Causes of High Blood Pressure- Hypertension
September 28, 2020
What is high blood pressure
Everyone has blood pressure. it is only when it becomes high that it causes problems. Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by blood on the walls of the blood vessels when it pushes through them. High blood pressure or hypertension results when this pressure is more than the normal pressure. Hypertension is a dangerous condition as it affects nearly all parts of the body and can lead to many major diseases and conditions.
Normal Blood pressure and high blood pressure
The normal blood pressure is 120/80. This means the pressure on the walls is 120mm Hg when the heart pushes blood through the vessel and 80 mmHg in between two beats when the heart fills for the next push. The upper number in the fraction is called systolic pressure and the lower one diastolic pressure.
When these numbers rise, even when the diastolic remains at 80 and only the systolic is higher than 120, you will be diagnosed as hypertensive. High blood pressure damages your arteries, heart, brain, kidneys and eyes and can lead to life threatening conditions. There are various stages of hypertension and your risk increases as you progress to the higher stages.
Causes of high blood pressure or hypertension
Various factors contribute towards increasing your blood pressure. it is known that hypertension runs in families and that it affects more men than women. Changing your lifestyle and adopting healthy practices can help you decrease your risk of developing hypertension.
Causes that lead to hypertension include:
High salt intake
Lack of exercise
Certain medical conditions of kidneys, adrenal and thyroid glands
Family history of hypertension
There are two types of hypertension
Essential hypertension is high blood pressure which has no specific cause. Unexplained hypertension is essential hypertension. Causes of essential hypertension, though not clear, can be traced to high salt intake, obesity, diabetes, insufficient intake of potassium, calcium and magnesium, sedentary lifestyle and alcoholism.
Secondary hypertension is high blood pressure that results from a specific cause. It can be caused by kidney disease, tumours or abnormalities that affect the adrenal glands, birth control pills containing estrogen, pregnancy and certain medications.
Hypertension is very harmful to your health and preventing it or managing it is the best way to stay healthy.
You are at a risk of developing hypertension if
- You eat too much salt and fatty foods
- Your family members have blood pressure
- You are a smoker and an alcoholic
- You are pregnant or are taking birth control pills containing estrogen
- You are over 35 years old
- You are obese and not very active
- You have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea
If you think you may have hypertension or have a family history of hypertension, get yourself checked by our doctors. Contact us to keep your hypertension under control to lead a healthy and normal life.