Hypertension, which is also referred to as high blood pressure in other terms, is a medical condition that makes the blood pressure exerted in the arteries walls while flowing to be consistently high. The question that disturbs a big percentage of individuals is the cause of high blood pressure. Well, at the moment medical literature and reports state that the cause of hypertension is unknown to 90% percent of the cases while 10% of the cases are known.
There are two types of hypertension: primary or essential hypertension and secondary hypertension. In this piece, we are going to look at the causes of each type of high blood pressure symptom as well as other insights about high blood pressure.
1. Primary or essential hypertension
Ninety percent of hypersensitive patients fall into this category of primary hypertension. Medical sources state that there are known causes of hypertension, but it can be related to environmental and hereditary factors. The known causes are little and cover a very small field while the unknown causes cover a vast ground on the other hand. Some of the known causes of primary hypertension include the following:
• Hormone and enzyme imbalance: primary hypertension can be caused by angiotensin hormone and renin enzyme imbalance from the kidney which regulates sodium and water level in the body as well as the pressure exerted by blood flow in the arteries.
• Heredity or genetic disorder: a person who comes from a family that has a hypertensive history have 3 times as much probability to suffer from high blood pressure as a normal person.
• Race: race is another factor that can be used to determine the cause of high blood pressure. Medical studies have indicated that black race has a higher risk of developing high blood pressure.
• Age: the older we get the more we become predisposed to hypertension. This is because of the fact that arteries narrow and harden with time as age catches up. Obviously, you can’t control the aging process or reduce your age. However, you can check your blood pressure as you age.
• Obesity: obesity has also been found to be a trigger of essential hypertension. When a person starts to add more weight, the heart is given extra work and the human body system becomes overstressed. In long run, this can lead to what is referred to as primary hypertension.
• High sodium diet: this is another known cause of high blood pressure and it happens to people who take too many salty foods than their bodies need. High salt content diet affects people who are over 50 years of age, have kidney problems, are of African descent or have high blood pressure history in their family.
• Excessive alcohol intake: alcohol intake is another known cause of high blood pressure. Excessive alcohol intake has been cited as a cause and a high contributor to hypertension to some individuals. People are more likely to develop high blood pressure symptoms from forty years and above.
Essentially, high blood pressure is by far quite common in adults in most cases but a number of children are being diagnosed with high blood pressure due to bad lifestyle habits such as lack of exercises and unhealthy diet.
2. Secondary Hypertension
Usually, only five to ten percent of hypersensitive patients are diagnosed with secondary hypertension and identifiable causes. Mostly, the main causes of secondary hypertension are tumors, multiple types of kidney diseases, and endocrine disorder. You find that excessive use of medication to cure this condition might lead to hypertension side-effect. It is advisable to consult the doctor if blood pressure medication fails to control blood pressure level. You may be suffering a secondary hypertension type rather than an essential type.
Causes of secondary hypertension include:
The endocrine disorder can be grouped into two categories: endocrine diseases that makes the gland to produce little or too much endocrine hormone giving rise to an imbalance and endocrine disease that leads to lesions development (such as tumors and nodules) in the system that affects hormones level.
• Hyperthyroidism: this is a condition that makes the thyroid gland to be overactive leaving to excessive production of thyroid hormone. When the thyroid gland is more active than normal (hyperthyroidism) it ends up speeding up body process that leads to rapid heartbeat leading to secondary hypertension.
• Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): OSA has been cited as the cause of secondary hypertension in that OSA episodes produce blood surges in diastolic and systolic pressure that elevates the blood pressure levels, especially at night. This blood pressure when maintained during the day leads to secondary hypertension in individuals.
• Cushing syndrome: secondary hypertension is quite common in patients with Cushing’s disease. A big percentage of patients with this condition have been diagnosed with hypertension.
• Renal artery stenosis: it is the narrowing of the renal arteries that often causes fibro-muscular or atherosclerosis dysplasia. The renal artery narrowing impedes blood flow leading secondary type of high blood pressure.
• Coarctation of aorta: is narrow of the aorta (major artery) that transports blood to the other parts of the body. The narrowing affects the flow of blood, especially where arteries branch out leading to high blood pressure.
• Chronic kidney disease: chronic kidney disease causes arteries around the kidney to weaken, narrow or harden. Research has indicated that individuals who have chronic kidney disease are likely to suffer from high blood pressure due to the uncontrolled blood pressure over time.
Side effects from medication
Excessive medication can be a cause of high blood pressure in some patients. On the other hand, some anti-allergic or anti-inflammatory medication can subside the effects of hypertension drugs. The use of hormone treatment for menopause may lead to the rise of blood pressure, therefore, a patient is urged to consult a doctor before taking a particular hormone treatment. The following are a few medications side effects.
• Corticosteroids: this is an anti-inflammatory drug which is used to treat asthma, arthritis, rheumatoid and other chronic diseases. It has been found out that continued use of this medication can subside high blood pressure effects. For example:
- Prednisolone type such as Sterapred
- Methylprednisolone type such as Medrol, Meprolone
- Dexamethasone type such as Decadron
• Tricyclic antidepressants: this is drugs that are used to treat a migraine and depression. Research indicates that continued use of these drugs causes hypertension. For example:
- Desipramine types such as Pertofrane and Norpramin
- Protriptyline type such as Vivactil
- Amitriptyline type such as Elavil
- Endep type such as Vanatrip
- Nortryptyline type such as Pamelor, Aventyl
• Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs): NSAIDs are drugs used to reduce or relieve inflammation from conditions such as arthritis. They usually make the human body to retain more fluid decreasing kidney’s functionality. This, in turn, puts greater stress on kidneys and heart leading to high blood pressure. For example:
- Ibuprofen type such as Motrin, Advil
- Naproxen type such as Aleve, Naprosyn
- Aspirin type
• Decongestants: this is drugs that used for allergy treatment. They have been found to subside the effects of the hypertension drugs. For example:
- Diphenhydramine type such as Benadryl, Unisom, Sominex
- Pseudoephedrine type such as Sudafed, Contac
- Phenylephrine type such as Sudafed PE
To wrap up the loose ends, it is worth to mention that the above-mentioned list isn’t an exhaustive list of cause of high blood pressure. However, the discussed causes are quite common and most of them are things that we can control. The bottom line is that it will demand you a lot of work to control but the results can be a greater sense of well-being and long life.