Chronic Conditions 4 MIN READ 72 VIEWS May 19, 2024

Hypertension Headaches: Understanding the Causes and How to Manage Them

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Hypertension, or high BP, is a common condition that affects many people worldwide. It refers to the force at which our arteries pump the blood in our body. If the force is always too high and above the recommended levels, then the person is said to be suffering from hypertension. People living with hypertension are at a much higher risk of suffering from heart-related problems such as heart attacks, cardiac arrests, strokes, and even kidney diseases. This happens as the arteries expand beyond their limit, causing them to scar and get damaged.

Hypertension can have a lot of other interconnected effects on our health, one of which is hypertension headaches. This article explores the relationship between high BP and headaches and goes into how you can manage and cure such kinds of headaches.

The Link Between Hypertension and Headaches

There have been a lot of studies that establish a connection between both hypertension and headaches, as well as those that refute the claim. Even through all this, one thing has been clarified: while most people suffering from high BP will not get these headaches, it is still a possibility for the more severe cases.

This is when a person goes into a state called malignant hypertension. This is when the pressure ends up building in the person’s cranium when the blood pressure levels spike up to dangerous levels (180/110 mmHg or more). Along with headaches that cannot be cured by using over-the-counter pain medications, a person can also experience other symptoms such as blurry vision, nausea, blood spots in your eyes (sub conjunctival hemorrhage), and chest pains.

Hypertension Headaches: Causes and Reasons

Hypertension headaches themselves do not have separate underlying causes, and they are a symptom of dangerously high blood pressure levels. Hypertension on the other hand can be caused due to various reasons, some of which are listed below for your reference:

  1. Kidney diseases
  2. Sleep apnea
  3. Thyroid or adrenal gland problems
  4. Diabetes
  5. Stress
  6. Side effects from some medications
  7. High cholesterol levels
  8. Obesity

Certain risk factors make you more prone to developing hypertension in life:

  1. Family history of hypertension
  2. Age and gender (women are prone to develop this issue after 65, while men are more likely to develop it before women, before 65)
  3. Sedentary lifestyle habits
  4. Bad dietary habits (high consumption of salt, sugars, trans fats, and calories)
  5. Alcohol and tobacco usage

Hypertension headache causes a lot of discomfort, and oftentimes can be an indication of a more serious issue at hand, some of which have been provided below for your reference:

  1. Hypertensive encephalopathy
  2. Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia
  3. Acute pressure response to an exogenous agent (often related to drug use or withdrawal)
  4. Adrenal tumor (pheochromocytoma, benign or malignant)
  5. Hypertension crisis without encephalopathy 

Hypertension Headache Cure and Remedies

You can have hypertension headache relief through a varying number of remedies and cures, however, it is always better to consult a doctor, keeping in mind the major reason why headaches related to hypertension are caused.  Some methods that can help you deal with headaches have been listed below for your reference: 

Anti-Inflammatory Food

Headaches can oftentimes be caused by inflammation in your body. Consuming and adding anti-inflammatory items to your every day diet can be extremely beneficial. Some of these food items are as follows:

  1. Celery
  2. Beets
  3. Blueberries
  4. Flaxseeds

Adding Whole Grains to Your Diet

Whole grains have been known to help control sugar levels in your body, which have been one of the main causes of headaches in people. The only grain that you should avoid, that can worsen your hypertension headache, is white flour. 

Lowering Caffeine Intake

Caffeine elevates and spikes your blood pressure levels, which in turn can cause headaches and other issues related to hypertension. Lowering and keeping your overall caffeine intake low can help avoid said spike and hypertension headaches. However, one thing to keep in mind is that if you regularly consume caffeine, chances are that you might end up suffering from a headache as a sign of withdrawal for the first couple of days. 

Exercising Regularly

Physical activity keeps our body healthy and working. Incorporating even simple workouts into your daily lifestyle can go a long way and help ensure that you remain healthy enough and do not suffer from hypertension.

There are other ways through which you can keep yourself safe from hypertension itself. Ensuring that you avoid any kind of smoking and/or drinking, eating a healthy and balanced diet, and making sure that you’re getting enough sleep are all essential to not developing high blood pressure.

Conclusion

Hypertension headaches are signs of a serious underlying cause, which is why consulting with a doctor should be prioritised in such cases. Hypertension in itself is an extremely bothersome disease, so your best bet for any kind of treatment is at a doctor’s appointment. 

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