Does High Blood Pressure Cause Headaches
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:
Does Sugar Cause Migraine Headaches
Written and verified by Holly Hazen
Does sugar cause migraine headaches? Too much sugar, too little sugar? You may already know that almost anything can trigger a migraine attack, so why not sugar?
This is a great area of debate. There are different opinions around how much sugar, and what type of sugar, consumption can impact your migraine attacks. Different foods raise your blood glucose levels higher than others.
For me, it can be a major trigger. I recently researched a brand of crackers I absolutely love. And I discovered that each cracker had more than one teaspoon of sugar each single cracker.
For the most part, experts agree that there is a connection between blood sugar levels and at least some migraine attacks.
So, lets take a look at all of that heres what youll learn in this article:
- How much is too much?
- What foods raise our blood glucose levels?
- The link between sugar and migraine and does sugar cause migraine headaches?
- Why does sugar trigger an attack?
- Foods surprisingly high in sugar.
- Top 6 low glycemic foods.
- Try this diet as an alternative.
- Does sugar cause migraine headaches for you? An easy way to test and monitor if sugar is a trigger for you.
- I have a course with an 8 week food and supplement experiment in it.
Dietary And Lifestyle Changes
- Reduce the consumption of unsaturated fats, especially red meat. These foods contribute to high blood pressure levels.
- Lose weight. Excess weight can increase blood pressure.
- Boost your metabolism. This helps to increase blood circulation and reduce high blood pressure risk.
- Minimize stress. A contributing factor for the development of high blood pressure and increased frequency of hypertension headaches.
Making changes to how you live can be difficult. But by starting with only minor changessuch as losing a pound a week or just being more aware how much salt is in the food you eatyou will be on the right track to making sure your blood pressure is under control.
However, not all aspects of health are within our control and there may be a time when the care of a trained medical professional will be required. There are great anti-hypertensive medications available that do a great job at keeping blood pressure normal.
Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.
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Causes Of Ocular Migraine
An ocular or ophthalmic migraine is hold your breath a painless migraine! These are, however, associated with visual disturbances in both eyes. You may experience flickering or flashing lights, lines, stars, or blind spots that deter your vision. About 35 percent of migraine sufferers experience this kind of an aura, visual or otherwise. A painless migraine such as an ocular migraine is considered a migraine equivalent.1
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How To Control High Blood Pressure
Making some simple changes can help you keep your blood pressure numbers under control. Here are some effective ways you must try-
1. Try a DASH diet
A DASH diet is a dietary approach that can help in controlling high blood pressure. It mainly focuses on consuming foods loaded with fibre and potassium. It also restricts sodium intake which results in low blood pressure numbers.
2. Maintain a healthy body weight
Those at an unhealthy body weight experience increased risk of hypertension and other severe health conditions. Shedding extra kilos contributes to not just healthy blood pressure numbers but also keeps several diseases at bay.
3. Stop smoking and manage stress
Smoking is harmful to your heart health too. If you are unable to quit smoking, seek help from experts. Stress also affects your blood pressure. Try yoga, meditation or exercise to control stress.
4. Reduce caffeine consumption
Studies highlight that consuming too much caffeine can increase your blood pressure for a short period. Caffeine consumption is also linked to other health issues. Switch to other healthy options like a protein shake, smoothies, detox drinks or herbal teas.
5. Seek help on time
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If You Have High Blood Pressure
Considering that nearly two-thirds of people with diabetes struggle with high blood pressure, its very likely contributing to your headaches. This is especially important to discuss with your doctor because very few people with high blood pressure actually have symptoms.
High blood pressure can easily go undiagnosed and untreated. Consequences of long-term high blood pressure include:
- Severe damage to your heart
- Severe damage to your arteries
- Increased risk of stroke and blood clots
- Difficulty sleeping
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Fluctuating Blood Sugar Levels
When we eat food, our body gets to work on digesting and absorbing the meal. Assuming our digestive and endocrine systems are working properly, there is a normal, healthy rise in blood sugar followed by a gradual decline. Blood sugar is kept in a range that allows our body to have enough fuel to provide the brain and all organs of the body to perform vital functions.
For some people, the ability to regulate blood sugar is impaired. Blood sugar levels may climb too high in response to sugars and other high-carbohydrate foods. Their body may sense this elevated blood sugar and respond with a surge in a hormone called insulin to try to reduce the elevated blood sugar. The surge sometimes results in blood sugar getting too low. This can cause sugar headache for those who are prone to it.
The migraine brain is often described as being hyper responsive to normal, benign stimulation. A person who is not prone to headache or migraine attacks may be completely unaware of the ups and downs of their blood sugar whether they are normal fluctuations or not. Contrarily, the person predisposed to migraine may be triggered by the inconsistencies and abnormalities in blood sugar. In this theory about sugar and migraines, the body is sometimes unable to maintain blood sugar in the proper range. This causes the brain to respond with pain as a warning signal that something is wrong.
A leading experts opinion
3 steps to take to avoid sugar and migraine episodes
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How To Treat Sugar Headaches
If you have a headache and you suspect it is from high blood sugar levels, make sure you are hydrated, says Barnathan. Your headache may be partly from the dehydration caused by hyperglycemia. You can also take an over-the-counter pain medicine like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help relieve your headache.
If your headache is a result of hypoglycemia, it is usually because you havent eaten, so eating a healthy meal will help. For example, eating small meals throughout the day full of whole grains, fiber, and lean protein can help avoid hypoglycemia.
If you have diabetes, make sure you always have a fast-acting carbohydrate with you, like juice or glucose tablets. These carbs can be quickly broken down into sugar, so you can raise your blood sugar fast before it drops dangerously low.
If you dont have diabetes, but recently cut sugar out of your diet and are experiencing headaches, make sure your body has complex carbs to break down for energy. That will help avoid ketosis and the accompanying headaches. Complex carbs include:
- Whole grains like oatmeal or bread
- Vegetables like peas
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Connection Between High Blood Pressure And Headaches
Table of content
Because they can be so common, it can be hard to pin down the exact cause of a headache.
Was it something you ate, stress from work, too little sleep, a medical condition you dont know you have, or something else altogether?
While we cant get into everything here, this article will focus on high blood pressure and headaches.
There is a connection between the two, but it likely isnt what you think.
First Ill explain what hypertension is.
Then Ill discuss if high blood pressure can cause headaches, as well as treatments for headaches and when to see a doctor about head pain.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
It is important to go to your regular check-ups with your healthcare provider. Hypertension is a common condition and, if caught, can be treated with medication to prevent complications.
However, if you experience any of the symptoms of hypertension, such as frequent headaches, recurrent dizziness, nosebleeds, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, don’t waitspeak to your healthcare provider immediately.
Hypertension requires regular visits with your healthcare provider to monitor your progress. If you are already on blood pressure medication and experience any related side effects, contact your healthcare provider to see if your regimen needs to be adjusted.
Hypertension Doctor Discussion Guide
Get our printable guide for your next healthcare provider’s appointment to help you ask the right questions.
- Weakness, numbness, tingling in the arms, legs, or face on one of both sides
- Trouble speaking or understanding words
- Confusion or behavioral changes
Do not attempt to lower extremely elevated blood pressure in yourself or someone else. While the goal is to reduce blood pressure before additional complications develop, blood pressure should be reduced over the course of hours to days, depending on severity. It is important not to lower blood pressure too quickly, because rapid blood pressure reductions can cut off the supply of blood to the brain, leading to brain damage or death.
What Causes High Blood Pressure
HBP is usually the result of some other health problem, but it may also be caused by some medications.
It is difficult to answer in that the causes vary among different people. There are some common causes that may increase your chances of developing HBP.
Listed below are some examples of these common causes:
Family history of HBP
Too much salt in the diet
There are many triggers for HBP, so one common cause alone may cause an individual to develop high blood pressure if they do not have additional risk factors. For example, obesity often leads to hypertension, but it may still not happen in the presence of a healthy diet and regular exercise. You should also keep an eye on your blood pressure in winter as some reports suggest cold weather can raise blood pressure.
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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.
Dizziness And Hypertension Headache
Dizziness is a commonly reported symptom, particularly in the elderly population. Recent studies have found that there is a significant correlation between those who experience systemic hypertension and those who describe the symptoms of dizziness or vertigo. As is the case with hypertensive headaches, the link between dizziness and hypertension is unclear at this stage.
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Sugar Is A Potentially Inflammatory Food
I think the overwhelming majority of people agree that adding sugar is not a healthy practice. Over the past few years, as certain chronic, inflammatory diseases have risen along with the steep increase in our sugar consumption, more research is being done linking sugars and simple carbohydrates to preventable diseases.
Just having daily sugary drinks can increase biochemical markers of inflammation in healthy people. Additionally, diets high is refined sugars and starches may also lead to increased illnesses associated with inflammation.
How is this relevant to migraine? Increasingly, experts believe that chronic inflammation plays a role in migraine. Perhaps the sugar and migraine connection has to do with neurogenic inflammation that can be influenced by several factors including what we eat.
What about anti-inflammatory diets?
While there is no one anti-inflammatory diet that nutrition professionals can agree upon, all the diet approaches to reducing inflammation significantly limit sugars and refined carbohydrates. The Mediterranean diet is a popular approach to reducing inflammation in the body. Healthline has a good overview of the Mediterranean diet and specifies avoiding added sugar, soda, candies, ice cream, table sugar and many others. During this years Migraine World Summit, one of the experts discussed the topic of migraine and obesity. His recommendation was to consider the Mediterranean diet as a healthy approach to weight management and overall wellness.
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.
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Why Does Sugar Trigger An Attack
Your body needs a certain amount of sugar to operate, and when you consume sugar it causes your blood glucose levels to fluctuate. Your brain needs a consistent flow of glucose, and when it doesnt receive enough or gets too much, it responds negatively. This negative response triggers a headache or migraine.
Too high or too low is not good. If your blood sugar is too high, you have Hyperglycemia. This is a medical condition where your body is unable to break down glucose with insulin, so your blood sugar rises . Symptoms that occur with hyperglycemia include frequent need to urinate, extreme thirst, blurry vision, or fatigue.
Too low and you have a medical condition called Hypoglycemia. Your blood sugar can dip . You can experience hypoglycemia if you skip meals or only eat simple sugars, such as white sugar. Symptoms that accompany hypoglycemia include lightheadedness, weakness, pale skin, hunger, anxiety, dizziness, or sweating.
Either one of these conditions can cause headaches and migraine.
So does sugar cause migraine headaches? It sure can. Too much or too little! Fasting, eating processed or high-sugar foods, dieting too rigorously, and skipping meals can all trigger an attack. Even delayed or irregular meals can make a difference because of your blood-glucose levels falling too low.
Key Points About Increased Intracranial Pressure
- ICP is a dangerous condition.
- It is an emergency and requires immediate medical attention.
- Increased intracranial pressure from bleeding in the brain, a tumor, stroke, aneurysm, high blood pressure, brain infection, etc. can cause a headache and other symptoms.
- Treatment includes relieving the brain of the increased pressure.
- ICP has serious complications including death.
Blood Pressure And Hypertension Headaches
Mild-Hypertension is defined as having a diastolic blood-pressure measuring 140 to 159mmHg and a systolic blood pressure measuring 90 to 99 mmHg. Patients diagnosed with this have been linked with a higher prevalence of headache symptoms .
A blood pressure reading has a top number and bottom number . Normal blood pressure is less than 120 over 80 .
It has been reported that 1-in-10 people in the Brisbane area have reported having hypertension. The prevalence of this increases with age, where 45% of people over the age of 75 have experienced it.
Ive tried it all, how can I fix my Hypertension Headache?
Treatments For Hypertensive Headaches
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:
- 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.
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