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Can Migraines Raise Your Blood Pressure?

Posted by Migraine Relief Center on Jun 17, 2014 7:00:00 AM

migraines and blood pressure

The migraine condition is not defined or treated in a singular manner. Headache specialists recommend a range of treatments that may be preventative, symptomatic or both; the approach and treatment strategies will largely depend on the diagnosis and various other factors. There is no cure for migraines, but there is a considerable range of treatment options. Blood pressure medications are often prescribed to migraine patients, but the link between hypertension and migraines is a bit intricate.

The Vascular Role of Migraines

Since migraines involve debilitating and recurring headaches, early medical research into this condition was often conducted from a vascular angle. After all, the dilation of cerebral veins and arteries is one of the most common causes of cephalalgia, the medical name given to headaches. 


Migraines are not exclusively tied to vascular conditions. Modern research favors a theory of a neurochemical origin, which in turn has certain effects on vascularity. The bottom line is that high blood pressure is certainly known to cause headaches, but not necessarily migraines.


Hypertension Headaches

When patients who suffer from hypertension are not able to lower their blood pressure to a healthy level, they likely to suffer from terrible headaches. This particular episode of cephalalgia is known as a hypertension headache, and it often strikes in the morning after patients wake up.

A hypertension headache is often felt behind one eye and may be accompanied by an irregular heartbeat. Dizziness and nervousness are often present, and the headache may continue until the patient takes medication or practices an effective relaxation method. In general, hypertension headaches feel different from migraines.

Migraines and High Blood Pressure

Patients who suffer from chronic hypertension do not commonly live with migraine conditions. This may be explained by the fact that patients who do not get auras with their migraines tend to respond positively to being treated with high blood pressure medications. 

Some migraine patients experience periods of dangerous hypertension following a severe episode of migraine with aura and intense cephalalgia. This can be explained by the simple fact that pain tends to raise blood pressure in practically all patients. Migraine patients who suffer chronic episodes more than twice a week can expect that their vascular system will eventually weaken to the point of developing high blood pressure.

Kidney damage is one of the most serious consequences of living with high blood pressure. This is something that all people should keep in mind, and not just those who live with migraine conditions. Many patients eventually grow out of their migraine conditions; for reasons unknown, migraines tend to stop as patients enter their golden age. Nonetheless, many of these patients go from migraines to hypertension headaches if they neglect caring for their blood pressure. To this effect, living a healthy lifestyle can reduce migraines and prevent hypertension at the same time.

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Topics: Causes

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