Surprising Causes of High Blood Pressure

We all know that being overweight, not doing enough exercise and eating foods that are high in salt, can all contribute to high blood pressure. However, what are the other less known causes of hypertension? Below we share some of the lesser known reasons for high blood pressure and the importance of gaining professional and medical treatment.

Drinking Too Much Caffeine
It is now widely known that individuals who drink more than four cups of strong coffee a day, are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. It is therefore important to dramatically reduce your intake of caffeine. The reason that caffeine causes high blood pressure is still uncertain, but it is believed that the caffeine represses the sensors that help to widen your blood vessels, that then help to lower your blood pressure.

Although not directly linked to the cause of high blood pressure, you are at a greater risk of developing a stroke or having a heart attack, together with elevated blood pressure. This is due to the fact that smoking both hardens and narrows the arteries to and from your heart.

Lack of Sleep
Surprisingly a lack of sleep, or disrupted sleep, can both contribute to high blood pressure. This is because the body is unable to regulate the stress hormone that is responsible for lowering blood pressure. Ideally, you need to get at least seven hours of sleep each night to reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure.

Under Active Thyroid
If you suffer from hypothyroidism then the chances are that you will also suffer from hypertension. As the body has to cope with low levels of the thyroid hormone circulating around the body, this in turn can lower the heart rate. What happens then is that the blood vessels in the heart can become weakened, with extra pressure put upon the heart to pump the blood effectively around the body. Both of these issues can cause an increase in blood pressure.

The kidneys and heart work together to control blood pressure. For those individuals who have type 1 and type 2 diabetes, they usually have increased blood pressure. The reason for this is because diabetes effects the blood vessels, making them narrower, which in turn leads to high blood pressure.

The Importance of Professional Treatment
You will only know if you have high blood pressure by visiting a medical practitioner. They will diagnose hypertension and then prescribe either lifestyle changes, medication, or in most cases, both. The range of medication is vast and what you are prescribed will very much depend upon your medical history and cause of your hypertension. Some treatment involves:

-Angiotensin-2 receptor blockers – This includes medication like candesartan, olmesartan and losartan. These medications allow the blood vessels to widen and relax, in turn lowering your blood pressure. This makes it much easier for your heart to pump blood around the body.

-ACE inhibitors, Calcium channel blockers and Beta blockers, are also other types of heart medication that can help to lower high blood pressure. All of these medications need to be carefully monitored and dosages slowly increased. It is also important to have regular blood pressure checks while on these types of medication.

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