High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, officially known as hypertension, is a condition where the pressure your blood puts on the walls of your blood vessels and arteries is constantly high.
Blood pressure is determined by two things: your heart pumping blood throughout your body and the resistance of the blood already in your veins. If one of these things is out of whack, it can result in high blood pressure.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
To make it easier to understand what might be causing your high blood pressure, this condition is described as being either primary or secondary.
- Primary hypertension — This form of high blood pressure doesn’t have a specific cause. It slowly develops as a person and their body ages. It’s important to note that your propensity to develop primary hypertension can also be affected by genetics and lifestyle habits
- Secondary hypertension — This form of high blood is caused by another condition. It comes on suddenly as a symptom of another disease or illness, such as cancer, kidney problems, and thyroid issues. Secondary hypertension can also be caused by medicines used to treat other conditions or illicit drug use
Symptoms and Complications of High Blood Pressure
One of the scariest things about high blood pressure is that it may not manifest with any noticeable symptoms. This means you can suffer from this condition for a long time before realizing that anything is wrong. By the time you do experience symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or nose bleeds, your condition may already be dire.
High blood pressure can also lead to other serious conditions that may cause death. Constant pressure on your blood vessels can weaken them to the point that you experience a tear, also known as an aneurysm.
Weakening of blood vessels and arteries can also prevent proper blood flow to the heart and brain. This can result in a heart attack or stroke, both of which could cause permanent disability or death.
Get Tested Regularly
Because you can’t generally see or feel high blood pressure, it’s very important that you visit your doctor on an annual basis to be checked. This is especially important once you reach age 40 as primary blood pressure is more likely to develop.
Our wellness classes can teach you more about what causes high blood pressure and what you can do to keep it under control so you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and strokes.
Treating High Blood Pressure
While there is no permanent cure for high blood pressure, there are several treatment options. Depending on what’s causing your hypertension, your doctor may prescribe medicines and/or advise lifestyle changes, such as better food choices, more exercise, and smoking cessation.