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Oct 26, 2021
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Can you have a headache due to high blood pressure? Neurologist answers

A common story: a person has a headache, he measures the pressure and sees that it is increased, from which he concludes that this is the cause of the pain. The connection is logical, but alas, sometimes deceptive, said Natalya Ardashirova, a neurologist, a member of the International Society for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Diseases and the European Academy of Neurology.

WHO estimates that 50 to 75% of the world’s adult population between the ages of 18 and 65 experiences a headache every year. In clinical practice, more than 150 types of headache are distinguished, and hypertension is one of the five most common causes of its development. With increased pressure, pain in the back of the head worries mainly in the morning, it is moderate in intensity and disappears after taking antihypertensive drugs.

According to Natalia Ardashirova, in the international classification of headaches of the 3rd revision, which doctors now use, pressure can be the cause of a headache if and only if the systolic (upper) arterial is more than 180 and / or diastolic (lower) is higher than 120 mm Hg. . st.

“There should be a clear causal relationship: the headache developed at the same time as the pressure rose, intensifies with an additional increase in pressure, or goes away when it normalizes.”

Ardashirova Natalia

Ic work of authorship @ 2xdoctor
Ic snowflake @ 2xNeurologist at the Evidence-Based Medicine Clinic DocMed

Ic instagram blue @ 2x

The doctor noted that a moderate increase in blood pressure can be a reaction to stress or exercise. A headache, especially a severe one, is stress for the body, and in response to it, blood pressure can rise.

“That is, the high numbers that you see on the tonometer are not the cause of the headache, but the consequence.”

Ardashirova Natalia

Ic work of authorship @ 2xdoctor
Ic snowflake @ 2xNeurologist at the Evidence-Based Medicine Clinic DocMed

Ic instagram blue @ 2x

To determine the true cause of painful sensations, Ardashirova recommends keeping a headache diary. Write down the time when the pain appeared, its localization (in the back of the head, in the eyes, etc.), character (pulsating, pressing), intensity, factors that could cause it (stress, insomnia), by what means it was possible to relieve it.

With these records, you must go to an appointment with a neurologist. The diary will help him determine the diagnosis, prescribe examination and treatment.

“Of course, it is worth observing the pressure as well: measure it in the morning and evening for 7-10 days and record the results. If the pressure is often higher than 140/90, then it is worth contacting a cardiologist for the prescription of drugs that lower blood pressure. “

Ardashirova Natalia

Ic work of authorship @ 2xdoctor
Ic snowflake @ 2xneurologist at the Evidence-Based Medicine Clinic DocMed

Ic instagram blue @ 2x


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