All sorts of tests, only one question: an unexpected cause of hypertension

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A 48-year-old woman presented to the Accident and Emergency department with a 4 month history of headaches, nausea and dizziness. She was found to have severe hypertension and hypokalaemia. Extensive investigations did not find any secondary cause for hypertension. The patient was discharged with oral doxazosin therapy which controlled the blood pressure. Before the follow-up appointment at the hypertension clinic, the patient and her husband identified that her headaches coincided with liquorice tea consumption of up to three cups per day. This information was not obtained in the clinical assessment. The patient is now headache and medication free after cessation of liquorice tea. Liquorice ingestion is often a forgotten reversible cause of hypertension. A good history is key to this diagnosis.

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