What Causes High Blood Pressure?

Blood Pressure, Healthy Heart, Healthy Living
on August 13, 2011
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Many people suffer from high blood pressure at some point in their lives. In fact, almost everyone will develop the disease eventually as a natural part of aging. The causes of high blood pressure can vary. Know what causes high blood pressure in order to understand the disease and how to manage and perhaps avoid it.

What exactly is high blood pressure? High blood pressure, also called hypertension, refers to an abnormally high level of the pressure your heart pushes blood through your circulatory system. It forces blood against the walls of the arteries so high that heath problems such as heart disease are an increased possibility.

Primary hypertension is the most common type. Some adults, for no understood reason, develop this type of high blood pressure. According to the Mayo Clinic, it seems that over time, this type of hypertension gradually develops. It takes years of slight blood pressure increases to get to the point of a clinically diagnosed case of hypertension.

Secondary hypertension comes on suddenly. Unlike primary hypertension, the onset of the disease is not gradual and typically indicates an underlying condition that results in high blood pressure. A variety of conditions and even medications can lead to this type of high blood pressure, such as kidney problems; congenital blood vessel defects; adrenal gland tumors; illegal drugs like amphetamines or cocaine; and prescribed medications such as the birth control pill, pain relievers and decongestants.

Potential additional causes. Other causes of high blood pressure include the following:

  • Stress or anxiety can cause high blood pressure. Temporary increases in blood pressure may not be officially considered high blood pressure, especially when the stress or anxiety is short-lived.
  • Caffeine is also a possible culprit for temporary high blood pressure that does not seem to have a long-term effect.
  • Sleep deprivation can cause high blood pressure, as it limits the body’s ability to regulate stress hormones, according to the Mayo Clinic.