There is a known link between CRPS and high blood pressure, but why? Find out in our blog.
As well as causing a whole host of painful symptoms, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, is also known to cause problems with high blood pressure for sufferers, which is also known as hypertension. High blood pressure can be dangerous for those who experience it, as it puts a strain on the heart and blood vessels, increasing the risk of life-threatening conditions, such as heart attack and stroke. The question on many people’s minds asks why CRPS sufferers are more prone to experiencing problems with their blood pressure. In this blog, we discuss more to help answer that question and provide details on how sufferers should monitor their blood pressure closely to ensure they do not experience serious repercussions.
The exact cause of high blood pressure in CRPS patients is unknown, however, it is known that the risk increases for patients and there are a number of things that have been associated with this, which we have provided detail on below. Firstly, it must be made clear that, in some cases, there may already be an existing underlying cause for high blood pressure, such as smoking, a family history, or being overweight.
However, for CRPS patients who are not overweight, do not smoke, or have no history of high blood pressure in their family, the condition is enough to bring on high blood pressure. How? Firstly, the extremely painful symptoms caused by CRPS are known to create stress in the body, which makes the body react in such a way that increases blood pressure. This can be particularly prominent during pain flare-ups, which many sufferers will, unfortunately, experience from time to time. At this time, it’s also likely that the patient will also suffer from heart palpitations and rapid heartbeat, which can result in lightheadedness or dizziness, chest pain, pressure or tightness, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
In addition to pain being a suspected cause of high blood pressure, inactivity is another contributing factor. Due to the extreme pain and discomfort caused by CRPS, many sufferers understandably find it difficult to partake in any form of exercise and, as a result, may eventually experience weight gain. As discussed above in this blog, being overweight is a well-known cause of the development of high blood pressure and problems with the heart.
As well as increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke, high blood pressure can also have a negative impact on vital organs, including the kidneys, eyes, and brain. Hypertension is something that can damage the body in silence for many years before symptoms have even developed, therefore, it is important that, if you have CRPS, you monitor your blood pressure closely, as your condition could have already increased your risk, as well as the medication you take to cope with pain.
For those of you who are wondering how you should monitor your blood pressure and ensure it remains stable, it is advised that you visit your doctor who will be able to carry out regular reviews on your behalf.
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