By Tom Marshal
Hypertension is also known as high blood pressure. If a person has hypertension, it means that the walls of the arteries are receiving too much pressure repeatedly. Blood pressure ranges are:
• Normal: Less than 120 over 80 (120/80)
• Stage 1 high blood pressure: 140-159 over 90-99
• Stage 2 high blood pressure: 160 and above over 100 and above
Hypertension is diagnosed when a person’s blood pressure reading is higher than 140/90 on a consistent basis. Acute hypertension can be categorized as primary or secondary. The primary category is assigned in cases where a specific cause for the condition is unknown. Secondary hypertension is caused by another existing condition like kidney disease, or tumors.
Individuals who lead sedentary lifestyles may be at risk of acute hypertension, especially those who practice poor dietary habits. Acute hypertension is caused when the blood vessels become narrowed forcing the heart to work harder at pushing the blood through. This extra effort exerted by the heart also contributes to an increase in pressure. Several lifestyle factors can be the reason for causing hypertension.
CAUSES OF ACUTE HYPERTENSION
The exact causes of hypertension are not known, but several factors and conditions may play a role in its development:
AGE: The older you are, the chances to develop hypertension are higher.
MEDICATIONS: Some medications can cause temporary hypertension. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs,weight loss drugs that contain caffeine or other chemicals designed to control the appetite, migraine medicines etc. can lead to high blood pressure and an increased heart rate.
PREGNANCY: Pregnancy-induced hypertension occurs in five to eight percent of all pregnancies. It is accompanied by protein in the urine and swelling. Once childbirth occurs, blood pressure levels usually return to normal.
HIGH SALT INTAKE: Sodium can lead to acute increases in hypertension because of the effects it has on the body. Long-term consumption of high-sodium foods can lead to chronic hypertension.
FAMILY HISTORY: If you have close family members with hypertension, your chances of developing it are significantly higher.
OBESITY/OVERWEIGHT: Both overweight and obese people are more likely to develop hypertension, compared to people of normal weight.
PHYSICAL INACTIVITY: Lack of exercise, as well as having a sedentary lifestyle, raises the risk of hypertension.
HIGH FAT DIET: – A diet high in fat leads to a raised hypertension risk. Fats sourced from plants, such as avocados, nuts, olive oil, etc., as well as omega oils which are common in some types of fish, are good for the body while, saturated fats which are common in animal sourced foods, as well as trans fats are bad.
MENTAL STRESS: Long term mental stress can be reason for hypertension. If the stress is not managed properly it can raise the risk of hypertension.
DIABETES: People with diabetes type 2 are at risk of hypertension due to hyperglycemia, as well as other factors, such as overweight/obesity, certain medications, and some cardiovascular diseases.
ALCOHOL: When alcohol is in the bloodstream, it pushes blood away from the heart. This interferes with blood flow and makes the heart work harder to pump blood. This can cause hypertension.
CAFFEINE: Caffeine intake has the temporary effect of increasing blood pressure in people who usually have normal blood pressure levels.
NICOTINE: The nicotine found in cigarettes causes the blood vessels to become narrower. This constriction of the vessels causes hypertension.
Hypertension is usually a chronic disease that leads to damaging effects on the heart and kidneys. Periodic check up is necessary to know about the variation in the blood pressure levels. If this is found above the normal level, consult immediately with your doctor for advice.
Tom Marshal is a freelance writer specialized in topics that cover health of the general public. Have you found this article helpful and informative?
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