Posted September 10, 2022 by Anusha ‐ 3 min read
Blood pressure is the measurement of the pressure or force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. When you have hypertension (high blood pressure), it means the pressure against the blood vessel walls in your body is consistently too high.
Causes of Hypertension
Some people are genetically predisposed to hypertension. This may be from gene mutations or genetic abnormalities inherited from your parents.
Individuals over 65 years old are more at risk for hypertension.
Black non-Hispanic indiviuals have a higher incidence of hypertension.
Living with obesity
Living with obesity can lead to a few cardiac issues, including hypertension.
High alcohol consumption
Women who habitially have more than one drink per day, and men who have more than two drinks per day, may be at an increased risk for hypertension.
Living a very seditary lifestlye
Lowered levels of fitness have been connected to hypertension.
Living with diabetes and/or metabolic syndrome: Individuals diagnosed with either diabetes or metabolic syndrome are at a higher risk of developing hypertension.
High sodium intake
There’s a small association between daily high sodium intake (more than 1.5g a day) and hypertension.
Types of Hypertension
Primary (also called essential) high blood pressure
Causes of this most common type of high blood pressure include aging and unhealthy habits like not getting enough exercise.
Secondary high blood pressure
Causes of this type of high blood pressure include different medical problems (for example kidney or hormonal problems) or sometimes a medication you’re taking.
Symptoms of Hypertension
Hypertension is generally a silent condition.
Many people won’t experience any symptoms.
It may take years or even decades for the condition to reach levels severe enough that symptoms become obvious.
Even then, these symptoms may be attributed to other issues.
Symptoms of severe hypertension can include the following
Blood spots in the eyes (subconjunctival hemorrhage)
Diagnosis of Hypertension
Since high blood pressure doesn’t have symptoms, your healthcare provider will need to check your blood pressure with a blood pressure cuff.
Providers usually check your blood pressure at every annual checkup or appointment.
If you have high blood pressure readings at two appointments or more, your provider may tell you that you have high blood pressure.
Treatment of Hypertension
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
They block the production of the angiotensin II hormone, which the body naturally uses to control blood pressure. When angiotensin II is blocked, your blood vessels don’t narrow.
Examples: lisinopril (Zestril or Prinivil), enalapril or captopril.
Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
They block this same hormone from binding with receptors in the blood vessels. ARBs work the same way as ACE inhibitors to keep blood vessels from narrowing.
Examples: metoprolol (Lopressor; Toprol XL), valsartan (Diovan or Prexxartan) or losartan.
Calcium channel blockers
They prevent calcium from entering the muscle cells of your heart and blood vessels, allowing these vessels to relax.
Examples: amlodipine (Norvasc or Katerzia), nifedipine (ProcardiaXL or NifedicalXL), diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor XR or Tiazac).
They flush excess sodium from your body, reducing the amount of fluid in your blood. Diuretics are often used with other high blood pressure medicines, sometimes in one combined pill.
Examples: indapamide, hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide or Oretic) or chlorothiazide.