Does high blood pressure, recurrent migraines and chest pains cause heart attacks ?

Posted on Thu, 19 Apr 2012 in Heart Attack
Question: Hi, I am 33 years old, 158cm and about 73kg. For several years I have been seeing stars every two or so days. Recently, I have been getting bad migranes every few months, chest pains (a pressing in the centre of my chest) and many other things that I don't know if they are related such as bloating and gradual eye sight issues (script getting worse over the last two years). I went to the doctor last week about something else and they took my blood pressure, it was 132/106 and the doctor checked again. I am now going in every week for four weeks to see what it is doing. I went again today to see a nurse and it was 125/105. I realise that this is high but I am asking you if I am in immediate danger of heart attack etc. or is it ok to wait another week before seeing the doctor again. What can I do in the immediate future to attempt to lower my blood pressure to prevent problems?
Answered by Dr. Mohammed Tauseef 1 hour later

Thanks for the Query.

I Would like to know a few more things which would help me in suggesting you better:

1.) Since how long are you experiencing these symptoms?
2.) Do you have Irritability or Neck Stiffness?

Your History and symptoms could be associated with the following conditions:

1.) XXXXXXX secondary to Migraine
2.) Prehypertension.

Kindly don't worry as both these conditions can be easily controlled with,

1.) Medications
2.) Lifestyle modifications.

Kindly get yourself examined by a Blood Pressure regularly
2.) CT or MRI scan
3.) Blood Work up
4.) Lumbar Puncture

To rule out any serious underlying pathology. Once confirmed, the treatment will depend upon the cause.

Bring in Lifestyle modifications to lead a healthy happy life,

1.) Avoid stress, Practice relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation
2.) Eat healthy nutritious balanced diet which should include fresh fruits and XXXXXXX leafy vegetables
3.) Exercise regularly for an hour and maintain a healthy weight
4.) Limit your salt intake to less than 2000mg per day.
5.) Avoid high calorie, salty Processed foods.
6.) Avoid smoking and Alcoholism
7.) Sleep for a Minimum of 8 hours daily
8.) Maintain a Headache diary as this will help you know what triggers or what relieves you of your symptoms, so that you may avoid triggering factors
9.) Learn more about your conditions as this will help you stick to your treatment plan and will help you understand your condition better
10.) Stick to your treatment plan and go for regular follow up.

Hope I have answered your Query, I will be available to answer your follow up Queries.

Wish you Good Health.

Take Care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
Follow up: Dr. Mohammed Tauseef 1 hour later
Thank you for your detailed reply. Before I answer your questions, I forgot to mention that I was born with a slight heart murmer and my father has had about 3 minor heart attacks (in his 40's) and has been on blood pressure medication for the last 5 years (he is now 65).
For the last 10 years: seeing stars every two or so days, shortness of breath and heart palpatations (severe ones where I have to stop and just try to relax every 3 months or so). I have also had sharp stabbing pains in the my left rib cage for the last 10 years every few months where I can't move and hardly move for about 2 minutes at a time. It then feels very tender and bruised for a day or so afterwards.
For the past 3 years: bloating, irritable and definately neck pain (I always blamed the migraines on this tension). The migraines are bad enough that I am vomitting, can't move out of bed and get blurred vision. These happen every three months or so. I have also noticed a dramatic difference in my eye sight in the last 2 years where my script is changing every 6 months or so and I no longer seem able to wear contact lenses as much. I have worn glasses since I was 2 years old, so this dramatic change is noticable. The pressing on the chest has been going for about 2 years and usually happens about every few months (sometimes frequently for a few days and then calms down). In the few months I have been getting dead legs etc when I have been sitting for a while and regularly get tingly fingers and arms.
I am exhaused as I am a single mother with two young children under 5 and working full time. Therefore, sleep is certainly an issue and I have always put my exhaustion down to my life rather than a medical issue. However, I am now wondering as I am sometimes needing to go to be at 7:30pm as my whole body just feels heavy and I struggle to keep my eyes awake. I guess when I am at this stage if I push through it, I usually end up with major headaches through the night.
I hope this information helps.
Thank you once again.
Answered by Dr. Mohammed Tauseef 2 hours later

Thank you once again for giving the Detailed History.

This suggests you have a Congenital Heart Defect which could be a,

1.) Septal Defect, (Atrial Or Ventricular Septal Defect)
2.) Heart Valve Abnormality (Either Stenosis or Regurgitation)

The Other cause for your Heart Murmur which is causing Stabbing Chest Pain, Shortness of Breath or Palpitation could be due to structural Damage of the heart caused by Infections like,

1.) Rheumatic fever
2.) Thickening or Hardening of valves
3.) Endocarditis
4.) Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP).

Kindly get yourself examined by a Cardiologist so that he may examine you and suggest a,
1.) 2D-ECHO scan of the heart
2.) CT or MRI scan
3.) Transesophageal Echocardiography
4.) EKG
5.) Cardiac Catheterization

to rule out any structural abnormality of the heart and also the Ejection Fraction of your Heart.

Once the Diagnosis is confirmed, you will require medications for Both Migraine and Heart Murmurs and if deemed necessary your Doctor may also suggest you a Surgery if there is a Defect. Once this is addressed your Symptoms will subside.

Hence get yourself evaluated by a Cardiologist at the earliest.

Wish you Good Health.

Take Care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Ashwin Bhandari
Follow up: Dr. Mohammed Tauseef 5 hours later
Thank you very much for you detail. I will get an appointment Cardioloist asap. While I am waiting for an appointment, is there anything that you recommend me to do in the meantime to prevent major problems (ie. heart attack) while I wait?
Answered by Dr. Mohammed Tauseef 8 hours later

Thank you Once again for Writing back.

Yes you can follow the Lifestyle changes as suggested by me earlier,

1.) Get Adequate rest
2.) Avoid smoking and Alcoholism
3.) Avoid caffeine, stress. Practice relaxation techniques like Yoga and Meditation
4.) Eat Fiber XXXXXXX healthy nutritious balanced diet
5.) Limit your salt intake to less than 2000mg per day
6.) Avoid high calorie foods
7.) Stick to your treatment plan and go for regular follow up.

Wish you Good Health.

Take Care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Radhika
Answered by
Dr. Mohammed Tauseef

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2007

Answered : 1337 Questions


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