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Why Does High Blood Pressure Cause Headaches

Can A Migraine Cause High Blood Pressure

HBP 046- How is High Blood Pressure linked to headaches

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.

High Blood Pressure: Lifestyle Changes To Reduce Reading

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Nosebleeds are usually not a sign of anything serious and are most often treated at home. But persistent or long-lasting nosebleeds can be linked to having high blood pressure, which can cause a multitude of other health problems.

Nosebleeds are pretty common and most people will experience them every now and again. Anyone can get a nosebleed, but they most often affect:

  • children between two and 10 years of age
  • elderly people
  • people who take blood thinning medication such as aspirin or anticoagulants, such as warfarin
  • people with blood clotting disorders, such as haemophilia

Beware Of This Symptom Triad

A classic symptom trio is highly suspicious for a brain aneurysm:

Headache One eyelid drooping Pupils of noticeably unequal size

There may also be double vision. If youre having any of these symptoms along with a headache, you should be driven to the emergency room.

Though headaches as solitary symptoms normally dont mean anything sinister, the game changes when the other symptoms are present. Get to the ER!

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Evidence Contradicting The Idea

maintain that people do not usually experience headaches when their blood pressure is high unless it goes above a reading of 180/120.

Researchers have also looked at whether having regular headaches might affect a persons overall heart health.

A study in the American Journal of Hypertension followed 1,914 people with hypertension for 30 years and monitored their headaches. The results showed no link between the regular occurrence of headaches and the likelihood of cardiovascular mortality.

Therefore, there is no indication that people who have regular headaches not relating to high blood pressure will have heart problems. The researchers propose that headaches might signal a need for treatment and make people more likely to take antihypertensive medications where necessary.

Not all people with high blood pressure will experience symptoms. As a result, high blood pressure is known as a silent killer.

When blood pressure increases rapidly and severely, typically up to readings of 180/120 or higher, this is known as a hypertensive crisis.

If a person has dangerously high blood pressure but no other symptoms, the condition is called hypertensive urgency. If they are experiencing additional symptoms, it is a hypertensive emergency.

Other symptoms can include:

What Causes Your Diabetes Headaches

Does high blood pressure cause headaches or other symptoms ...

For many people, having a headache is, unfortunately, a fact of life. Headaches are extremely common, and the World Health Organization states that almost half of adults are estimated to have a headache over the course of a year. There are many different types of headaches, ranging from migraines to tension headaches to cluster headaches and even ice cream headaches that result from eating or drinking something that is extremely cold. Headaches can also occur due to sinus infections, high blood pressure, and medications. If you have diabetes, headaches are even more common. Given all of the possible causes of headaches, its not surprising that so many people suffer from them.

For those who have diabetes and find that a pounding head is more than just a passing nuisance, its time to sort out possible causes. Some of the likely culprits may be directly related to your diabetes. Lets take a look at five ways diabetes causes headaches.

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What Are Hypertension Headaches

The pain of these headaches is usually felt on both sides of the head and pulses or throbs. The pain goes away when the persons blood pressure goes down. High blood pressure in these cases means:1

  • A systolic number of 180 mmHg or higher
  • A diastolic number of 120 mmHg or higher

Lower levels of high blood pressure do not seem to cause headaches. Mid-range high blood pressure may lead to headaches but doctors are not completely sure.1

Hypertension headaches are known as secondary headaches. This means that the headache is caused by an underlying health condition. A severe headache may be a sign of dangerously high blood pressure.

Are There More Headaches Or Fewer

It has been noted for decades that people with high blood pressure seem to suffer more frequent and severe headaches. The science and physiology behind headaches offer support to this observation, as well increased blood pressure causes a phenomenon called autoregulation in the blood vessels that run through the tissue underneath the skull . In other words, the autoregulation leads to constriction of these blood vessels, a very well known cause of headache symptoms.

Research from Norway, though, hints that people with high blood pressure may actually have fewer headaches than those with normal blood pressure. The studies, conducted in Norwegian patients and published in a large medical journal in the United States, were designed as a follow-up to earlier research and found that people with elevated, untreated high blood pressure were as much as 50% less likely to suffer a headache than were patients with similar health profiles but normal blood pressure.

Researchers dont yet know why elevated blood pressure protects against headaches. Theories range from altered levels of certain hormones and blood chemicals to differences in artery stiffness arteries tend to become stiffer as blood pressure rises, one of the main reasons that high blood pressure can lead to blood vessel damage.

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Risks Of High Blood Pressure

If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.

Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as:

  • have a relative with high blood pressure
  • are of black African or black Caribbean descent
  • live in a deprived area

Making healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure if it’s already high.

Acute Pressure Response To An Exogenous Agent

What causes frontal headache with high blood pressure? – Dr. Sharat Honnatti

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 .

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Understanding High Blood Pressure

About 45% of adults in America have high blood pressure. Also known as hypertension, this condition is the most common type of cardiovascular disease. It occurs when the pressure that moves blood through the body is too high or forceful. When blood moves too hard and fast through the arteries and veins it causes damage to them. This can lead to organ damage as well as life threatening conditions like stroke and heart disease.

Blood pressure is measured by two numbers in a single reading. The first number, systolic pressure, is the force or pressure that is in the arteries each time the heart beats. The second number, diastolic pressure, is the force or pressure that is in the arteries when the heart rests between each beat. Normal blood pressure is around 120 mm HG over 80 mm HG in adults, but it can become elevated in time of stress or physical exertion. It is also normal for different people to have a different blood pressure normal.

People who have a blood pressure that is 130/80 or higher at least twice may have a problem with high blood pressure. When blood pressure is slightly over 120 mm HG systolic or slightly more than 80 mm HG diastolic it is considered to be prehypertension. Approximately 75 million American adults are prehypertensive. However, even at this stage the risk of damage to the brain, heart, arteries, and kidneys is increased.

Does High Blood Pressure Cause Nosebleeds

Whether high blood pressure is a cause of nosebleeds remains up for debate by doctors and scientists.

Hypertension is not known to directly cause nosebleeds, however, it is believed the blood vessels in your nose are more susceptible to damage if you have high blood pressure.

A study in 2020 of 35,749 participants found that those with a history of high blood pressure had an increased risk of intense nosebleeds ones that require a visit to hospital in comparison with people who had no history of high blood pressure.

And, according to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure is not a cause of nosebleeds unless your blood pressure levels are extremely high, known as a hypertensive crisis.

A hypertensive crisis is a sudden spike in your blood pressure over 180/120 mm Hg that can be life-threatening.

When your blood pressure reaches or raises above this level, you are significantly more at risk of a heart attack or stoke, as well as kidney and eye damage.

Frequent nosebleeds can be a sign of a hypertensive crisis as the blood vessels in the nose are easily damaged.

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Other symptoms include headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, confusion and severe anxiety.

In 2019, the British Heart Foundation reported that just over a quarter of adults in the UK around 14.4 million people have high blood pressure.

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Can Blood Pressure Pills Cause Headaches

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In General There Does Not Appear To Be An Association Between High Blood Pressure And Headache

Does High Blood Pressure Cause Headaches?

Importantly, here we are talking about general increased blood pressure and not a hypertensive emergency that is discussed a little later. An article outlining some new treatments for extremely high uncontrolled blood pressure is linked here. Many articles, book chapters and other publications have previously, or continue to report that there is an association between high blood pressure and headaches. It has certainly been documented that very, very high blood pressure can cause headache, but does high blood pressure to a lesser degree cause headache? Many of the early studies that looked at this failed to account for a large number of other possible causes of headache.

Recently better-designed studies have looked at this and most have demonstrated that there is not an association between the high blood pressure and headache. This is even true for moderate or severely elevated high blood pressure. The studies appear to be believable and have used robust methods of blood pressure monitoring including wearable blood pressure monitors.

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Pheochromocytoma The Rare Tumor That Causes Extremely High Blood Pressure And Headache

Pheochromocytoma is a rare tumor and a rare cause of uncontrolled very high blood pressure. The classic triad of things associated with a pheochromocytoma is episodic headaches, palpitations and sweating. The headaches are typically associated with palpitations, sweating and anxiety. These symptoms, along with the markedly elevated blood pressure are due to hormones / biochemical substances produced by the tumor. The diagnosis is typically made with blood tests.

The Link Between These Two Conditions Is Complicated And Worth Discussing With Your Doctor

Many people who lead reasonably healthy lives are surprised when they find out that they have high blood pressure. High blood pressure affects one in three adults in the U.S.1 Often, people dont show symptoms, which is why high blood pressure can lead to health problems such as heart attacks, heart disease, and strokes.2

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What Is Hypertensive Encephalopathy

Sometimes an infection or other disease will cause blood pressure to rise dramatically. This in turn leads to problems with how the brain works or hypertensive encephalopathy. Hypertensive encephalopathy may result in:3

  • Severe headache
  • Nose bleed
  • Shortness of breath

This condition is more common in people who already have some level of high blood pressure. It happens most often in people between 40 and 50 years old, men, and people who are Black. A hypertensive crisis may be caused by kidney disease, Cushings disease, cocaine or PCP use, and misuse of certain prescription drugs. This headache goes away when blood pressure drops to more normal levels.3

Managing High Blood Pressure

Headaches and Blood Pressure

If you have a diagnosis of high blood pressure or are at increased risk, your doctor may recommend that you haveregular check-ups where they will check your blood pressure and other vital signs and can give advice or prescribe medications to help keep your blood pressure and other related conditions under control.Care services are available to support people with high blood pressure to make healthy lifestyle choices, monitor their condition, and follow their treatment plans.

Blood pressure is a condition which has a complex range of contributing factors and risk factors. Some of therisk factors for high blood pressure can be changed our lifestyles have a huge bearing on our risk of hypertension and vascular diseases.

A sensible healthy diet, plenty of exercise, and not smoking or drinking too much alcohol are the best things we can do to improve our blood pressure readings and reduce our risk of some serious health conditions. Reaching or maintaining a healthy weight is important for lots of reasons, and when were trying to reduce high blood pressure, that can include learning to manage stress in our everyday lives.

If you are prescribed medications for high blood pressure or any other condition, make sure you take them as directed and talk to your doctor if youre thinking about stopping them, or if you have any problematic side-effects.

Also, if youre looking for someone to care for your loved ones:

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Have At Least 5 Servings Of Fruits And Vegetables A Day

A healthy diet is crucial for reducing and maintaining optimal levels of blood pressure. It is important to have at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day to keep your blood pressure in control, according to the expert. Include fruits and vegetables in your diet that contain nutrients such as potassium and magnesium that help alleviate BP levels.

High Blood Pressure And Headache Conclusion

High blood pressure at moderate or even severe levels are not thought to be a cause of headache however, dangerously high levels of blood pressure may well be associated with headache as a symptoms. Uncommonly, there may be other conditions that can lead to both high blood pressure and headaches as symptoms.

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Htn Crisis Without Encephalopathy

Hypertensive crisis is an acute and severe elevation in blood pressure often described as SBP > 180 mmHg, or DBP > 120 mmHg. However, according to the International Headache Classification , the definition is somewhat different . It is discussed in the two subtypes of hypertensive urgency and hypertensive emergency depending on absence or presence of end organ damage, respectively. In addition, higher levels of blood pressure are observed in emergent condition. It is estimated that one to two percent of the hypertensive patients experience at least one episode of crisis in their life. The majority of patients have a history of established primary or secondary HTN.

There is a peak of incidence for HTN crisis between the ages of 40 and 50 years. It is more common in males and African Americans. Patients with uncontrolled HTN may be at a higher risk of developing a crisis, although data is inadequate in this regard.

Some disorders and medical conditions are related to hypertensive crisis renal disorders , Cushing’s disease, poor medication compliance, cocaine and PCP abuse, abrupt withdrawal of some antihypertensive agents such as clonidine, and etcetera.

Headache, epistaxis, faintness, psychomotor agitation, chest pain, dyspnea, neurologic deficits, and less often arrhythmias and paresthesias are the clinical presentations. Intracranial hemorrhage, acute aortic dissection, acute MI, and acute kidney injury are rare but serious complications of hypertensive crisis.

Can High Blood Pressure Cause Migraine Or Can Migraine Cause High Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure Headache Secrets ~ Smith Migraine Institute ...

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.

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