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Migraine And High Blood Pressure

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High Blood Pressure And Headaches

Patient Success Story | Migraines and High Blood Pressure | Dr. Anshu Kabra

Most people with high blood pressure dont know about it until its picked up at an appointment with a healthcare professional. Some people, however, do have some symptoms relating to high blood pressure, particularly when blood pressure becomes extremely sometimes dangerously high.

There has been a lot of research into the relationship between high blood pressure and headaches or migraines, but not a lot of definite conclusions. Most people who get migraines and headaches dont seem to have any related changes in their blood pressure, and most people with high blood pressure do not have migraines that correlate consistently with their blood pressure.

Some studies have found that migraines correlate somewhat with lower systolic but higher diastolic blood pressure. In fact, some studies have found a link between migraines and low blood pressure. Migraines also seem to be more frequent in people who have chronic high blood pressure that isnt well-managed.

In people who do have symptoms that occur alongside high blood pressure, one of the most common symptoms they describe is a headache.

Blood Pressure Prehypertension Range

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Understanding Blood Pressure Migraine And Headache

Medically reviewed by Ari Magill, MD

Ari Magill, M.D. earned a B.S. in Zoology from University of Texas in Austin, TX and graduated with an M.D. from UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, TX. Dr. Magill completed neurology residency at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ and completed a movement disorders neurology fellowship at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center in Aurora, CO. He formerly practiced as a staff neurohospitalist at Northwest Medical Center in Tucson, AZ. Currently, Dr. Magill conducts independent VA disability exams on veterans who sustained traumatic brain injury and serves as a clinical research investigator for the IMA Group at their Alea Clinical Research facility.

Dr. Magill enjoys medical writing and has a special interest in cognitive, behavioral, and memory disorders and functional medicine health coaching. He is passionate about advancing dementia treatment through clinical research and aggressive lifestyle change aided by judicious use of supplements. Dr. Magill is an avid bicycle rider, a film enthusiast, and enjoys playing basketball in his free time.

Its called the silent killer.

You may have it and not even know it. Researchers estimate that 1 in 3 adults in the United States have it and only about half of those people have it under control.

This silent killer usually has no symptoms. Thats what makes it so dangerous.

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Treating The Blood Pressure Headache

Blood pressure headaches can be extremely uncomfortable. It is important to know how to manage them. Dr. Dalvi offers this advice,

For headaches from high blood pressure consulting with a family physician for appropriate blood pressure medications is essential. High blood pressure should not be left untreated due to the long-term damage it can cause in terms of increased risk of stroke or heart disease. Other organs in the body including kidneys and the retina of the eyes can also be affected. A very high blood pressure requires emergency treatment to avoid catastrophic results. For migraine prevention in addition to beta blockers other medications that are used include seizure medications such as topiramate and valproic acid, which have been found to reduce the severity of migraine headaches as well. For treatment of acute migraine headaches ibuprofen or similar drugs are often used but after consulting with their physician a specific migraine treatment belonging to a category of medications called the triptans can also be used. Sumatriptan is the drug in this category that is most commonly used. Here are some non-pharmacological techniques that help alleviate headaches:

  • Make sure you are hydrated by drinking water
  • Lay on your back and prop your feet up so that they are above your heart
  • Take deep, regular breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth
  • Close your eyes and concentrate only on the breathing

Can A Migraine Cause High Blood Pressure

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure Hypertension Stock Vector ...

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.

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Bp In Patients Treated With Fremanezumab

For fremanezumab, we found an increase in systolic BP at T1 and T2 but not at T3 and T4 . At T1, systolic BP increased by 3.8 mm Hg . At T2, it increased by 4.6 mm Hg . At T3, the estimated effect compared with baseline was 1.6 mm Hg . At T4, the estimated effect was 0.9 mm Hg .

The diastolic BP in patients treated with fremanezumab did not increase . At T1, the mean difference was 0.8 mm Hg . At T2, the estimated effect was 0.8 mm Hg . At T3, the estimated effect compared with baseline was 1.4 mm Hg . At T4, the estimated effect was 0.02 mm Hg .

If It Isnt A Blood Pressure Migraine What Is It

Very high blood pressure can cause headache, but it does not have the same origin as migraine. Blood pressure headache is usually associated with a hypertensive crisis, such as hypertensive emergency or urgency. Both of these conditions are characterized by dangerously high blood pressure, which is typically a systolic blood pressure reading that is 220 mm Hg or higher and/or a diastolic BP that is 120 mm Hg or higher. The difference is, a BP emergency results in organ damage while a BP urgency does not leave any discernible evidence of organ damage.

At least one study shows that not everyone may experience headaches as a result of high blood pressure. One possible reason for this is hypertension associated hypalgesia, which causes desensitization to stimuli. It is estimated that around 20% of patients in hypertensive urgency experience headache.

Symptoms of a hypertensive headache include:

  • Developing during a hypertensive crisis
  • Bilateral location, meaning it tends to occur on both sides of the head
  • Pulsating or throbbing quality
  • Precipitated or exacerbated by physical activity
  • Resolves within one hour after the blood pressure returns to normal

While your headache may feel intense enough to be a blood pressure migraine, it likely isnt anything more than just a really bad headache.

A hypertensive emergency may also include a headache along with other symptoms which include:

  • Vision loss or visual disturbance

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What Do We Know About High Blood Pressure And Migraines

The more we know about the relationship between high blood pressure and migraines the more we will be able to understand and treat them.

Lets explore this connection and how it might impact your life in a serious way!

HBP, or hypertension, is when your systolic and diastolic blood pressures readings are consistently above the levels your doctor considers healthy

HBP can be caused by several factors, including genetics, age, family health history, lack of exercise, and poor diet. It can also be influenced by other conditions like diabetes or kidney issues. High BP is not considered a disease in itself rather its typically seen as a classic risk factor for many other conditions

High blood pressure symptoms include:

Severe headache in the temples or behind the eyes

A heavy throbbing sensation in the head

Nausea and vomiting

Migraine symptoms commonly start between ages 30 and 40 but can occur as early as childhood or as late as the elderly. The aura that people experience before a migraine headache is also quite common in HBP patients, although there are different types of migraine.

HBP does not cause migraines, but they are influenced by it because a series of complex factors may cause the initial conditions of migraine aura and hypertension.

In any case, it has been proven that migraine sufferers have a higher chance of developing hypertension than those who do not experience migraines

Can Migraine Medicine Cause High Blood Pressure

Healthwatch: Migraines Before Menopause Could Be An Indicator Of High Blood Pressure

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    Is There One Pill To Treat Both High Blood Pressure And Migraine

    Is there one pill that is recommended to treat both? Angiotensin receptor blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors have been shown to provide effective migraine prophylaxis and for the treatment of hypertension. This may be an option for the hypertensive patient with migraine headaches. Examples of ARB or angiotensin receptor blocker, are Cozaar or Diovan and examples of ACE inhibitors or angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, are Vasotec or Lotensin.

    This is at time of writing the article, and as new medications are being invented all the time, be sure to check with your primary care physician on all available options.

    Migraine medications usually cause the blood vessels in your head to constrict causing the side effect of increasing your blood pressure. There are other medications that can also increase your blood pressure such as birth control, hormones, antidepressants, asthma, stimulants, and steroid medications. But if you suffer from migraine, especially if you have a previous history of hypertension, discuss these medications with your physician prior to taking them.

    The list of migraine medications that typically increase blood pressure is:

    • Migranal Nasal Spray, DHE 45

    More ways I can help right now…

    Until next time, be well and be pain free.

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    Patients With Elevated Bp

    Of all patients, 53 patients had a systolic BP 140 mm Hg and/or a diastolic BP 90 mm Hg at any time during course of treatment with erenumab or fremanezumab , whereas at baseline, BP was < 140/90 mm Hg. In total, 76 patients had a systolic BP rise of 20 mm Hg and/or a diastolic BP rise 10 mm Hg at any time during the course of treatment with erenumab or fremanezumab . In about half of these patients , this BP rise did not lead to a systolic BP 140 mm Hg and/or a diastolic BP 90 mm Hg.

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    Can I Take Aspirin For High Blood Pressure Headaches

    Some people take aspirin for what they believe are high blood pressure headaches, although evidence suggests that high blood pressure does not routinely cause headaches in most cases.

    However, if you have high blood pressure and you get a headache, aspirin is one of the safer drugs to use to relieve the pain. All NSAIDs can raise blood pressure slightly, but aspirin’s effect is very small. Acetaminophen, or Tylenol, also is a safer choice because it is not an NSAID. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor to see which pain reliever is best for you. However, if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, do not take aspirin. Uncontrolled high blood pressure puts you at risk for a hemorrhagic stroke, which is worsened by aspirin.

    Barometric Pressure Changes Triggering Vestibular Migraine

    TEST QUESTION: High Blood Pressure &  Headache

    Q. We live in Florida. Every time the rainy season comes I have problems. I have extreme pressure in my ears and my equilibrium is off. I dont get true vertigo because my head does not spin. I do not usually get nausea. I get weak. I get headaches. I have neck and shoulder stiffness. I get truly frustrated.

    Last year my doctor thought migraine medications would help. Well they did not. I went to an eye specialist. He said no problems with the eyes. We know it has to do with pressure the minute the barometric pressure changes I am not well. I have also traveled and when in high altitudes I have similar problems.

    I have had sinus surgery . I was better for about two years, but am worse again. The ENT said my nose is clear. I have taken Sudafed, anti-motion medications and Tylenol. I even tried earplugs. Any suggestions?

    Nancy Juopperi, D.O.Michigan Institute for Neurological DisordersFarmington, MI

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