Causes of high blood pressure can be complex. The condition is often called “the silent killer” because oftentimes there are no outward symptoms. It is difficult to diagnose because hypertension is a complex condition that affects not just the heart but the kidneys, the lungs, the glands, the urinary tract, and other areas of the body. If left untreated, it can result in congestive heart failure and stroke. While it may seem impossible to prevent hypertension, there are many ways to control it.
To begin, controlling diet is the most important aspect of any treatment plan. To reduce blood pressure, the main cause, doctors often recommend changes in food choices, including less sodium, more potassium, adequate fiber, monounsaturated fat, and fatty acids. The American Dietary Association has specific guidelines for diet that you should follow. If you are overweight, your doctor may recommend weight loss, exercise or both to reduce risk factors.
Certain types of medication can also cause blood pressure to rise. Some examples include beta-blockers for depression, anticoagulants for high blood pressure, antihypertensive medications, antidepressants, estrogen therapies, calcium channel blockers, corticosteroids, drugs for Parkinson’s disease, thiazides, tri-cyclic antidepressants, tetracyclic antidepressants, tricyclic antibiotics, MAOIs (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors), bromodoprame, atenolol, and estazolam. Each individual response to these different medications differs; therefore, it is important to discuss your medical history and current medications with your healthcare providers before taking them. Your healthcare providers can give you the medications that have the least effects on your body and will help you to determine if these are the best choices for you.
Certain types of food can also contribute to high blood pressure. Some examples are refined sugar, white bread, pastries, rice, pasta, cereals, potato chips, processed foods, lunch meats, fried foods, fatty meats, caffeine, alcohol, tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, spinach, dairy products, and other food additives and allergens. If you eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly, you should not have an elevated risk of developing hypertension. However, if you have any of these risk factors and are taking medications for high blood pressure or you have a family history of hypertension, you should be sure to discuss all of your options with your doctor.
Obesity is one of many potential causes of blood pressure that can occur in adults. The American Heart Association recommends that individuals lose weight to reduce overall risk for cardiovascular illness. This includes being obese, being overweight, being classed as obese, or being considered to be medically obese. Being classed as obese can potentially lead to conditions such as sleep apnea, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol levels, heart failure, stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, or premature death. Being overweight is a growing problem, particularly among the adult population. The consequences of being overweight can range from increased risks of developing diabetes to developing heart disease or developing kidney disease.
Depression is a major factor in the causes of blood pressure that can occur in people. Depression is often thought to be a temporary condition that will go away once medications are administered. However, it can actually lead to serious physical health problems if left untreated. Left untreated, depression can cause a number of different illnesses, some of which are cardiovascular and some of which are mental health issues. Depression can also have an impact on the body’s glucose levels, contributing to fluctuations in blood pressures that can range from mildly elevated to dangerously elevating.
Lifestyle changes, including a healthier diet and more exercise, can have an impact on blood pressures that are already elevated. Medications can also contribute to these readings. For this reason, it is important to work with your primary care doctor to find the cause of your hypertension before exploring the options for treatment.
If you have a history of heart attack or high blood pressure in your family, you may feel as though you have to live with the conditions. Unfortunately, you may feel this way because you simply can not alter the factors that cause you to have these conditions. Medication is available that will help to lower these levels, but sometimes these medications cause other side effects that you do not want to experience. Instead of living with the consequences of having low blood pressure, it is much better to attempt to find the causes of your high blood pressure and take steps to treat your condition before these issues become too serious.