Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, can be defined as the occurrence of high pressure or tension in the arteries. The arteries are crucial to your health because they are the vessels that support blood from the heart to the other areas in the body.
If you have hypertension, you are not alone. In fact, it is a very common medical condition where one out of three adults in the United States is affected. Unfortunately, it is a serious health problem, which is why it is nicknamed as the silent killer.
Causes of Hypertension
Although as mentioned, this is a common problem in adults, most cases of high blood pressure don’t have a specific cause. This instance is known as primary hypertension. The cause is not unidentifiable, but hypertension has often been around for years now. It just gradually develops and slowly affects the person.
For others though, their hypertension is a result of their current condition, such as heart and kidney problems. This condition is known as secondary hypertension. This tends to appear all of a sudden, unlike primary hypertension.
Other conditions that can lead to high blood pressure include adrenal gland tumors, obstructive sleep apnea, and thyroid problems. People who abuse drugs, such as amphetamines and cocaine, can develop hypertension. Certain medical conditions, especially those who are born with blood vessel defects can also have high blood pressure.Other causes include alcohol abuse and use of some medications, such as cold remedies and birth control pills.
Although more than 90% of high blood pressure cases don’t have a specific cause, there are several risk factors that increase the risk of acquiring the condition. These factors include the following:
- Your age: the older you are, the higher the chances of having high blood pressure.
- Your family: If anyone in your family has had hypertension, you could also get it as it seems to run in the family.
- Your diet: If you eat foods that are high in salt, you could have hypertension.
- Your lifestyle: If you choose to be always sitting down, watching TV and not doing anything, you increase your risk of developing this medical condition.
- Your weight: Being overweight or obese can lead to hypertension.
It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle if you wish to combat high blood pressure. Even if you already have the disease, it is still helpful if you become more active and eat healthy foods.