It’s important to understand when hypertension may cause headaches. Learn about the connection between high blood pressure and headaches.
While headaches are common, they can come on suddenly and negatively affect your life – especially if they are chronic. If you consistently get headaches, you’re probably wondering why you keep getting them and how you can stop them.
People with high blood pressure (hypertension) may think there is a link between their condition and their headaches. However, according to cardiologist Luke Laffin, MD, hypertension doesn’t typically lead to headaches.
Hypertension and Headaches
Laffin explains that having slightly elevated blood pressure doesn’t generally cause headaches in most cases. Even though your blood pressure is a good measure of your health, having stage 1 or stage 2 hypertension will likely not cause headaches.
“The vast majority of people have no symptoms whatsoever from high blood pressure,” says Laffin. However, if it rises to an unusually high level, it may lead to a headache. “If you have a sudden, intense headache that’s significantly worse than usual and your blood pressure is elevated, you should seek medical attention,” notes Laffin.
If there are any spikes in your blood pressure, it may be a sign of a bigger health issue like a stroke. In other words, if your numbers get so high that you’re in a hypertensive crisis, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
While the headache may come on suddenly, there’s no high-quality research showing that a hypertensive crisis headache is different from a regular one, and it may be tricky to tell what’s causing it. “Another thing to remember about headaches and blood pressure is that it’s not always the blood pressure that causes a headache,” says Laffin. “It could be the other way around. Sometimes, it’s a chicken and the egg scenario. We don’t know which comes first. Headaches can cause an elevation in blood pressure.”
“If you notice a spike in blood pressure, that elevated number in itself doesn’t mean you need to go to a hospital,” Laffin says. “But if it’s coupled with something new, like a severe headache, severe chest pain or shortness of breath, then you should go get evaluated.”
Treating a Headache
Keep in mind that a hypertensive crisis may not be the only cause. In fact, there are many potential culprits in your diet that may be triggering your headache. People who are taking blood pressure medications can treat their headaches with aspirin or acetaminophen. However, you should talk to your doctor about which over-the-counter or prescription medications are safe for you.
If you want to give your blood pressure health an extra boost, you can also take supplements like L-arginine Plus. Its ingredients effectively promote circulation, blood pressure health, cholesterol health, and more. Give your health the support it deserves by managing your blood pressure and taking L-arginine Plus.