Hypertension Causes

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Thu, 06/24/2010
High Blood Pressure Causes

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 of 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 that cause 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.

  1. Salt-sensitive individuals - are more likely to develop water retention, which in turn causes elevated blood pressure. A study confirms that the majority of people with hypertension are oversensitive to salt.
  2. Abnormality in the arteries – the majority of the hypertensive have some particular defect in the arteries. The abnormalities are arterial stiffness (lack of elasticity) and narrow.  Narrowing or stiffening of arteries leads to rising in blood pressure. Narrowing of arteries is due to aging and other health conditions such as diabetes, cholesterol, etc.
  3. Blood volume increase or forceful heart beating - That is more than the average volume of blood and heart beating forcibly leads to elevated blood pressure.
  4. Genetic disorders - approximately about 30 % of essential hypertension are due to hereditary, mostly affecting the hormones of the adrenal gland may cause hypertension.
  5. Sensitive individuals - Stressful life leads to increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system, causing a rise in norepinephrine release. It leads to an 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 a healthy pressure range.

7 Causes of Secondary Hypertension

In few with high blood pressure, their underlying health condition causes hypertension. Mostly, they develop 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 blood pressure and leads to hypertension.

a.    Renal artery stenosis (Renovascular disease) - this kidney condition that can increase renin release. Then, it raises the levels of angiotensin II and aldosterone. The increase in renin increases blood volume due to improved reabsorption of sodium and water. The rise in angiotensin II causes an increase in cardiac output. The net effect is 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 a reasonable quantity of sodium, leads to sodium and water retention. Therefore, blood volume increases; thus, blood pressure gets elevated.

2.    Adrenal problems (tumor, adenoma, or hyperplasia) increases aldosterone circulation, which causes sodium and water retention. Thus creating an elevation in blood pressure.

a.    Pheochromocytoma – are tumors in the adrenal. It leads to high levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine. It leads to systemic vasoconstriction and cardiac stimulation; this contributes to a rise in blood pressure.

b.    Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System - It 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 hyper and hypothyroidism can cause high blood pressure. Although hypertension mechanism is not still precise. The increase in thyroxine levels causes an increase in blood volume and a 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 usual. 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.