Anxiety attacks and blood pressure

Q: My blood pressure is 140/90. Is this dangerous enough for me to be on blood pressure medicine? My blood pressure was always normal before my last two visits to the doctor. I am very nervous and experience anxiety attacks. My age is 58, and my doctor wants me to take Moduretic. I am afraid of taking the medication and would prefer to try diet and breathing exercises.

A: Once blood pressure is consistently elevated to 140/90 or greater, it should be treated. Since you suffer from anxiety, “white coat hypertension” or elevated blood pressure only at the doctor’s office is a possibility. You might want to monitor your blood pressure at home and discuss your findings with your doctor. Alternative treatments to medication may be appropriate at your level of hypertension. Discuss your fears with your doctor and ask about other treatments such as the RESPeRATE.

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