Causes of high blood pressure

As the heart pumps blood around the body, the blood exerts a force on the walls of the arteries and other blood vessels as it flows through them. This pressure is known as the blood pressure. The normal level of blood pressure for an individual is having a high of 120 mmHg and a low of 80 mmHg. If the individual’s blood pressure exceeds this level, they are said to be suffering from high blood pressure (HBP); also known as hypertension.

High blood pressure is a very common disease, with about 60 million Americans suffering from it. However, this is only the number of people who have been diagnosed of having the disease. There may be hundreds of other people who may not even know that they have HBP. This is the real problem with this illness – in most cases it has been found to go undetected. This is because the symptoms for high blood pressure are quite discrete and are often misdiagnosed for other diseases. The first, and sometimes last, warning provided by HBP is usually quite serious and may even be fatal with the disease causing either a heart attack or a stroke.

As of yet, it is still unclear what exactly causes high blood pressure. There are numerous factors that may affect the blood pressure of a person. Few of these factors may be helped by reducing consumption of a few products such as cigarettes and alcoholic drinks. It may also be the amount of salt intake per day. Many people are known to have a greater sensitivity to salt and their blood pressure increases if too much salt is present in their diet. Certain drugs such as birth control pills may also increase blood pressure.

Living a healthy life is very important in order to keep the blood pressure under check. Being overweight or suffering from obesity is one of the major causes of being inflicted with this disease as they are very closely correlated. Doctors strongly advise overweight patients to lose weight if they want to have any effect on their blood pressure. This leads to another very important factor – lack of physical exercise. Having limited exercise is very harmful which not only affects blood pressure, but can also cause other health issues. It may lead to obesity which in turn increases the chances of suffering from HBP.

Aside from such factors, there are numerous other causes of HBP; some of which cannot be changed or helped. One such factor is age. The older a person gets, the greater is the possibility that they will have high blood pressure. It is also speculated that the gender, race and social status may also have something to do with causing high blood pressure. However, the most significant aspect concerning HBP is family history. HBP is considered to be a hereditary disease and the possibility that an individual will be diagnosed with high blood pressure increases considerably if a parent also has this disease.

In nearly 10% of the patients who are diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is a result of another illness. This form of HBP is known as Secondary Hypertension. Chronic kidney disease is known to increase the blood pressure of patients. Certain hormones can also affect the blood pressure, such as diseases occurring in the adrenal gland or thyroid disease. They release hormones into the bloodstream which are able to increase the present blood pressure. Secondary Hypertension can also be caused in pregnant women. Usually, treating the main disease will remedy the blood pressure and it will return to normal as the disease subsides.

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Last updated on May 8th, 2010 and filed under Cardiovascular Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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