Blood pressure is the reading of how much blood pushes against the walls of the blood vessels. The arteries are the blood vessels that are responsible for conveying blood, pumped by the heart, throughout the body. When you have hypertension or high blood pressure, the heart needs to pump harder to because of several factors causing cardiovascular difficulties. High blood pressure can cause complications like atherosclerosis which is the hardening of the arteries and heart failure.
The Causes of High Blood Pressure
No one knows for sure what exactly causes high blood pressure in a person although doctors have determined are number of conditions and factors that may cause its development. These conditions and factors can consist of:
- Thyroid and adrenal problems
- Chronic kidney problems
- Family history of hypertension
- Old age
- Excess drinking of alcohol (2 or more drinks a day)
- High salt content in your diet
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Obesity or excess weight
Essential hypertension means that the root cause of one’s high blood pressure cannot be established and that almost all (about 95%) of high blood pressure cases that are heard by doctors in the U.S. are of this type of hypertension.
Essential hypertension can be caused by a person’s lifestyle and the foods that he eats. The correlation between high blood pressure and high salt consumption is glaringly exemplified by these examples: People living in northern Japan consume the highest amounts of salt anywhere in the world and they also exhibit the highest occurrence of essential hypertension while people who don’t use salt in their foods never exhibit any signs of essential hypertension.
Most people need minimal amount of salt in their body and using salt more than their body needs enhances their blood pressure. Other elements that will make one risk getting essential hypertension include insufficient amounts of magnesium, calcium and potassium in the body, chronic alcoholism, lack of physical activity, stress, diabetes and obesity.
If a definite cause for your hypertension has been found, then your condition can be referred to as secondary hypertension. Kidney disease is the number one cause for secondary hypertension. High blood pressure may likewise be due to tumors or other factors that cause the adrenal glands (located above the kidneys) to dysfunction, producing large amounts of hormones that increases blood pressure.
Certain medications especially birth control pills that contain estrogen as well as pregnancy can elevate blood pressure.
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