By Dr Joe
Let me clarify this common question regarding high blood pressure and feeling hot. I often get asked: does high blood pressure make you hot?
So, I thought I might as well deal with the issue of high blood pressure causing you to feel hot all of a sudden right here on this page.
Largely speaking, high blood pressure is a symptomless condition. That is why hypertension is a nasty condition. High blood pressure creeps in on you. You get on with your life, going to work, doing your regular daily chores and you are completely oblivious to the fact that you may have hypertension.
You are probably under the impression that you should have symptoms like feeling hot when you have high blood pressure. And when you experience such symptoms, only then would you request a medical opinion to have your blood pressure checked. That would be a wrong approach.
The truth of the matter is; high blood pressure does not play ball like that. 8 out of 10 people with high blood pressure do not know they have the condition. This is because of what I said earlier. High blood pressure usually does not show up with easily recognisable symptoms for the most part.
Only occassionally does high blood pressure reveal itself with symptoms.
Does high blood pressure make you hot?
The straight answer to the question: does high blood pressure make you hot is; No, it doesn’t.
High blood pressure does not make you feel hot.
But some co-factors surrounding high blood pressure can make you feel hot. These co-factors may give the impression that the feeling of warmth is caused by the high blood pressure. That would be a wrong impression.
What do I mean by that?
Here are some of the co-factors that may make you feel hot if you have high blood pressure.
Menopause and Andropause
As men and women get older, andropause and menopause set in respectively. One of the classical symptoms of menopause is hot flashes (hot flushes). There are few women who go through menopause without experiencing hot flashes. Hot flashes can be distracting and uncomfortable.
It is said that some men do experience the same thing when their levels of testosterone drop. These group of men experience an intense feeling of warmth just like the menopausal women. The so-called low-T syndrome.
I should emphasize that a small percentage of men experience this problem of feeling hot but for the ladies, it’s almost universal. Hot flashes in women is caused by low estrogen levels.
So, what’s the connection between feeling hot in menopause and feeling hot with high blood pressure?
The connection is that the average age of menopause and andropause coincides with the age when most people with high blood pressure will be diagnosed. It is therefore easy to confuse the two condition.
If you are feeling hot and you suffer from high blood pressure and you are menopausal or andropausal, it is likely the cause of your warmth is the latter rather than the former.
Anxiety can present in a variety of ways. Quite apart from feeling keyed-up when you are anxious, you may experience a feeling of warmth all over. This can easily be confused with the high blood pressure as being the cause of your feeling hot.
An overactive thyroid is a condition where your thyroid gland is working overtime. Your thyroid gland over-produces the hormone called thyroxine. Thyroxine is a hormone that regulates our metabolism.
Excess thyroxine in circulation will result in metabolic overdrive. An extremely high metabolic rate will make you feel hot. This is another condition that may need to be excluded if you feel hot and have high blood pressure as well.
Your high blood pressure medications
All medications have side effects. High blood pressure medications are no exception. if you are taking high blood pressure meds and you are feeling hot, there’s a good chance those high BP medications may be responsible for the problem.
The combination medications are worse. Combination medications for high blood pressure are those that have different modes of action put together into one single pill.
The idea of combination blood pressure drugs is to attack the hypertension from different angles with the convenience of taking just one single pill as opposed to taking 2 or 3 different pills.
For instance, Vaseretic which is enalapril and hydrochlorothiazide combined will make you feel hot. Lotrel which is a combination of amlodipine and benazepril will make you feel hot if you have high blood pressure.
Tribenzor which combines 3 different high blood pressure pills into one namely hydrochlorothiazide, amlodipine and olmesartan is another HBP med that may make you feel hot if you have high blood pressure.
Single high blood pressure meds aren’t left out either.
An example are the vasodilator drungs like Hydralazine and Minoxidil. They will most certainly make you feel hot with your high blood pressure. Just because of the way they work.
Vasodilators open up your blood vessels allowing a rush of blood through, if you like. That is bound to make you feel flushed and warm.
Also calcium-channel blockers like Adalat, Norvasc, Cardizem, Cardene, Dilacor XR, Tiazac, Plendil may make you feel hot too with your high blood pressure.
There is a good list of all of these drugs on the FDA website along with potential side effects here. Follow that link, if you would like to explore these medications and their side effects further.
Bottom line is:
High blood pressure will not make you feel hot but associated factors and conditions may make you feel hot.