High blood pressure has both primary and secondary causes. Although it is often difficult to diagnose its origin, treatment is usually based on general and common guidelines, along with medications. What are the causes of high blood pressure? Sometimes, it is not clear where these high values of the tension figures come from, however, we suffer its consequences.
High blood pressure is a chronic disease that, in turn, results in a risk factor for other cardiovascular events, such as acute myocardial infarction and stroke. We tell you here what are the most frequent origins of the disease to learn to control it.
What Happens in The Hypertensive Body?
A normal blood pressure is one that is at most 120 millimetres of mercury for systolic pressure and 80 millimetres of mercury for diastolic ones. Above these values we are dealing with a case of high blood pressure. The measurement of the values is artificial, that is to say that medicine has elaborated these parameters to determine when there are irregularities. What you do is actually measure the force that the blood exerts on the artery walls .
These normal values are regularly updated and analyzed by world associations dedicated to the subject. The consensus is international, national or regional, and guidelines are also written for specific diseases, such as kidney failure or diabetes.
The hypertensive body, independently of the cause behind it, suffers the effects chronically. The increased force on the arteries damages them, damaging the endothelium , which is the inner layer of the vessels. The endothelial damage happens gradually, contributing to the emergence of thrombi and blood clots. Those wounds within the vessel stimulate the accumulation of cells, platelets, and fibrous substances that slow down circulation.
This explains why, beyond the causes of high blood pressure, the end result is associated with heart attacks and strokes. This disease is considered to be the main cardiovascular risk factor that exists.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
We can divide the origins of high blood pressure into two main groups: primary and secondary causes. The first are those that do not have a clear explanation, and science cannot decipher why. In the second, there is another disease that generates, as a symptom, the elevation of blood pressure levels.
It is also known as essential hypertension and is the most frequent . Patients do not usually have significant symptoms and find out when an acute event occurs or their blood pressure is measured in a randomized control.
The origin of this form of pathology is unclear. It is known that there are changes in the renin and angiotensin systems , and that the vessels contract more strongly than in the rest of the people, but there is no cause that can be defined as the priority.
Most likely, there is an interaction of factors, including the following:
- Genetics: there could be mutations that explain the elevation of the tension figures.
- Body weight: the overweight and obesity are risk factors for metabolic and heart disease, so an index higher body mass increases the risk of hypertension.
- Lifestyle: the habits and customs that we have in our daily lives have effects on stress values. The consumption of salt and sugar, hydration, sedentary lifestyle and stress, as well as sleep hygiene, are key in explaining arterial balance.
The causes of secondary arterial hypertension are diseases that have as an added sign the high value of pressure. This means that a pathology causes a change, which leads to higher blood pressure than expected for the person’s age. This form is much less frequent than the primary form, and needs treatment according to the underlying disease. Many times, solving the first pathology, the values decrease and the patient stops being hypertensive.
Among the most frequent causes of hypertension we have the following:
- Kidney disease: the kidney regulates the water balance and the renin-angiotensin system. Both are fundamental factors in maintaining blood pressure, and their alteration results in imbalances .
- Thyroid problems: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism cause, not always, high blood pressure. Thyroid hormones are involved in vasoconstriction and heart rate, therefore, its cardiovascular effect is noticeable. In children , the situation is particularly careful.
- Alcoholism: alcoholic people raise their blood pressure due to liver failure caused by alcohol metabolism .
- Adrenal Gland Disorders: The adrenal glands make hormones and neurotransmitters, including epinephrine and corticosteroids. Both are hypertensive, so a substance-producing tumor would generate hypertension.
Finding The Causes Of High Blood Pressure Is Difficult
Whether it is a primary arterial hypertension, or a secondary one derived from another pathology, the diagnosis is not so easy. Although the measurement of the figures can be done by anyone, even with electronic devices that come for this purpose, the subsequent investigation is arduous. It is important to rule out secondary causes to determine that it is a primary hypertension . In that case, lifestyle changes and a drug plan will collide to address the problem.