Monday, July 25, 2022
HomeFactsCan Low Blood Pressure Cause Headaches

Can Low Blood Pressure Cause Headaches

How To Prevent Hypertension Headaches

Dizziness, balance problems, and blood pressure swings can be from upper cervical instability

Hypertension is a lifestyle-based disease and can be managed by a change in lifestyle. It is possible to reduce the frequency and manage hypertension headaches on your own in the following ways:

Responding quickly to headaches

The first thing you should do is determine whether your headache is caused by severe high blood pressure or if it is caused by something else like stress, dehydration, eye strain, or migraines. If you experience headaches, you can check your blood pressure level to determine your next step.

You can take over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen if your blood pressure is lower than 180/120mm Hg. If you suffer from migraines and have been prescribed triptan medication, take a single dose immediately if you feel a headache.

You should talk to your doctor about which over-the-counter drugs are safe to use and whether you can mix them with your current medications.

Sometimes, disassociating yourself from the chaotic environment can help you manage your headaches. Find a peaceful, dark, and cool place to lie down. Shut out your thoughts for a minute, and relax. If the headache is mild, it should go away with this.

If you are experiencing a hypertension crisis, over-the-counter medication and calming down will not work. Access emergency medical attention if you experience chest pains, nausea, distorted vision, or other extreme symptoms.

Lowering your blood pressure

In Most Cases High Blood Pressure Does Not Cause Headaches Or Nosebleeds

  • The best evidence indicates that high blood pressure does not cause headaches or nosebleeds, except in the case of hypertensive crisis, a medical emergency when blood pressure is 180/120 mm Hg or higher. If your blood pressure is unusually high AND you have headache or nosebleed and are feeling unwell, wait five minutes and retest. If your reading remains at 180/120 mm Hg or higher, call 911.
  • If you are experiencing severe headaches or nosebleeds and are otherwise unwell, contact your doctor as they could be symptoms of other health conditions.

Can Having A Migraine Attack Or Being In Pain Cause High Blood Pressure

As mentioned above, being in pain or stress, or being anxious, can cause blood pressure elevation. If this situation happens on a frequent basis and your blood pressure keeps becoming elevated to the point that it is considered high, you may be in a situation similar to white coat hypertension and should be monitored over the next few years by your health care provider to see if you develop hypertension.

Read Also: How To Check Orthostatic Blood Pressure

How Is Sih Diagnosed

If you think that have the symptoms of SIH, its important to consult your doctor to conduct a series of tests. From the Trendelenburg test, where the patient lies flat and the exam is tilted to lower the head, imaging studies such as an MRI scan, CT scan or cisternogram, can help to determine if SIH is the cause of the headaches. Still, even through diagnostic testing, a substantial minority of patients may have normal results.

Does High Blood Pressure Cause Headaches Or Other Symptoms

Can Low Blood Pressure Cause Headaches?

Q.My friend insists that she can feel when she has high blood pressure, because her face flushes and she gets a headache. Is this possible?

A. In almost all instances people cannot feel high blood pressure and are unaware that they have it. This is why it is often referred to as a silent killer.

It is usually only when a person is in the midst of what is known as a hypertensive crisis a period of extremely high blood pressure with a reading of 180/120 millimeters of mercury or higher that she or he will experience symptoms, such as a headache. This is considered a medical crisis, and if it occurs, you should call 911 and get emergency help.

However, even in these instances, high blood pressure cant be diagnosed based on symptoms alone. The only way to truly tell if you have elevated blood pressure is to take a reading with a blood pressure cuff.

If your friend is experiencing frequent headaches and other symptoms shes attributing to high blood pressure, it might be wise for her to visit her doctor to make sure another condition isnt causing the problem. If she does have uncontrolled high blood pressure, she should also be certain to work with her doctor to manage her condition. Unchecked, high blood pressure can lead to numerous complications, including damage to your arteries, brain, heart, and kidneys.

by Hope Ricciotti, M.D., and Toni Golen, M.D.Editors in Chief, Harvard Womens Health Watch

Recommended Reading: Can I Calibrate My Omron Blood Pressure Machine

Recommended Reading: How To Measure Blood Pressure At Home

Blood Pressure Drug Appears To Prevent Migraines

Jan. 5, 2000 Researcher Harald Schrader, MD, says serendipity played a large role in his decision to study a popular blood pressure drug as a preventive therapy for migraines. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology professor says he had suffered from crippling headaches for several years when he also was found to have high blood pressure.

I was placed on lisinopril, and my headaches got better almost immediately, Schrader tells WebMD. Soon after that, we gave the drug to a woman we were treating for disabling migraines who also had borderline high blood pressure. A few weeks later, we got a hand-written, four-page letter from her telling us that the treatment had given her a new life.

Schrader and colleagues now have more scientific evidence that lisinopril, which goes under various trade names such as Prinivil or Zestril and is among the class of high blood pressure medicines known as ACE inhibitors, really does prevent migraines. In the Jan. 6 issue of the British Medical Journal, they report that the therapy appears to work as well as other preventive agents with fewer side effects.

In nearly a third of the patients, symptoms were reduced by half while on lisinopril. These patients also had fewer overall days with migraine.

Mathew says the most important thing a patient can do is find a doctor who is knowledgeable about the treatment of migraines.

Show Sources

High Blood Pressure Headaches And Other Hypertension Symptoms

Your blood pressure headache may be exactly what you might guess based on the feelings of pain and pressure in your head. As it feels like, that headache is the result of too much pressure in your head.

Other hypertension symptoms are also rare. You might not ever get them or you might get one or more of them only when you have a hypertensive crisis, which can be a medical emergency.

  • Nosebleeds
  • Blood spots in your eyes, or subconjunctival conjunctivitis
  • Reddening of the face, or facial flushing, in the heat, cold, or wind, or after eating spicy foods or drinking hot beverages, or at other times.

Since these symptoms can indicate a hypertensive crisis, contact your healthcare provider or get medical care immediately if you have them.

Also Check: Which Tea Is Good For High Blood Pressure

How To Treat A Headache

No matter what the cause, those with a headache seek fast relief. However, if you do have diagnosed high blood pressure and are on medication to treat it, its important to be mindful of which treatment you choose.

Always check the label of your medications and make sure that you wont be doing more harm than good with the way you choose to treat your headache.

Conditions That Can Cause Low Blood Pressure

Low Pressure HeadachesWhat Are You Missing?

Certain conditions can cause long periods of hypotension that can become dangerous if left untreated. These conditions include:

  • pregnancy, due to an increase in demand for blood from both the pregnant person and the growing fetus
  • impaired circulation caused by a heart attack or heart condition
  • dehydration, for example if youre vomiting and cant keep liquids down, or have severe diarrhea
  • endocrine disorders, such as diabetes, adrenal insufficiency, and thyroid disease
  • autonomic dysfunction, damage to the nerves that control some bodily functions
  • prolonged bed rest

Don’t Miss: How To Decrease High Blood Pressure

What Are The Causes Of A Hypertension Headache

The main cause of hypertension headache is high blood pressure a blood pressure higher than 180/110mm Hg.² Hypertension headache may also result from other factors, such as:

  • Pheochromocytoma, i.e., malignant or benign tumors on the adrenal glands

  • Severe increase in blood pressure without damage or disease of the brain

  • Severe increase in blood pressure causing damage or disease of the brain

  • Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, i.e., a sudden increase in blood pressure in third-trimester pregnant mothers and post-delivery mothers

  • Critical blood pressure response to external factors such as the use of or withdrawal from drugs

Causes Of Sudden Drops In Blood Pressure

A sudden drop of blood pressure is more likely to cause symptoms of hypotension, such as headache, fatigue, and dizziness. Sudden drops in blood pressure may be life-threatening, depending on the cause.

Orthostatic hypotension is a common cause of sudden blood pressure drop that occurs with standing. This can be caused or worsened by dehydration, certain medications , problems with the nervous system , and Parkinson’s disease.

You May Like: Why Would Blood Pressure Be High

What Is Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension

In the simplest of terms, SIH is a low-pressure headache. Intracranial hypotension literally means that there is low spinal fluid pressure in the brain. In SIH, there is a leak of spinal fluid from the spine, either in the neck or mid-back area. Spinal fluid bathes the brain, cushioning it from impact against the skull when the head moves. The brain makes spinal fluid continuously, and absorbs it at the same rate, creating a delicate balance that keeps the spinal fluid volume and pressure normal.

Treatments For Hypertensive Headaches

How To Help High Blood Pressure Headache

If people have headaches as a result of high blood pressure, they should seek immediate medical attention. Without treatment, there is a risk of further organ damage or unwanted side effects.

Doctors classify hypertensive headaches with other related symptoms as a hypertensive emergency. This condition often requires blood pressure control with intravenous medications.

Examples of these medications include:

  • nicardipine
  • nitroglycerin
  • sodium nitroprusside

It is essential that people do not try to lower their blood pressure at home, even if they have the medications. Reducing blood pressure too quickly can affect the blood flow to the brain, causing unwanted side effects.

Instead, they should go to an emergency room where doctors can help them to lower their blood pressure in a safe, controlled environment.

Recommended Reading: What Helps Bring Blood Pressure Down

Acute Pressure Response To An Exogenous Agent

In any patient who complains of headache and we detect a high blood pressure, it is essential to review his/her drugs and ask the patient about cocaine abuse. Acute pressure response to an exogenous agent may cause a hypertensive emergency. The most famous of the agents include cocaine, amphetamines, oral contraceptives, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors , especially when interacting with tyramine-containing foods. Hypertensive emergency may also occur following the withdrawal of beta-blockers, alpha-stimulants , or alcohol.36 Criteria related to this type of headache are listed in Table 7.1

If You Notice A Sudden Decline In Blood Pressure

A single lower-than-normal reading is not cause for alarm, unless you are experiencing any other symptoms or problems. If you experience any dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea or other symptoms, its a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider. To help with your diagnosis, keep a record of your symptoms and activities at the time they occurred.

Is low blood pressure related to low heart rate? Find out.

Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.

Last Reviewed: Oct 31, 2016

Read Also: Why Does Salt Raise Blood Pressure

Can Low Blood Pressure Cause Headaches

More than often people ponder over “Can low blood pressure cause headaches” and the answer is yes. Any discrepancy in blood pressure can lead to a headache. Usually, low blood pressure headaches are called orthostatic or are also called spontaneous intracranial hypotension .

Foods To Eat With Low Blood Pressure

Spontaneous Low CSF Pressure Headache

Certain foods can help increase blood pressure, including

  • Low carb foods
  • Foods rich in vitamin B12 like meat, eggs, milk products, fortified breakfast cereals, and few nutritional yeast edibles
  • Foods that are rich in folates like dark leafy green vegetables, nuts, fruits, beans, eggs, meat, seafood, poultry, and grains.

Don’t Miss: Hypertension Can Cause Which Of The Following

Feed Yourself With Proper Diet

You need to have a proper diet plan in order to control low blood pressure and then the headache. Lack of various nutrients can be the major cause you are being targeted from hypotension. Plan your diet according to your needs and requirements. Include proper amount of protein, vitamins, carbohydrates and most important, include fruits and vegetables to your diet.

Falls And Related Injuries

A sudden drop in blood pressure may make you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or even lose consciousness . These symptoms can come on quickly, causing falls or other injuries.

Falls are a major cause of hospitalization for older adults. Older adults are more likely to experience hypotension after standing up or eating. Treatment and lifestyle changes can help you manage hypotension symptoms.

You May Like: How To Improve Low Blood Pressure

Can A Migraine Cause High Blood Pressure

During migraine attacks, some people report elevated blood pressure, which may be part of an autonomic response to pain, says Teshamae Monteith, MD, the chief of the headache division at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida, who is also on the editorial board of the American Migraine Foundation.

People may not have blood pressure problems between migraine attacks, but when migraine attacks are frequent, blood pressure abnormalities become more concerning, Dr. Monteith says, noting that in such cases, a doctor may prescribe hypertension medications such as beta-blockers to help prevent migraine attacks.

In other cases, headache accompanied by high blood pressure can sometimes be a sign of another underlying condition, says Monteith. This can be particularly true in cases of supine hypertension, in which a persons blood pressure rises when they lie down.

People with sleep apnea may also experience both migraine and hypertension in the morning, and rare conditions such as pheochromocytoma, or tumors in the endocrine system, can also cause high blood pressure alongside intermittent headaches, she says.

Does High Blood Pressure Cause Headaches

What Does A High Blood Pressure Headache Feel Like / High Blood ...

in the United States. This common condition has little to no symptoms, which means that many people who have high blood pressure dont even know that they have it.

Having high blood pressure is also a strong indicator of increased risk for:

Thats why its important to have your blood pressure checked at least annually by a medical professional.

Theres ongoing medical research into the correlation between high blood pressure and headaches.

The verdict is out on whether high blood pressure can cause headaches. Some studies indicate that theres no connection, while others show strong correlation between the two.

The American Heart Association supports research that claims headaches arent a symptom of high blood pressure, except in the case of hypertensive crisis.

Theres one thing that we do know, however. Very high blood pressure can trigger an event known as malignant hypertension. Malignant hypertension is also referred to as a hypertensive crisis.

During a hypertensive crisis, pressure in the cranium builds as a result of your blood pressure suddenly spiking up to critical levels. The resulting headache feels unlike any other kind of migraine or head pain. Traditional headache treatments such as aspirin are ineffective to relieve the pain.

In addition to a headache, malignant hypertension usually is associated with:

Also Check: What Causes Top Number Of Blood Pressure To Be High

How Is Hypertension Headache Treated

Doctors classify hypertension headache as a secondary headache and as a hypertensive emergency. The condition requires gradual lowering of blood pressure through intravenous medication.

Common IV medications used on hypertensive headache patients include:

  • Nitroglycerin

Fast reduction of blood pressure can be fatal, and the effects of the medical therapies need to be monitored. Report to the emergency room near you to have doctors lower your blood pressure safely and in a controlled environment.

Changing your lifestyle, however, can help you avoid hypertension headaches.

What Is Low Blood Pressure

Your blood pushes against your arteries with every heartbeat. The force of blood pushing against your artery walls is called blood pressure.

Blood pressure goes up and down in response to your regular activities, such as sleeping and moving around. The medical term for low blood pressure is hypotension.

Blood pressure is made up of two measurements: when your heart beats, and in the periods of rest between heartbeats.

  • Systolic pressure is the measurement of your blood pumping through your arteries when the ventricles of the heart squeeze. Systole supplies your body with blood.
  • Diastolic pressure is the measurement for the periods of rest. Diastole supplies your heart with blood by filling the coronary arteries.

Your blood pressure reading is made up of two numbers: first the systolic measure, then the diastolic measure. Having a lower blood pressure is good in most cases .

But low blood pressure can sometimes make you feel tired or dizzy. In those cases, hypotension can be a sign of an underlying condition that should be treated. Hypotension in adults is defined as a blood pressure reading of lower than

There are several types of hypotension. Low blood pressure is categorized according to when it happens and whats causing it.

You May Like: How Often Should You Check Your Blood Pressure

RELATED ARTICLES

Popular Articles