Blood is pumped through your arteries and veins by your heart, and the system is designed to work with particular limits of pressure. Due to various reasons, however, the force of the blood flowing in your arteries rises, putting a strain on the walls of the arteries. The longer the blood vessels are subjected to increased pressure they become weaker, leading to the condition referred to as high blood pressure (HBP) or hypertension.
What causes HBP?
There is no single identifiable cause of hypertension yet, but doctors attribute the condition to lifestyle choices. Lack of a proper balanced diet and regular exercise are among the highest contributors to developing HBP, although there are many other factors. The contributing factors are so varied that it is estimated that about one in four adults have the condition but don’t know it yet.
Not all cases of HBP, though, become serious. Most people with the condition can manage it and reduce their blood pressure to a regular level. There are other causes, however, that can exacerbate the problem, raising the blood pressure to extremely high levels that may be difficult to control, including:
- kidney problems
- alcohol abuse
- illegal drugs like amphetamines and cocaine
- congenital blood vessel defects
- certain medications like pain relievers, birth control pills and prescription medication
- overweight and obesity
Those with hypertension due to these factors tend to have extreme levels of HBP that puts them at higher risk of complications.
Types of HBP
There are two types of high blood pressure:
- Primary high blood pressure – also known as essential
- Secondary high blood pressure
Primary high blood pressure has no specific cause and it tends to develop gradually over the years.
Secondary high blood pressure occurs due to an underlying condition. Various medical conditions and some medications can lead to a development of secondary hypertension. Some of the most common conditions that lead to secondary hypertension include:
- Kidney problems
- Adrenal gland tumors
- Thyroid problems
- Overactive Adrenal glands
- Hormonal Imbalance
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Alcohol abuse
- Certain types of drugs like cocaine, amphetamines, etc.
- Certain medications, like control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, etc.
Checking for HBP
Although the condition rarely has any noticeable symptoms, having a high blood pressure puts you at risk of other serious conditions. In fact, most people who end up experiencing a stroke or heart attack may have had high blood pressure for some time, eve years. These make HBP a serious condition, too, that shouldn’t be ignored because of the potential negative consequences, hence its label ‘the silent killer’.
The only way to determine whether you have HBD is to have your blood pressure checked. It is a very simple procedure involving an arm cuff placed that determines the rate of your heartbeat and the blood pressure. The procedure may be done on both arms just to confirm the results, but it’s not always necessary.
The test determines the systolic pressure of your heart against the resistance in the blood vessels, hence the two figures. Both are measured in mm/Hg. Average or normal blood pressure should be around 90/60mmHg to 120/80mmHg. Any reading above 140/90mmHg is considered high and the diagnosis is positive for HBP. Athletes, however, and other physically active individuals may have a reading below 90/60mmHg, which is excellent and nothing to be worried about.
HBP Risk Factors
Some people are at a greater risk suffering from high blood pressure. Risk factors include:
Age – the risk of suffering from high blood pressure increases as you get older.
Sex – both men and women are affected by high blood pressure. Men are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure about the age of 45, while women are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure after the age of 65.
Race – black people are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure than white people. The incidence of complications is also higher and they also tend to suffer from high blood pressure at a younger age.
Family history – people who have someone in the family suffering from high blood pressure, are more likely to have problems with high blood pressure as well.
Being overweight – a BMI over 30 and especially obese people are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure.
Not being physically active – people who are not active physically intend to have a higher heart rate, intend to eat more, especially unhealthy food, but also in most of the cases they are also overweight.
Stress – everyday stress can lead to a temporary increase of the blood pressure.
Smoking – the chemicals found in the tobacco damage the lining of the artery walls, causing them to narrow, which eventually will lead to a high blood pressure.
Suffering from certain chronic medical conditions – like kidney diseases, thyroid gland diseases, diabetes, sleep apnea, etc., increase the risk of high blood pressure.
Diet – eating unhealthy food also increases the risk of suffering from high blood pressure. Salt should be avoided as it can cause the retention of fluids in the body, which will increase the blood pressure.
The key to managing the condition is first to be aware of it, through testing. Any adult is advised to get their blood pressure checked at least annually because it is mostly found in adults. As you grow older, above 40 years old, you are at a higher risk of HBP and should take extra measures to keep your blood pressure at the recommended level.
In order to manage HBP, the underlying cause has to be determined first. Once the real cause of HBP is determined, with proper treatment and a lifestyle change it can be maintained well under control.
A change in the lifestyle is the key to treating high blood pressure. Regular physical activity, a healthy diet as well as avoiding alcohol, smoking and drugs can help you maintain your blood pressure under control However, sometimes this is not enough and medications are necessary. Some of the medications routinely prescribed while treating HBP include: thiazide diuretics, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors), ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers), calcium channel blockers, renin inhibitors, etc.
Dr. Fazylova and Staff at Radiance Aesthetic & Wellness strive to provide a holistic and individualized care to help you on your journey to a better health and vibrant appearance.
Do you have questions? To receive more information and to learn about High Blood Pressure (HBP) as a result of overactive Adrenal glands, please contact Radiance Aesthetic & Wellness. Would like to schedule an appointment with the top Hormonal Imbalance Specialist in Midtown NYC, Dr. Natalya Fazylova, please contact our office.
Radiance Aesthetics & Wellness
NYC Holistic Health & Wellness Specialist
635 Madison Ave #407
New York, NY 10022