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What are the Symptoms of Pheochromocytoma?

Most patients with pheochromocytoma have high blood pressure. Many patients have three main symptoms: headache, excess sweating and a hard, fast heartbeat (palpitations).

You should see your health care provider if:

  • You have high blood pressure that is difficult to control
  • You are taking more than 4 drugs for blood pressure
  • You have high blood pressure before age 35 or after age 60
  • You have signs such as:
    • Bad headaches
    • Excessive sweating
    • Racing heartbeat
    • Paleness
    • Anxiety and worry
    • Nervous shaking
    • Pain in the lower chest or upper belly area
    • Upset stomach
    • Weight loss
    • Feeling overheated
    • Fatigue
    • Vision problems
    • Seizures

Spikes in blood pressure should be discussed with your health care provider. They can be short term or long lasting. Sudden attacks often last less than 1 hour. They can happen several times a week, or only a few times a year. Women experience these spikes more often than men. They can be brought on by physical, emotional or drug related issues. Some things that can cause high blood pressure in this condition are:

  • Bending over
  • Abdominal pressure
  • Fear
  • Tobacco use
  • Histamines and glucagons
  • Foods rich in tyramine (like beer, wine and cheese)