Hypertension (High Blood Pressure): Causes, Symptoms, Risks & Control
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Hypertension (High Blood Pressure): Causes, Symptoms, Risks, Control

High Blood Pressure Overview

High blood pressure or hypertension is the condition that occurs when the force of blood pumping against the arterial walls are too high. That eventually causes health problems in the long term especially heart disease. Blood pressure is the measure of the amount of blood the heart pumps and the resistance amount which flows in the arteries. The more the heart pumps the blood and narrower the arteries are, the higher your blood pressure.

Hypertension is very common. You can have high blood pressure for years without any symptoms. However, even without symptoms, damages to heart and blood vessels can be detected. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the risk of some serious health issues, including heart attack and strokes.

Generally, hypertension develops for many years and affects a large number of people. Fortunately, hypertension can be detected very easily and once a person is aware of their high blood pressure, it can be controlled by a physician.

High Blood Pressure Symptoms

High blood pressure is usually a silent condition and many people will not experience any symptoms. It may take many years to reach severe levels for the symptoms to start showing.

Symptoms of severe high blood pressure includes:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Nosebleeds
  • Blood in urine
  • Visual changes

Causes of High Blood Pressure (Hypertesnion)

There are two kinds of hypertension – Essential/Primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. Most of the people have essential hypertension and its causes are unknown.
When a cause of hypertension is detected, this condition is known to be secondary hypertension.

  • Primary Hypertension

    This type of hypertension is diagnosed after a doctor notices high blood pressure. Usually in this type of blood pressure, a person finds no symptoms but he can experience regular headaches, dizziness, tiredness or nosebleed. Many researchers suggested that obesity, alcohol, smoke, and heredity play a vital role in hypertension.

  • Secondary Hypertension

    One of the most common cause of secondary hypertension is damage in the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys. Other causes are obstructive sleep routine, congenital heart defects, thyroid, alcohol abuse, hormonal abnormalities or medication’s side effects.

Risk of High Blood Pressure (Hypertesnion)

Various factors play a key role in putting one at a greater risk of hypertension. Understanding these factors can help you to be aware of the blood pressure. Some risk factors include:

  • To much amount of sodium (salt) in your diet
    To much salt in your diet can cause the body to retain fluid as well as constriction of arteries. Both of these conditions increase your blood pressure.

  • Obesity or overweight
    The higher the body weight, the more blood flow is required to supply oxygen and nutrients to the body. As the volume of blood circulated through your blood vessels increases, the pressure in the arteries elevates gradually.

  • Not being physically active
    Exercise enhances the blood flow through all the arteries that lead to the release of hormones and cytokines for the relaxation of blood vessels, which in turn lowers the blood pressure. Lack of physical activities increases the risk of being overweight.

  • Too much alcohol consumption
    Consuming more than two glasses of alcohol per day can raise blood pressure by activating androgenic nervous system causing vasoconstriction and the simultaneous increase in heart rate as well as blood flow.

  • Stress Higher stress levels can cause a temporary and dramatic increase in blood pressure. Relaxation and meditation techniques are effective in lowering the stress level and hence lowering the blood pressure.

  • Non- steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

    Drugs like Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Sulindac, Diclofenac, Indomethacin, etc. can cause damage to kidneys, worsening heart failure and develops a new blood pressure.

How to Control High Blood Pressure/Hypertension

Being diagnosed with hypertension may worry one about the medications in controlling the blood pressure and bringing it down to the normal range.

Lifestyle plays a major role in controlling hypertension. If you can successfully control your high blood pressure through your lifestyle, you can reduce or avoid the use of medications for controlling blood pressure.

Here are some tips to control high blood pressure.

  • Eating a Healthy Diet
    To help controlling your blood pressure, you should limit the amount of salt and increase the amount of potassium in your diet. It is also important to eat foods that have lower fat. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

  • Regular Exercise
    This helps in maintaining your weight and lowers down the blood pressure. You must go for moderate aerobic exercises at least for two and a half hours per week. Aerobic exercises make your heart beats harder and usage of more oxygen than usual.

  • Being at a Healthy Weight
    Being overweight or obese increases the risk of hypertension. Maintaining a healthy weight is therefore helpful in controlling blood pressure and decreasing the risk of health problems.

  • Limit Your Alcohol Consumption
    Too much drinking can raise your blood pressure. It also adds calories which increases your body weight.

  • Quit Smoking
    Smoking also raises your blood pressure and puts you at the risk of heart attack and stroke. If you do smoke, consult your healthcare provider to help you to quit smoking.

  • Manage Stress
    Learning how to relax and manage stress level is very helpful in improving your emotional and physical health and lowering down the blood pressure.

Note: Always consult with your physician for exact information (or before the test).

Complications of High Blood Pressure

  • Heart attack or stroke

    Hypertension leads to hardening and thickening of arteries which can lead to a heart attack or stroke and many other complications.

  • Heart failure
    To pump blood against high pressure in blood vessels, the heart needs to work harder. This causes thickening of the walls of the heart’s chambers. Gradually, the thickened muscle may create problems in the pumping of blood leading to heart failure.

  • Aneurysm
    Increased blood pressure can cause weakening and bulging of blood vessels. This forms an aneurysm. If an aneurysm ruptures it can be life-threatening.

  • Weakened and narrow blood vessels for kidneys
    This may lead to abnormal functioning of kidneys.
  • Metabolic syndrome
    This syndrome is a cluster of disorders of the body’s metabolism. The risk of heart diseases and diabetes is higher in this syndrome.

  • Dementia
    Narrowed and blocked arteries limits the flow of blood in the brain leading to vascular dementia. Vascular dementia is a stroke that interrupts the blood flow in the brain region.

Data Sources:


Diagnostic and Pathology Tests Available At House of Diagnostics (HOD).



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Hypertension (High Blood Pressure): Causes, Symptoms, Risks & Control
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Hypertension (High Blood Pressure): Causes, Symptoms, Risks & Control
Read about High BP symptoms, causes, risks, and how to control. High blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) is when your blood pressure, the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high
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