Published May 05, 2023 by

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) - Causes, Diagnosis and Treatments

 High Blood Pressure  

High blood pressure is a common disease that affects the arteries of the body. It is also known as hypertension. If you have high blood pressure, the force that the blood exerts against the walls of the arteries is constantly very high.The heart should work harder to siphon blood.

Blood pressure  is estimated in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).In general, hypertension corresponds to a blood pressure reading of 130/80 mm Hg or higher.

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology classify blood pressure into four broad categories. Normal blood pressure is considered ideal.

Normal blood pressure: Pulse is 120/80 mm Hg or less.

High blood pressure: The maximum value is between 120 and 129 mm Hg and the minimum value is below (not above) 80 mm Hg.

Stage 1 hypertension: The maximum value is between 130 and 139 mm Hg and the minimum value is between 80 and 89 mm Hg. 

Stage 2 hypertension: The maximum value is 140 mm Hg or higher and the minimum value is 90 mm Hg or higher.

Blood pressure higher than 180/120 mm Hg is considered a hypertensive crisis or crisis. Seek emergency medical attention if someone has these blood pressure numbers.

Untreated hypertension builds the gamble of heart attack , stroke, and other serious medical issues. Starting at age 18, you should get your blood pressure checked at least once every two years. Certain individuals need more continuous checks.

High blood pressure can be prevented and treated with healthy lifestyle choices like not smoking, exercising, and eating well. Certain individuals need medication to treat hypertension.


Even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels, the majority of people with high blood pressure do not experience any symptoms. High blood pressure can last for years without showing any symptoms.

The following conditions may be present in those with high blood pressure:


*Shortness of breath 


Nonetheless, these side effects are not explicit. They typically do not manifest until high blood pressure is grave or life-threatening.

When should you see a doctor? 

Blood pressure screenings are an important part of general medical care. How often you need to check your blood pressure depends on your age and general health.

Have your health care provider check your blood pressure at least every two years starting at age 18. Every year, have your blood pressure checked if you are at high risk for high blood pressure and are 40 or older or between the ages of 18 and 39.

If you have high blood pressure or other risk factors for heart disease, your doctor may recommend more frequent measurements.

Children 3 years and older may have their blood pressure checked as part of their annual checkups. 

If you don't see a health care provider regularly, they may be able to give you a free blood pressure test at a health fair or other dedicated venues in your community. Some stores and pharmacies also have free-to-use blood pressure monitors.The right cuff size and how these devices are used are two of the many things that affect their accuracy. Ask your health care provider for advice on using publicly available blood pressure devices.


Two factors can be used to determine blood pressure: the volume of blood that the heart siphons and the trouble with which blood travels through the arteries. The more blood the heart siphons and the more modest the inventory courses, the higher the circulatory strain.

High blood pressure can be divided into two main categories:

1.Primary hypertension (essential hypertension) 

There is no identifiable cause of high blood pressure in the cases of most adults. This type of high blood pressure is called primary or essential hypertension, and it tends to develop progressively over many years. Plaque buildup in the arteries (atherosclerosis) increases the risk of high blood pressure.

2.secondary hypertension 

This type of high blood pressure is due to an underlying condition. It tends to come on suddenly and causes higher blood pressure than primary hypertension. Disorders and medications that can lead to secondary high blood pressure include the following: 

*Adrenal gland tumors 

*birth-related blood vessel issues, commonly known as congenital heart defects

*Cough and cold medicines, some pain relievers, birth control pills, and other prescription medicines

*Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines

*Renal disease 

*Obstructive sleep apnea 

*thyroid problems 

Sometimes a simple medical check-up leads to an increase in blood pressure. This is called white coat hypertension.

Risk factor's 

There are many risk factors that can cause high blood pressure, such as: 

1.Age: As people get older, their chance of having high blood pressure rises. High blood pressure is more prevalent in men up to age 64.Women are more likely to develop high blood pressure after age 65.

2.Race :High blood pressure is particularly common in black-skinned people. It appears at an earlier age in black-skinned people than in white-skinned people. 

3.Family background: You are more likely to develop high blood pressure if your father, mother, or sibling has this condition. 

4.Obesity or overweight:Excess weight causes changes in the blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of the body. These changes often increase blood pressure. Being overweight or obese also increases your risk of heart disease and associated risk factors, such as high cholesterol.

5.Lack of exercise: Not exercising can cause weight gain. Weight gain raises your risk of high blood pressure.The heart rate is often greater  in those who are not physically active. 

6.Tobacco use or vaping: Smoking, chewing tobacco, or vaping immediately increases blood pressure for a short time. Smoking tobacco damages the walls of the blood vessels and speeds up the hardening process of the arteries. If you smoke, ask your health care provider for strategies to help you quit.

7. Too much salt: Excess salt (also called sodium) in the body can cause fluid retention. This increases blood pressure.

8. Low potassium levels: Salt homeostasis in the body's cells is  aided by potassium. A correct balance of potassium is important for good heart health. Low potassium levels can be caused by a lack of potassium in the diet or by certain illnesses, including dehydration.

9.Excessive alcohol consumption: Alcohol use has been associated with elevated blood pressure, especially in men. 

10.Stress: High stress levels can lead to a temporary increase in blood pressure. Stress-related habits, such as overeating, using tobacco, or drinking alcohol, can further increase blood pressure. 

11.Certain chronic conditions: Kidney disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea are some of the diseases that can lead to high blood pressure.

12.Pregnancy: Sometimes pregnancy can cause high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is more common in adults. However, children can also be affected by high blood pressure. For some children, high blood pressure can be caused by kidney or heart problems. However, for an increasing number of children, poor lifestyle habits, such as unhealthy eating and lack of exercise, contribute to high blood pressure.


The excess pressure on the walls of the arteries that causes high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels and organs of the body.

The harm increases when blood pressure rises and is left untreated for a longer period of time. Uncontrolled hypertension can result in issues like the following: 

★Heart attack or stroke: Hardening and thickening of the arteries due to high blood pressure or other factors can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or other complications.

★ Aneurysm: Increased blood pressure can cause blood vessels to weaken and bulge, leading to the formation of an aneurysm. The rupture of the aneurysm can be life-threatening. 

★Heart failure: When blood pressure is high, the heart has to work harder to pump blood. The distension causes the walls of the heart's pumping chamber to thicken. This condition is called left ventricular hypertrophy. Eventually, the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body's needs, leading to heart failure.

★Renal problems: High blood pressure can cause the blood vessels in the kidneys to narrow or weaken. This can lead to kidney damage. 

★Eye problems: Increased blood pressure can cause the blood vessels in the eyes to thicken, narrow, or rupture. This can cause loss of vision. 

★Metabolic syndrome: This syndrome consists of a group of metabolic disorders. It consists of the irregular breakdown of sugar, also called glucose. The syndrome includes an increased waist size, high triglyceride levels, decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL, or good) cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and elevated blood glucose levels. These conditions can increase your chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

★ Changes in memory or comprehension: Uncontrolled high blood pressure can also affect the ability to think, remember, and learn. 

★Dementia: Narrowing or blockage of the arteries can limit blood flow to the brain. This can cause vascular dementia. A stroke that disrupts blood flow to the brain can also lead to vascular dementia.

Treatment :


In addition to lifestyle changes, which should always be made, the vast majority of patients must also take blood pressure-lowering medications. 

The greatest benefit of medications is the fact that they lower blood pressure. However, depending on the degree of hypertension, the presence or absence of organ involvement or, ultimately, the risk of suffering from a cardiovascular complication, it will determine which medications are best for lowering blood pressure in each individual patient.

Many times, to normalize the pressure, more than two medications are necessary. These two-drug combinations are best taken as one pill (fixed combination) rather than two pills (one for each individual drug). 

The medicine has to be taken every day and not only when one thinks that one has "high blood pressure".

Complications of drug treatment

In general, the treatment is simple, comfortable and hardly causes problems. Adherence to treatment and lifestyle changes allow the patient with arterial hypertension to increase life expectancy and quality. 

The appearance of adverse effects after the administration of drugs to lower blood pressure is not frequent. Some people may experience some discomfort, generally mild, with any of the medications that lower blood pressure. In these cases, it is necessary to discuss it with the doctor who will decide whether to withdraw it and change it for another, or lower the dose. 

The most common side effects are: cough, diarrhea or constipation, rash, erection problems in men, headache, tiredness, dizziness, swollen ankles and feet. 

The doctor must pay attention to the possible adverse effects of the drugs because they have a powerful deterrent effect for the adherence to the treatment and the patients tend not to take what does not suit them. It is important that both the patient and their relatives are informed at the beginning of any medication of the possibility of the appearance of any adverse effect.

New therapies 

In those patients in whom normalization of blood pressure is not possible despite adequate lifestyle changes and taking a minimum of 3 well-combined drugs at full doses, known as resistant hypertension, there are some therapeutic alternatives. 

It should always be verified that the change in lifestyle has been carried out correctly, that treatment compliance is good, and that there are no other factors that contribute to the non-control of blood pressure, such as interaction with other medications (such as anti-inflammatories).

The possibility that the treatment does not work due to the existence of a specific disease that raises blood pressure, what we know as secondary hypertension (due to the intake of drugs such as cocaine, tumors that produce substances that raise blood pressure) should also be taken into account. pressure, etc.) 

For highly selected cases and, for the moment, there is not much experience, there are two new types of interventional treatment for resistant hypertensives:

Stimulation of carotid baroreceptors:

It consists of the permanent electrical stimulation of nerves of the carotid sinus (located in the neck) by means of a device implanted under the skin (similar to a pacemaker). In addition to a modest risk associated with surgery, the system is very expensive and does not work for all patients. 

Kidney denervation:

Bilateral destruction of renal nerves that lie along the renal artery by means of a radiofrequency ablation catheter that is inserted percutaneously (through a patch that adheres to the skin that allows the passage of some substances until reaching the dermal capillaries) into the renal artery. It seems to work in some patients. It is an expensive system and its effectiveness has not been sufficiently proven.