What Is Hypertension?
Hypertension is when the force of the blood pumping through your arteries is too strong. You are considered to have hypertension when your blood pressure is higher than 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The 140 mmHg reading is the pressure measured when the heart pumps blood throughout the body, and the 90 mmHg reading is the pressure measured when the heart relaxes and returns back blood. According to the American Heart Association, a normal blood pressure is 120/80.
What Are the Contributing Factors to Hypertension?
Susceptibility to hypertension can be affected by:
- Pre-existing Health Conditions
Other lifestyle factors include:
- Lack of physical activity
- Excessive drinking and smoking
- Eating too much salty, fatty, or processed foods
Types of Hypertension
The majority of patients with high blood pressure fall under the primary (also known as essential) hypertension category. There is not a single cause that can be pinpointed as the cause of your high blood pressure, although factors like diet, obesity, heredity, smoking, and alcohol consumption can be reasons why. High blood pressure is not always caused by one specific thing – it can be a combination of environmental and genetic factors.
There is a clear cause for high blood pressure in secondary hypertension. Some of these causes include kidney problems, thyroid problems, adrenal gland tumors, obstructive sleep apnea, congenital blood vessel defects, certain over-the-counter pain relievers, birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, and prescription drugs, illegal drugs, and chronic alcohol use.