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High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects approximately 35% of the world’s population. This percentage is on the rise due to the increasing prevalence of unhealthy lifestyles and poor dietary habits.
The seriousness of this issue lies in the fact that high blood pressure can lead to various severe health problems, including seizures and heart attacks.
Often people with blood pressure issues have this one query at the back of their minds, and that is can high blood pressure cause seizures?
Well, it actually can.
Let’s know about how blood pressure causes seizures, and how to prevent them.
1. What is High Blood Pressure?
The blood pushing against the blood vessel wall creates blood pressure as it is carried through the blood vessels.
Systolic blood pressure in the vessels during the heart’s pumping action, whereas diastolic blood pressure refers to the amount of pressure in the blood between heartbeats during the filling process.
2. What Causes High Blood Pressure?
When we are in a stressful situation, our body raises our blood pressure for a moment. This is the result of the sympathetic nervous system in our body being activated.
A bad lifestyle is the key contributing factor to long-term high blood pressure, which often develops gradually. High blood pressure has several particular reasons, such as:
2.1 Unbalanced Diet
Having too much salt in your diet might lead to high blood pressure. Consuming meals with high salt quantities can cause blood vessels to harden over time and increase blood pressure.
According to recent data, too much salt prevents blood vessels from expanding as they normally would in reaction to too much salt. When there’s too much resistance, blood pressure increases.
2.2 Absence of Exercise
Exercise is crucial in reducing blood vessel stiffness. Regular exercise allows the blood vessels to open and the flow of blood will be better.
Working always keeps your body active and so do your blood vessels also.
3. What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?
Many people do not notice they have high blood pressure until after their blood pressure has been measured as hypertension hardly results in visible symptoms.
But some people may have the following signs of extremely high blood pressure:
- Heavy breathing
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Vision problem
If you see these signs, you should see your doctor right away since having extremely high blood pressure can be serious.
4. Why do Seizures Occur?
Our brain’s neurons must effectively interact with one another by producing electrical and chemical signals1 for us to continue to operate correctly.
An uncontrollable burst of abnormal electrical signals can interfere with the regular operation of the brain and result in seizures.
5. Causes of High Blood Pressure
Provoked seizures have definite explanations, the reason for the unusual brain electrical signals seen in unprovoked seizures is less understood.
However, genetics has been shown to have a role in raising the possibility of epileptic seizures. For example, family history and specific genes are linked to epilepsy.
Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures2 are another form of seizure that occurs due to psychological causes rather than abnormal electrical disturbances in the brain.
Even though the symptoms of these seizures might look like those of epileptic seizures, they are the result of psychological pain.
6. Treatment of High Blood Pressure
Depending on the type of seizure, doctors use different treatments. They provide epilepsy patients with antiepileptic medications to stop seizures.
If antiepileptic medications do not improve a patient’s condition, doctors may treat them with other methods such as surgery, electrical stimulation, and specific diets.
The treatment of choice for psychogenic nonepileptic seizures is cognitive behavioural therapy.
7. The Relationship Between High Blood Pressure and Seizures
In a 1996 study, the researchers found that untreated high blood pressure increases the chance of seizures in the younger generation.
The scientists believed that it may result from irregularities in white matter, a layer of brain tissue where nerve fibers are covered in an outer layer of fat and protein.
The probability of getting epilepsy in old life is roughly two times higher, according to research conducted in 2021.
Cardiovascular disorders are disorders that damage the heart or blood vessels that are more common in those with hypertension. Stroke is a harmful disease in which all the blood vessels get blocked or burst.
It causes a lack of oxygen and also damages the brain cells. Due to stroke chances of epilepsy increase. Some persons who have extremely high blood pressure can develop hypertensive encephalopathy which is an emergency problem.
When blood pressure is too high, the brain’s blood vessels release extra fluid into the surrounding areas of the brain, which causes hypertensive encephalopathy.
These bodily fluids can build up in the brain and interfere with normal brain activity, leading to anxiety, blurry vision, and even seizures.
8. How to Prevent High Blood Pressure?
By following these tips you can control your blood pressure:
It’s time to start paying attention to your food if you have high blood pressure and haven’t been doing so. Try the following ideas to enhance your diet and lower your blood pressure:
- Limit your salt intake to 6g ( or around a teaspoon)
- Consume less fats.
- Consider taking the diet, which helps you to get the nutrients you need to control your blood pressure level.
Several methods that aerobic activity can lower blood pressure include:
8.2.1. Prevents the Tightness of Your Blood Vessels:
High blood pressure results from stiff blood vessels that do not expand when blood flows through them.
8.2.2. Reduces the Left Ventricular Wall’s Thickness:
The heart’s left ventricle is responsible for circulating oxygen-rich blood throughout your whole body. The heart pumps blood out with significant power when the left ventricular wall is thick, which leads to high blood pressure.
8.2.3. Minimise Obesity:
Due to more salt intake and fat-containing food, obesity raises blood pressure.3
It is advised to engage in aerobic activity every day for at least 30 to 45 minutes.
There are a few aerobic activities you may try:
8.3 Vitamin Intake
Vitamins like B6, C, and D have been in several trials to help lower blood pressure. You should keep taking your blood pressure medicine as prescribed by your doctor.
To reduce the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disorders, individuals should ensure they consume sufficient vitamins C and D, as these vitamins will increase their health conditions and protect them from these diseases.
You may get these vitamins by consuming foods rich in them or by taking supplements.
Especially if you are using medicine or other supplements, follow your doctor’s instructions before taking these vitamin supplements.
9. Consult a Doctor When Blood Pressure Is High
Every two years, people between the ages of 18 and 40 should get their blood pressure checked.
Blood pressure should be checked yearly by those 40 years of age and older.
If your blood pressure is greater than 180/120 mmHg and you experience any of the following signs or symptoms, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
- Breathing heavily
- Chest discomfort
- A Really bad headache
- Eyesight problem
Additionally, you must go and call an ambulance if you see any of the following:
- Someone experiencing their first seizure.
- A person experiencing a seizure that lasts longer than normal or for five minutes or more.
- Someone experiencing several seizures or someone who loses consciousness.
Untreated high blood pressure poses a risk. The reason for this is that high blood pressure may affect the heart and blood vessels’ structural strength, hence reducing blood flow to various parts of the body.
A heart attack, a stroke, or kidney damage are all made more likely as a result of this.
Seizures are divided into three categories:
- Seizures that occur suddenly and without cause are epileptic.
- Seizures that are brought on by physical factors are provoked seizures.
- Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures caused by emotional anxiety.
Epileptic and psychogenic nonepileptic seizures, as well as stroke-induced seizures, are all made more likely by high blood pressure.
If you have strange symptoms and extremely high blood pressure, you should visit the hospital right away because it can be an emergency.
Seizures can occur as a result of high blood pressure, although this is uncommon. Seizures are short bursts of unusual electrical signals in the brain that result in a person losing control of their body.
High blood pressure, often known as hypertension, may result in damage to the blood vessels in the brain, resulting in a disease known as hypertensive encephalopathy.
As a result of hypertensive encephalopathy, some people may have seizures. However, it is important to note that, a majority of people having high blood pressure do not always have seizures.
If you or someone is having seizures, you must get medical help to discover the cause and receive proper treatment.
Controlling blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle and, if required, medication can help lower the risk of hypertensive encephalopathy and seizures.
To be healthy and safe, always follow the advice of healthcare experts.
Also must note that to keep blood pressure under level keep your diet healthy, which makes you strong and fit.
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- Liu, Yuandong, Zhichao Liu, and Yang Tian. “Real-Time Tracking of Electrical Signals and an Accurate Quantification of Chemical Signals with Long-Term Stability in the Live Brain.” Accounts of Chemical Research 55.19 (2022): 2821-2832. ↩︎
- Reuber, Markus, and Christian E. Elger. “Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures: review and update.” Epilepsy & Behavior 4.3 (2003): 205-216. ↩︎
- Jiang, Shu‑Zhong, et al. “Obesity and hypertension.” Experimental and therapeutic medicine 12.4 (2016): 2395-2399. ↩︎