Blood pressure is likely one of those health characteristics you have heard about your whole life but have not paid much attention to your physicians’ readings before becoming old enough where it might become a concern. If this is the case, you are not alone.
So, what happens when you receive a reading that might be cause for concern? Since high blood pressure doesn’t come with any symptoms that are obvious, you cannot really know you have it until your doctor diagnoses you with it. Fortunately, by this time you should be in a healthcare setting, and your doctor will explain your diagnosis and discuss lifestyle changes that will bring it down. Here is what all you should know about the causes of high blood pressure and how you can treat it.
What causes high blood pressure?
According to Dr. Singh, there are two types of hypertension: primary and secondary. Primary hypertension, which is also called essential hypertension, doesn’t have any identifiable causes and is the most common type of high blood pressure. Primary hypertension is mostly connected to genetics, poor diet and general aging.
“Genetic factors, as well as lifestyle choices that are related to exercise and diet might contribute to developing primary hypertension,” Dr. Singh says.
“Secondary hypertension, on the other hand, happens when the increased pressure has an identifiable underlying cause,” explains Dr. Singh. Those conditions could include lack of exercise, Illicit recreational substance use, poor diet, some decongestant medications and also an underlying condition such as: kidney disease, thyroid disease, adrenal gland disease and sleep apnea.
How do I decrease my blood pressure?
Once your doctor has diagnosed you with high blood pressure, your healthcare team will run tests for various conditions that can cause secondary hypertension. “If they find a problem, they’ll treat the underlying condition,” he said.
In all cases of hypertension, however, there are several basic measures that could be taken that can help you lower your blood pressure as well as help promote overall heart health, Dr. Singh said. These include: Reducing salt, saturated fat, red meat and alcohol consumption; Getting regular exercise, such as brisk walking or jogging 30 minutes each day; Maintaining a healthy weight; Taking the time to minimize stress each day; Avoiding all tobacco like vapes and cigarettes.
“If your blood pressure continues to run high despite making lifestyle changes, there are several different medications that are available that could work on their own or in combination with others to treat hypertension,” Dr. Singh said. “Your healthcare team will help you to determine which medication regimen is the best choice for your personal situation.”
Since high blood pressure is asymptomatic, make sure you are going to your frequent doctors’ visits. The sooner you receive a diagnosis, the sooner you could make healthy changes.
Author: Steven Sinclaire