Patients with hypertension will find that there are many misunderstandings out there about the causes of hypertension. Understanding what causes hypertension is the first step in getting healthy after being diagnosed with high blood pressure.
What Causes Hypertension?
The actual cause of most hypertension cases is unknown. Hypertension can be one of two types — primary or secondary. Most people with hypertension have primary hypertension. The true cause of primary hypertension is unknown, but researchers believe it is a combination of lifestyle and genetic factors.
Risk Factors Are Not Causes
Patients with primary hypertension are often told by well-meaning individuals that their weight or diet are causing their high blood pressure. Weight and diet are risk factors for high blood pressure, not actual hypertension causes. Yet understanding risk factors is helpful in combating the disease and getting the right screening.
Risk factors for primary hypertension can make the problem worse for those who are prone to blood pressure problems. Common risk factors include eating a diet high in salt, being overweight, using tobacco or consuming too much alcohol. All of these can make hypertension worse in those who have been diagnosed.
In addition, some medications can raise blood pressure. If you are at risk for hypertension or have been diagnosed with primary hypertension, you will need to discuss all medications with your doctor.
Causes of Secondary Hypertension
Secondary hypertension is hypertension that is caused by an underlying condition, and these causes are often hormonal in nature.
Common causes of secondary hypertension include Cushing syndrome, kidney disease and primary aldosteronism. Primary aldosteronism, an adrenal gland disorder, is one of the most common causes of high blood pressure for those with secondary hypertension. This disease affects eight out of every 100 hypertension patients.
Because hypertension can be primary or secondary, you need to have a full checkup done if you have been diagnosed with hypertension. Treating the underlying condition can help you control your high blood pressure more effectively, giving you a new lease on life.