Living With High Blood Pressure
Controlling your high blood pressure is a lifelong commitment. You will always need to monitor your weight, make healthy food choices, exercise, learn to cope with stress, avoid smoking, and limit your alcohol intake. If you need medicine to control your high blood pressure, you will likely need it all your life.
Additionally, you will need to get used to regular blood pressure checks. Your doctor may want you to come to the office regularly. Or you may be asked to check your blood pressure at home and keep track of your numbers for your doctor. Some pharmacies and retail clinics have blood pressure machines on site. You can buy your own, automated arm blood pressure cuff for use at home. Your doctor may want you to check your blood pressure several times a day. Another option is to use an ambulatory blood pressure monitor.
Managing Migraines At Home
People who have regular, frequent, or unmanageable migraines should getadvice from their doctor. The doctor should check their blood pressure at the same time, to rule out any link with blood pressure that should be treated.
Some people with migraines may find that they can identify triggers some people get migraines after certain foods, with hormonal changes, with illness, stress, or anxiety. Being able to recognise and manage these triggers, or at least anticipate the possibility of a migraine can help with migraine management.
Managing a migraine attack is also quite an individual process many people find that being in a darkened room or trying to sleep can help. Taking a dose of a simple painkiller like paracetamol at the very start of the symptoms can help to reduce the overall severity of the migraine.
If simple home management of migraine isnt working, or theyre frequent and severe enough to have an impact on your day-to-day life, a doctor may consider further investigations or can prescribe stronger treatment for migraine. If nausea and vomiting are a problem, anti-sickness medication can also be prescribed.
Change In Mental Status
This can be a difficult symptom to deal with because when we become confused we may not be able to respond with appropriate judgment. Its important that people who are usually around you are able to recognize the signs of changes in mental status: muddled thinking, changes in speech, unusual behavior and even simply reduced activity. There are many other possible causes for this symptom besides hypertension, including stroke or possibly an unreported head injury, so always seek medical attention if you experience changes in consciousness. Make sure that family members and caregivers know what to watch for, and know that any sign of quickly changing mental status is an emergency that requires immediate medical response.
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Blood Pressure Medication And Migraine
It is not unusual for a person who has both migraines and hypertension to begin taking their blood pressure medication and find that their migraines improve. Interestingly, some of the same medications that are used to lower high blood pressure are also often prescribed as preventative migraine medications. This does not necessarily mean that you have a blood pressure migraine or that your migraine is related to your hypertension. It just means that the medication can effectively address both issues.
A class of blood pressure medications called beta blockers is one of the more effective methods of reducing frequency and severity of migraine headaches, says Dr. Dalvi. Medications in this category include propranolol and timolol both of which have been approved for migraine prevention by the FDA. However, they should be avoided in patients with asthma, diabetes or heart block. These medications reduce the activity of the sympathetic system but their exact mechanism in migraine prevention is unknown.
These are not perfect drugs though, despite the possibility that they can treat both hypertension and migraine. At least one study showed an increased risk of mood disorders like depression among patients taking beta blockers. This should not dissuade you from considering these medications, but if you are prone to depression you should talk to your doctor before starting these types of medications.
Get Regular Bp Checks
Some people do not even know that they are suffering from hypertension until they check their blood pressure. This is the reason why it’s important to get an accurate BP reading to get a clear picture of your risk of heart disease and stroke. Normal blood pressure levels are less than 120/80 mmHg. No matter your age, it is essential to keep your blood pressure under this level to mitigate the risk of developing health problems.
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How Can I Tell If I Have High Blood Pressure Without A Machine
What if I dont have the required equipment? Your resting heart rate, which is another indicator of heart health, does not require the use of a blood pressure cuff. Blood pressure and heart rate are normally displayed on digital monitors, but you can check your pulse manually to ascertain the former.
Headache Caused By An Adrenal Tumor
The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and make many of the hormones the body needs to work. Sometimes headaches are caused by an adrenal tumor . The tumor can cause quick increases in blood pressure that in turn cause headaches. Symptoms of this type of headache are:3
- Head pain that lasts 15 minutes to 1 hour
- Severe pulsing or constant pain
- Come with sweating, palpitations, anxiety, and paleness
The headache goes away when blood pressure lowers or the tumor is removed.
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If High Blood Pressure Drug Side Effects Bother You
Partner with your doctor. Ask if there are any steps you can take to lessen medication side effects. For example, to lessen the effects of low blood pressure, it may help to avoid standing for a long time in the sun. In some cases, side effects such as fatigue or diarrhea may subside with time. In other cases, your doctor may change the dosage or prescribe another high blood pressure medication. A combination of medications sometimes works better than one medication alone by not only improving high blood pressure control but also by reducing side effects.
Also, when you first start a new high blood pressure medicine, be aware of rare allergic reactions. Call 911 right away if you develop hives, wheezing, vomiting, light-headedness, or swelling in your throat or face.
Medications May Cause Low Blood Pressure
Medications used to treat conditions other than low blood pressure may cause low blood pressure as a side effect. Erectile dysfunction medications such as sildenafil , tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline , and Parkinsons medications such as levodopa-carbidopa , are a few medications whose side effects may include low blood pressure. Narcotic pain medications and alcohol also decrease blood pressure.
When blood pressure medications work too well, low blood pressure may result. Angiotensin-receptor blockers , calcium channel blockers , beta blockers, and diuretics are some types of blood pressure medications.
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How Blood Pressure Can Cause Headaches
Blood pressure is one of the three primary vital signs taken every time you visit your doctor. The blood pressure test measures how much pressure is put on your arterial walls when the heart beats and when it is at rest . The blood pressure value is depicted with the systolic pressure in the numerator and the diastolic in the denominator of a fraction.
Normal blood pressure is different for everybody, but typically falls into an acceptable range of numbers. Both high blood pressure, hypertension, and low blood pressure, hypotension, can lead to headaches.
Your blood pressure may be higher or lower that what is considered normal but still be normal for you. The only way to establish your normal blood pressure is to monitor it frequently over time. Blood pressure that is far outside acceptable norms should be treated right away.
High blood pressure may be the result of obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a special type of TMJ disorder known to cause high blood pressure and other medical problems.
Visit the leading online authority for alternative sleep apnea treatment, IHateCPAP.com, for more information about the dangers of sleep apnea.
How Can I Prevent Headaches
The key to preventing headaches is figuring out what triggers them. Triggers are very specific to each person what gives you a headache may not be a problem for others. Once you determine your triggers, you can avoid or minimize them.
For example, you may find that strong scents set you off. Avoiding perfumes and scented products can make a big difference in how many headaches you have. The same goes for other common triggers like troublesome foods, lack of sleep and poor posture.
Many people, however, are not able to avoid triggers or are unable to identify triggers. In that case, a more personalized multidisciplinary approach with a headache specialist is often necessary.
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High Blood Pressure Treatment
The best way to lower blood pressure begins with changes you can make to your lifestyle to help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. Additionally, your doctor may prescribe medicine to lower your blood pressure. These are called antihypertensive medicines.
The goal of treatment is to reduce your blood pressure to normal levels. Your doctor may prescribe medicine thats easy to take and has few, if any, side effects. This treatment is highly successful. If your blood pressure can only be controlled with medicine, youll need to take the medicine for the rest of your life. It is common to need more than one medicine to help control your blood pressure. Dont stop taking the medicine without talking with your doctor. Otherwise, you may increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
Hypertension: The Silent Killer
Blood flows through your blood vessels and the force varies second to second anyway, so why does it matter if blood pressure is high? That is, why is hypertension so dangerous? Hypertension is called the silent killer for two reasons.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure, and aneurysms without previous symptoms or warning signs. That is why it is important to know your blood pressure and treat it if you have hypertension.
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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. Criteria related to this type of headache are listed in .
What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure In A Woman
You can have high blood pressure and experience no obvious symptoms until you experience a stroke or heart attack. In some people, severe high blood pressure can result in nosebleeds, headaches, or dizziness. Because hypertension can sneak up on you, its especially important to monitor your blood pressure regularly.
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How To Get Rid Of High Blood Pressure Headaches
Extremely frequently those that are afflicted by hypertension encounter headaches that are occasionally extreme. Most frequently, pressure headaches and serious early morning headaches are associated with higher blood pressure. Based on the scientist, the principal purpose for this lies in the constriction of the blood vessels within the skull because of the elevated blood strain. On the other hand, it really is nicely identified that anxiety plays a vital part in inducing stress headaches, which indicates that high blood strain is only a contributing aspect rather than the primary culprit. On the other aspect, severe morning headaches are extra than widespread in people who suffer from significant blood strain, however, the main culprits for his or her presence are inadequate sleep, stress, and sleeping in improper placement. Besides, alcoholism and depression are carefully related to the early morning headaches, too as high blood pressure, meaning that they all virtually go hand in hand regardless of the cause.
Cluster headaches can also be associated with substantial blood stress, but only inside the way that this issue can moreover aggravate them since they happen for a number of reasons and great blood pressure just isnt 1 of them.
What can be completed to ease the pressure?
Lower high blood pressure
If you are already suffering from high blood pressure should avoid foods containing salt like potassium, magnesium and calcium.
Looking For A List Of Symptoms
If you are looking for a list of symptoms and signs of high blood pressure , you wont find them here. This is because most of the time, there are none.
Myth: People with high blood pressure will experience symptoms, like nervousness, sweating, difficulty sleeping or facial flushing.
Truth: High blood pressure is a largely symptomless silent killer. If you ignore your blood pressure because you think a certain symptom or sign will alert you to the problem, you are taking a dangerous chance with your life.
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Lung Conditions Associated With Shortness Of Breath
Emphysema: This is a type of COPD that causes poor lung function and is most often caused by smoking. Not smoking or quitting is the best prevention and treatment, but COPD diseases can also be treated with antibiotics, inhaled steroids, and bronchodilators.
Asthma: Asthma is the inflammation of the airways causing them to narrow, which limits breathing and causes tightness in the chest and coughing. The severity of asthma ranges from person to person, and it is a fairly common condition. Asthma is a life-long condition, and it can be treated both short-term with inhalers and long-term with medications such as inhaled corticosteroids.
Pneumonia: Pneumonia is a lung infection that causes inflammation and fluid accumulation. Most types are contagious, and it can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. Pneumonia is treated with medications to alleviate symptoms and antibiotics.
Pulmonary edema: This condition is marked by excess fluid accumulation in the lungs and can be related to heart issues. Shortness of breath is the most common symptom of this condition, and it can be treated with medications and oxygen therapy.
Cold and Flu: Cold and flu viruses impact your airways and lungs and can cause congestion, which interferes with breathing. They can also cause fluid to enter the lungs, which will also cause shortness of breath as a result of inflamed airways. There is no treatment for viruses, so symptoms are treated to keep individuals comfortable.
Evidence Supporting The Idea
According to a paper in the , headaches due to high blood pressure typically occur on both sides of the head.
The headache pain tends to pulsate and often gets worse with physical activity.
According to the authors, high blood pressure can cause headaches because it affects the blood-brain barrier.
Hypertension can result in excess pressure on the brain, which can cause blood to leak from the blood vessels in this organ.
This causes edema, or swelling, which is problematic because the brain sits within the skull and has no space to expand.
The swelling places further pressure on the brain and causes symptoms that include a headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, weakness, seizures, and blurred vision. If a person receives treatment to lower their blood pressure, their symptoms will usually improve within an hour.
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Can High Blood Pressure Cause Migraine Or Can Migraine Cause High Blood Pressure
Raised blood pressure doesnt usually cause any symptoms, but a hypertensive crisis acute dangerously high blood pressure can have significant symptoms.
Some people do get migraines with high blood pressure, but the link between the two is quite complex. Migraines and high blood pressure can each have the same cause. A person is more likely to have a migraine or high blood pressure when they are ill, stressed, depressed, reacting to food intolerances, doing sudden strenuous exercise, or for lots of other reasons. This means that migraine and high blood pressure may sometimes happen at the same time because they have the same underlying cause.
Blood pressure can be raised when someone is unwell, under stress, or for lots of other reasons, so someone suffering from a migraine an acute episode of pain and other unpleasant symptoms might have elevated blood pressure as a result. People who report having the kind of migraine that comes with an aura people often describe flashing lights and similar symptoms before a migraine are at a slightly increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The mechanisms of this link arent fully understood, but it does mean that people who suffer from migraines should be aware of their risk of cardiovascular disease and manage their other risk factors as well as they can.
Does High Blood Pressure Cause Headaches Or Other Symptoms
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 can’t 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 she’s attributing to high blood pressure, it might be wise for her to visit her doctor to make sure another condition isn’t 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 Women’s Health Watch
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