High blood pressure occurs when the blood pressure levels of a person stays very high for a long period of time. The blood pressure results from the fact that each heartbeat blood is pumped from the heart, into the blood vessels. The blood exerts pressure on the vessel wall from the inside.
Depending on the action taken, there exist two blood pressure values:
- Systolic Blood Pressure: This arises during the phase in which the heart contracts. Blood is pumped from the heart into the main artery (aorta). The resulting pressure wave continues on through the arterial walls of the arteries. As a result, a pulse wave can be measured.
- Diastolic Blood Pressure: During diastole, the heart muscle expands to replenish itself with blood. There is still pressure in the vessels, but it is lower than the systolic blood pressure.
For everyone, blood pressure is subject to fluctuations. For example, excitement and physical exertion raise blood pressure, while restful moments and sleep significantly lower blood pressure.
Doctors distinguish between two basic forms of hypertension regarding its causes:
- Primary hypertension: There is no underlying disease that can be detected as a cause of this high blood pressure. This essential hypertension accounts for approximately 90 percent of all high blood pressure cases.
- Secondary hypertension: Here, hypertension is based on another disease as a trigger. These can be, for example, kidney disease, thyroid dysfunction or other metabolic diseases.
Primary hypertension: Causes
What exactly causes the primary hypertension is not yet known. However, several factors are known which favor the development of this form of high blood pressure:
- A family tendency to high blood pressure
- Overweight (body mass index = BMI> 25)
- Lack of exercise
- High salt consumption
- High alcohol consumption
- Low potassium intake (a lot of potassium is in fresh fruits and vegetables, dried fruit or nuts)
- Older age (men ≥ 55 years, women ≥ 65 years)
Apparently, there is also a connection between hypertension and menopause in women: High blood pressure occurs more frequently in women after the end of the fertile years and that’s because they are no longer having menstrual periods and the resulting blood loss cycle.
The good news for men is that regularly giving blood (about every three months is ideal) can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 30 percent! This according to ScienceDaily.com and NCBI research.
There is also another, often underestimated factor in high blood pressure and that is stress. Although it is not considered the sole cause of high blood pressure. However, in people with a tendency for temporary bouts of hypertension, stress is almost always the contributing factor. Get rid of the stress and stress-induced high blood pressure falls back down to normal ranges quickly.
In most cases, the frequency of primary hypertension occurs together with other diseases.
- Type 2 diabetes
- Elevated blood lipid levels
When these three factors coincide with high blood pressure, physicians speak of the metabolic syndrome.
Secondary hypertension: Causes
In secondary hypertension, high blood pressure causes are found in another condition. These are usually kidney diseases, metabolic disorders (for example Cushing’s syndrome) or vascular diseases.
For example, renal artery stenosis and chronic kidney disease (eg, chronic glomerulonephritis, cystic kidney) may be the cause of hypertension. The same is true for a congenital narrowing of the main artery (aortic isthmus stenosis).
Another trigger of secondary hypertension may be sleep apnea syndrome. This is a breathing disorder while sleeping.
Even some medicines are considered high blood pressure causes. These include, for example, hormones (such as the “anti-baby pill”) and rheumatism. Certain drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines can cause abnormal blood pressure.
Around one in every twenty cases of high blood pressure is the result of associate degree underlying conditions or medication.
Chronic nephrosis (CKD) could be a common explanation for high force per unit area as a result of the kidneys being unable to separate out fluid. This fluid excess results in high blood pressure.
A number of risk factors increase the probabilities of getting high blood pressure.
Age: High blood pressure is common in folks aged over sixty years. With age, force per unit area will increase steadily because the arteries become stiffer and narrower due to plaque build-up.
Ethnicity: Some ethnic teams area unit are at risk of high blood pressure.
Size and weight: Being overweight or rotund could be a key risk issue.
Alcohol and tobacco use: overwhelming giant amounts of alcohol frequently will increase a human force per unit area, as will smoking tobacco.
Sex: The period of time risk is that the same for males and females, however, men tend to have a higher risk of high blood pressure at a younger age. The prevalence tends to be higher in older girls.
Existing health conditions: Diabetics, chronic nephrosis, and high cholesterol levels will cause high blood pressure increase, particularly as folks develop.
Other contributory factors include:
- Physical inactivity
- A salt-rich diet related to processed and fatty foods
- Alcohol and tobacco use
- Certain diseases and medications
A case history of high force per unit area and poorly managed stress also can contribute.
In some cases, disorders of the hormonal balance can also cause high blood pressure. It manifests in the following way:
- Cushing Syndrome: In this hormonal disorder, the body produces too much cortisol. This hormone affects many metabolic processes and is released during stress, among other things.
- Primary hyperaldosteronism (Conn syndrome): overproduction of the hormone aldosterone due to a disorder in the adrenal cortex (such as a tumor).
- Pheochromocytoma: This is a mostly benign adrenal tumor that produces stress hormones (catecholamines such as norepinephrine, epinephrine). This hormone overproduction leads to hypertensive episodes of headache, dizziness, and palpitations.
- Acromegaly: This produces a tumor in the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland unchecked growth hormones. This enlarges certain parts of the body such as hands, feet, lower jaw, chin, nose and eyebrow ridges.
- Androgenital Syndrome: The inherited metabolic disease leads to a disturbed production of the hormones aldosterone and cortisol in the adrenal gland. The cause of the disease is a genetic defect that is untreatable.
- Thyroid dysfunction: Hypertension also occurs more frequently in association with hyperthyroidism.
Note: This is part one on how to lower your blood pressure – please click this link to go to a page on this site with a list and links to the other parts in this series of articles on how men can lower blood pressure naturally. For the next article in this series please click the following link – Myths and misconceptions about high blood pressure.
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