Blood pressure tends to rise with age unless taking steps to prevent or control it. Several conditions favor and contribute to the cause of hypertension.
12 Causes of Hypertension
Primary or essential hypertension is in about 90 to 95 percent individuals with high blood pressure. There is no identifiable hypertension cause, it develops gradually over several years.
Secondary hypertension is in about 5 to 10 percent individual with high blood pressure. There is an identifiable underlying condition that causes hypertension, it develops suddenly. The various health conditions causes hypertension are kidney problems, adrenal gland tumors, and congenital blood vessel defects.
5 Causes of Primary or Essential Hypertension
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.
- 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 (lack of elasticity) and narrowing. Narrowing or stiffening of arteries leads to rise in blood pressure. Narrowing of arteries is 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, heart beating faster, or forcefully than it should be, leads to elevated blood pressure.
- Genetic disorders - approximately about 30 % of essential hypertension are due to hereditary, mostly affecting the hormones of the adrenal gland may cause hypertension.
- Sensitive individuals - Stressful life leads to increasing activity of the sympathetic nervous system, causing a rise in norepinephrine release. It 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 leads 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.
7 Causes of Secondary Hypertension
In few with high blood pressure, their underlying health condition causes hypertension. Mostly, they develops suddenly due to the severity of the health condition responsible for its cause.
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 secondary hypertension are problems with kidney, adrenal, thyroid, congenital blood vessels, sympathetic nervous system, and hypokalemia.
Some of the medical conditions causing hypertension are:
1. Kidney Damage - Without proper kidney functions, the toxins in the body are not filtered out. A defect in the kidneys cannot properly regulate the blood pressure and leads to hypertension.
a. Renal artery stenosis (Renovascular disease) - this kidney condition can increase renin release, which increases angiotensin II and aldosterone. The increase in renin increases blood volume due to improved reabsorption of sodium and water. The increase in angiotensin II causes an increase in cardiac output. The net effect is an elevated blood pressure.
b. 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.
2. Adrenal problems – such as a tumor, adenoma, or hyperplasia increases in aldosterone circulation causes sodium and water retention, thus causing an elevation in blood pressure.
a. Pheochromocytoma – are tumors in the adrenal leads to high levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine. It leads to systemic vasoconstriction and cardiac stimulation; this contributes to rising in blood pressure.
b. Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System - produces angiotensin and aldosterone hormones. Angiotensin constricts blood vessels; this leads to an increase in blood pressure. Aldosterone controls the kidney’s fluid and salt level balance. Increased aldosterone activity may change kidney function, increase blood volumes, and high blood pressure.
3. Thyroid disorder - both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can cause high blood pressure, although hypertension mechanism is not still clear. The increase in thyroxine levels causes an increase in blood volume, and rise in heart rate; both this may contribute to an elevation in blood pressure.
4. Congenital blood vessels defect - Structural and functional changes of small and large arteries may cause high blood pressure. The angiotensin pathway and the immune system may stiffen small and large arteries; this affects blood pressure.
5. Sympathetic Nervous System Activity - has vital functions in blood pressure regulation, they are heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. Imbalances in this system cause high blood pressure.
6. Neuroendocrine Tumor - are abnormal growths in endocrine glands. Endocrine glands produce hormones. These hormones produced excessively by the endocrine tumors and released into the blood. People with a neuroendocrine tumor may cause high blood pressure.
7. Hypokalemia - a condition characterizes by the low level of potassium in the blood than normal. It causes sodium-potassium imbalance, leads to sodium & water retention causing an increase in blood pressure.
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.