What Causes Hypertension?

High blood pressure can either be a gradual progression which is called essential hypertension or can be caused by other medical conditions or medications which is called secondary hypertension.

Secondary Hypertension

Secondary hypertension is not nearly as common as essential hypertension, as it only counts for about 10% of high blood pressure cases. Like we mentioned above, secondary hypertension can be caused by other diseases or medications.

Mayo Clinic outlines the causes of secondary hypertension to include the following:

  • “Diabetic Complications
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease
  • Glomerular Disease
  • Renovascular Hypertension
  • Cushing Syndrome
  • Aldosteronism
  • Pheochromocytosis
  • Thyroid problems
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Coarctation of the Aorta
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Medications”

You can read more about the specifics regarding each of those by visiting there website or click here to be redirected.

Essential Hypertension

There are many risk factors that can contribute to the development of high blood pressure, regardless of the type. Listed below the causes, as state by Mayo Clinic:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Family History
  • Overweight or Obesity
  • Sedentary Lifestyle: Not being active
  • Using tobacco
  • Too much salt in the diet
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Stress
  • Certain chronic illnesses

Of course, there’s nothing you can do about how old you are, your race, or family history but there are certain things listed off above that you do have control over. As far as the family history, just because your dad has high blood pressure, does not mean that you yourself will have high blood pressure.

It is important for the physician to know your family history as you are more likely to develop this, but it’s not a definite truth unless you participate in the other lifestyle behaviors as your father.

Obesity, activity level, tobacco use, alcohol use, salt intake, and stress are all things that you can control. Any doctor that you see will tell you that smoking cigarettes or using tobacco products aren’t good for your overall health, same goes for overconsumption of alcohol.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to increase your activity level which over time will decrease your weight (if you’re someone who is holding on to a few extra pounds). Also work on stress reduction techniques like yoga, meditation, or whatever else can calmn you down when your anxiety is high.

You should also be eating less processed foods and instead increasing the whole foods in your diet. Whole foods like vegetables, fruit, fish, nuts, etc.

New Recommendations

If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you’ve probably heard about the newer recommendation for threshold as put forth by the American Heart Association. For someone without high blood pressure as a diagnosis, it’s said that blood pressure readings should be below 120/80.

It use to be that a person with a blood pressure of 138/88 would be considered “normal” or within acceptable range. Now, a “normal” or controlled blood pressure reading must be below 130/80 for someone with a diagnosis of hypertension.

That may not seem like quite a jump going from 140/90 down to 130/80, but you would be SHOCKED at how many people’s blood pressure fall between those ranges. This makes it increasingly difficult for doctors to get their patient’s blood pressure regulated when the recommendations continue to change, as they always will.

It’s just hard to convince someone that they need an adjustment in their high blood pressure medication when the doctor told them at their last visit that their blood pressure regimen was fine.

There are a lot of people who have high blood pressure and take more than one medication to keep it under control. As you know, the more medication you take, the more expensive it tends to get. If you’re someone who takes several medications and are looking to lower your costs, be sure to check out the Services tab above for assistance.

If you have any questions regarding the information given be sure to drop a comment below! I will chat with you all this Wednesday where I’ll be giving you a FREEBIE 😀 I’m pretty excited, you won’t want to miss it!

Have a great day!

Chelsea

Your Advocate for Health & Hope

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