Reducing the risk of high blood pressure is important, but what are the causes of high blood pressure? Keep reading to learn about six different causes.
While high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is a common condition, many people don’t think about it until it affects them. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), normal blood pressure levels should be less than 120/80 – but many Americans have higher readings. But what is blood pressure?
“In general, when we discuss blood pressure, we are referring specifically to the pressure found within arteries because this is what correlates most with acute and chronic diseases,” explains Suneet Singh, MD, an emergency room physician and medical director at CareHive in Austin, Texas. “When people demonstrate a consistent pattern of pressures over this number, they are diagnosed with high blood pressure, also called hypertension.”
If you have high blood pressure, it’s a good idea to manage it, but preventing the condition altogether is the better option. The following is an overview of the different causes of hypertension and how you can reduce the risk of developing it.
There are two types of high blood pressure: primary and secondary. Most people experience primary hypertension, which has no identifiable cause. However, the likelihood of developing it can increase based on three main factors: aging, genetics, and poor diet. “Genetic factors, as well as lifestyle choices [related] to diet and exercise, may contribute to the development of primary hypertension,” says Singh.
In contrast, “secondary hypertension… occurs when the elevation in pressure has a readily identifiable underlying condition,” explains Singh. These causes include a poor diet, lack of physical activity, some decongestant medications, and illicit recreational substance abuse. Furthermore, underlying conditions such as kidney disease, thyroid disease, adrenal gland disease, and sleep apnea can also cause secondary hypertension.
Lowering Your Blood Pressure
While other diseases may cause noticeable symptoms, hypertension typically doesn’t present any symptoms. “It is for this very reason that hypertension is often called ‘the silent killer’ [if left untreated],” notes Singh. In other words, you need to be proactive about getting your blood pressure measured regularly and preventing hypertension.
If you want to either manage or lower your risk of developing hypertension, there are a couple of things you can do at home. For example, you can reduce your intake of salt, red meat, saturated fat, and alcohol. You should also get regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight, minimize your stress, and avoid tobacco products.
In addition to these healthy lifestyle habits, you can take a heart health supplement like L-arginine Plus. As a top-rated supplement, it promotes circulation, blood pressure health, and more. To learn more about it, read our L-arginine Plus reviews and see if it’s for you.