High blood pressure is also called hypertension. The causes of the condition are divided into two categories including essential or primary and secondary. There is no cause identified for primary high blood pressure. The causes of secondary high blood pressure may be certain diseases or specific medications a person is taking.
Blood pressure is the measurement of the force of blood that is pushed by the heart against the wall of the blood vessel. High blood pressure is dangerous because it means the heart is overworking to keep the blood flowing throughout the body. This overworking may cause hardening of the arteries, stroke, heart failure and kidney disease.
During a consultation with our specialist at Cardiology Consultants of Southwest Florida, your blood pressure may be measured in order to determine if you have normal, prehypertension, stage one or two blood pressure. If your blood pressure is above the normal range, treatment may be recommended to lower it.
The exact cause of high blood pressure may not be identified, but there are many factors that may contribute to it. They include:
• Obesity – Being obese or overweight may cause the heart to overwork.
• Smoking – Smoking reduces the oxygen content of blood, causing the heart to overwork to send enough oxygen to the muscles. It also causes blood vessels to narrow, increasing blood pressure.
• A sedentary lifestyle – Lack of exercise
• A large amount of salt in the diet – People who don’t eat much salt have lower blood pressure.
• More than one or two drinks of alcohol per day causes higher blood pressure than in people who don’t drink.
• Stress – Long-term mental stress can raise blood pressure if the person cannot handle it properly. If handled properly, it may not raise blood pressure.
• Old age – As people age, the risk of high blood pressure goes up.
• Heredity – If family members have hypertension
• High fat diet – this means saturated fats found in animal products and trans fats. It does not include fats from olive oil, nuts, avocados and some types of fish.
• Diabetes – People with both type one and type two diabetes are at risk of developing hypertension.
• Pregnancy – High blood pressure is a common problem for pregnant women.
• Ethnic background – African and South Asian ancestry are at higher risk.
• Certain diseases – Some of the diseases that may cause this condition are kidney disease, sleep apnea, thyroid problems, lupus and scleroderma.
• Certain medications – Some of the substances that may cause high blood pressure are contraceptive pills, steroid medications, ibuprofen, herbal medicines that contain liquorish, cold remedies, cocaine and amphetamines and antidepressants.
If the high blood pressure is caused by a drug or medicine, it may return to normal when the medicine or drug is discontinued.
There may be no signs or symptoms that you have high blood pressure unless it has reached a dangerous level. Then, there might be nosebleeds, headaches and shortness of breath. Measuring blood pressure is often a routine test during an appointment at Cardiology Consultants of Southwest Florida, so you can keep track of your numbers. Our office is located in Fort Myers. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.