The Causes of High Blood Pressure

By Jennifer

If you have high blood pressure than you may be informed that there are two different kinds. There is essential or primary hypertension and there is secondary hypertension.


According to the American Heart Association, there is no single identifiable cause of primary hypertension, but the causes of secondary hypertension are a little more obvious.


However, there are many factors that are well known to cause a case of primary hypertension. These factors include:


Being overweight. It makes sense that the greater your body mass the harder your heart is going to have to work to pump blood. This results in an increase in pressure on the arterial walls.

Sleep apnea – You snore and your windpipe is cut off during brief periods when you stop breathing while you are asleep

Low Activity – Lazing around can also be a factor. If you do not exercise, your heart works harder to pump blood.

Family history or genetics. It is a fact that high blood pressure can often run in particular families.

Tobacco use. Certain chemicals in cigarettes and tobacco can cause damage to blood vessel walls, thereby increasing the work that your heart has to do to pump blood through vessels.

Stress. The heart pounds and creates high blood pressure. Stress also makes people binge on fatty foods.

Sodium intake. Excessive salt intake can result in increased fluid retention, which in turn leads to increased blood pressure.

Potassium intake. Having excessively low levels of potassium can result in elevated levels of sodium in body cells because potassium and sodium seek a natural balance. An imbalance causes an increase in blood pressure.

Excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of heart problems; particularly it is continued for a significant period of time.


Secondary hypertension problems are generally caused by pre-existing medical conditions like kidney or renal disease.  If this is the case you are probably already being treated for high blood pressure as part of the condition.  Kidney problems, heart problems and general blood vessel damage are often a consequence of high blood pressure.


Once you have this type of damage it is hard to correct it. It is important to stay fit so that you never develop the symptoms of either primary or secondary hypertension.  Medications prescribed for these include beta-blockers, enzyme inhibitors, diuretics, vasodilators, calcium channel blockers and aspirin.  Most of these drugs are expensive and you might have to take them the rest of your life if the high blood pressure starts to affect your kidneys.