Full Question: Normally, my blood pressure runs 105/65, but during a migraine it goes up to 185/120 (average) with my pulse rate approximately 120-140. I understand the correlation between my migraine causing my blood pressure to go up, then the pain causes my blood pressure to increase more, then my high blood pressure makes my head hurt worse, turning into a vicious cycle. I’ve tried all the beta blockers, calcium-channel blockers, and ACE inhibitors but they do not control by blood pressure during a migraine – the only way to bring it down is to get control of the pain and end the migraine. My question is why when my blood pressure goes up so high, I feel so cold and shiver uncontrollably. My teeth will even chatter. I feel like I’m freezing, even if it’s 90 degrees. I’m sure there’s a vascular explanation. Can you explain?
Sometime, overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system during a migraine can result in cold extremities and increased blood pressure. You observation is correct: getting the migraine under control will reduce the blood pressure fluctuation (usually). Your clinical condition might be an excellent reason for your headache doctor and your internist to work together on your symptoms.
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert
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Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.
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