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Is There a Correlation between Migraines and Hypertension?

Posted by Migraine Relief Center on May 13, 2014 7:00:00 AM

A recent study conducted by epidemiologists at the United States National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute indicates that Hispanic Americans have a high risk of suffering from complications related to high blood pressure conditions left untreated. This large scale study, which evaluated more than 16,000 Hispanic Americans between the ages of 18 and 74, revealed that less than 40 percent of Latinos undergo treatment for high blood pressure. Is_there_a_correlation_between_migraines_and_hypertension

Often called “the silent killer,” hypertension is a disease that causes almost 1,000 deaths each day in the U.S. Patients who suffer from migraines as well as high blood pressure. The link between hypertension and migraines has been dissipating as medical research suggests that the latter is not entirely a vascular disease.

Symptoms of Intracranial Hypertension

Abnormally high blood pressure can affect vital organs in different ways. When hypertension is present in blood vessels supplying the brain and cranium, a special kind of headache may develop. Intracranial hypertension headaches are extremely painful vascular episodes that share a couple of similarities with migraines despite not being related.

When intracranial hypertension headaches strike, patients may notice a couple of strange visual effects that resemble a migraine aura. The difference is that blurry and double vision may persist all through the headache phase of an intracranial hypertension episode. Severe headaches caused by high blood pressure may also be accompanied by a swooshing sound synchronized with the patient's heartbeat that seems to originate from within the ear. Nausea is commonly experienced during these cephalalgia episodes.

High Blood Pressure and Migraines

Hypertension is a vascular disease that can cause very painful headaches. Migraines were once considered vascular conditions; however, medical researchers in the 20th century found strong evidence of a neurobiology link. Just like with migraines, researchers are not entirely sure how intracranial hypertension headaches originate.

The relation between hypertension and migraines is mostly related to stress. A very unfortunate migraine patient may experience an episode that will raise his blood pressure to the point of causing an intracranial hypertension headache as well. Likewise, a sudden rise in arterial pressure may cause enough stress to trigger a migraine episode. Simultaneously suffering from a migraine and a hypertension headache can be extremely debilitating.

Treating High Blood Pressure along with Migraines

The pain caused by intracranial hypertension cannot be treated with the same medications used to treat migraines. Headaches caused by high blood pressure are often amplified to the point that they may require emergency hospitalization and sedatives. Instead of being treated symptomatically, these hypertension headaches are controlled by lowering the blood pressure.

Intracranial hypertension headaches can last as long as the patient's blood pressure remains elevated. Some patients learn to live with this condition to a certain extent; what is most important for them is to carefully follow their doctor's recommendation with regard to keeping their blood pressure under control.

*Image courtesy of

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