Chamomile

531b053b68e92ac509fc1544f88dc103

(1205)

on September 30, 2012
at 01:54 AM

Yeah, watch out with the 5-HTP. I had the same blood pressure problems from stress and that stuff made my heart race within minutes of taking it and it made my blood pressure go up even higher.

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