Blood pressure tends to rise with age, unless take steps to prevent or control it. Several conditions favor and contribute to the cause of hypertension.
There are two types of hypertension based on their causes, they are:
- Primary or essential hypertension – in almost 90 to 95 percent adult with high blood pressure, there is no identifiable hypertension cause, which develops gradually over several years.
- Secondary hypertension – in almost 5 to 10 percent individual with high blood pressure, there is an identifiable underlying condition causing hypertension, which develops suddenly. The various health conditions that cause hypertension are kidney problems, adrenal gland tumors, and congenital blood vessel defects.
Primary or essential hypertension causes
Even though, we do not know the exact cause of high blood pressure, still various studies show there are some health traits that can contribute to the causes; they are:
- Salt sensitive individuals - are more likely to develop water retention, which in-turn causes elevated blood pressure. A study confirms that majority of people with hypertension are oversensitive to salt.
- Abnormality in the arteries – the majority of the hypertensive have some particular abnormality in the arteries. The abnormalities are arterial stiffness (or lack of elasticity), and narrowing. Narrowing or stiffening of arteries, which in-turn causes increase in blood pressure? Narrowing of arteries are due to aging and other health conditions such as diabetes, cholesterol, etc.
- Blood volume increase or forceful heart beating - more than normal volume of blood, or heart beating faster or forcefully than it should be, leads to elevated blood pressure.
- Genetic disorders - approximately about 30 percent of essential hypertension are due to hereditary, mostly affecting the hormones of the adrenal gland may cause hypertension.
- Stressful life - leads to increasing activity of sympathetic nervous system, causing a rise in norepinephrine release. This leads to increase in cardiac output, thus rise in blood pressure.
According to Ayurveda, impaired digestion leads to accumulation of ama (toxins) in the system preventing normal blood flow, which lead to the high blood pressure.
In the case of primary hypertension of unknown cause, you need anti-hypertension drug treatment to manage blood pressure at healthy pressure range.
Secondary hypertension causes
In few with high blood pressure, their underlying health condition causes hypertension. Mostly, this develops suddenly due to the severity of the health condition responsible for its cause. Some of the medical conditions causing hypertension are:
- Renal artery stenosis (Reno vascular disease) - this kidney condition can increase renin release, which increases angiotensin II and aldosterone. Increase in renin increases blood volume due to improved reabsorption of sodium and water. Increase in angiotensin II causes increase in cardiac output. The net effect is an elevated blood pressure.
- Chronic renal disease - is damage to the nephrons in the kidney occurs due to any number of pathologic processes. This condition stops the kidney to excrete normal quantity of sodium, leads to sodium and water retention. Therefore, blood volume increases, thus blood pressure gets elevated.
- Adrenal adenoma or hyperplasia - this increases in aldosterone circulation causes sodium and water retention, thus causing elevation in blood pressure.
- Hypokalemia - a condition characterizes by low level of potassium in the blood than normal. This causes sodium-potassium imbalance, leads to sodium & water retention causing an increase in blood pressure.
- Sleep apnea - is a sleep disorder characterize by stop breathing for a while (10 up to 30 seconds) during sleep. The exact mechanism for the cause of hypertension is not clear, but may be due to stress (induced by loss of sleep), sympathetic activation and hormonal changes associated with sleep apnea.
- Pheochromocytoma – are tumors in the adrenal leads to high levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine. This leads to systemic vasoconstriction and cardiac stimulation; this contributes to rise in blood pressure.
- Thyroid disorder - both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can cause high blood pressure, although hypertension mechanism is not still clear. Increase in thyroxin levels causes an increase in blood volume, and rise in heart rate; both this may contribute to elevation in blood pressure.
- Certain medicines – such as asthma, cold-relief medications and painkillers can cause elevated blood pressure in some individuals, the reason behind this cause is still not clear.
- Recreation drugs - such as cocaine, amphetamines and crystal methamphetamine
- Pregnancy – can raise blood pressure in some women, also birth control pill’s usage can elevate your pressure.
- Hormone-replacement therapy – can induce elevated blood pressure in some individual.
In the case of secondary hypertension with the known cause, you need to treat the underlying condition first, at the same time you need anti-hypertensive medication too.