Causes of high blood pressure

most common causes of high blood pressure

High blood pressure which is medically known as hypertension is one of the most important diseases which affects more than 10 million people worldwide. Not only the elderly, but also there are instances in which high blood pressure affects younger adults and children. The worse thing about this condition is that an uncontrolled blood pressure can cause serious complications to the body including stroke and death. This condition cannot be taken lightly as it can be a ticking time bomb inside us, affecting our body without showing any symptoms in the early stage of the disease. Proper controlling of high blood pressure is essential to prevent life-threatening complications in the future. The cause of the high blood pressure or hypertension should be sorted out before planning the course of the treatment.Things that can cause raised blood pressure

The statistics show that 1 in 20 cases of high blood pressure are from another disease that is already present within our body, or from the medications that we use. It also can be from bad lifestyle habits. However, more than 95% of the high blood pressure is caused by an unknown cause. This type of the high blood pressure is called as essential hypertension. The other 5% of the high blood pressure are from a known source (underlying disease); hence it is called as secondary hypertension.

The diseases that can contribute to the development of high blood pressure are diabetes mellitus, kidney diseases especially long-term kidney diseases, glomerulonephritis, obstructive sleep apnoea, scleroderma, autoimmune diseases as if systemic lupus erythematosus, narrowing of the blood vessels of the kidney or stenosis of renal arteries which supply blood to the kidneys, diseases of the endocrine system or hormonal problems as if hypothyroidism (decreased activity of thyroid gland), hyperthyroidism( increased activity of thyroid gland), Cushing’s syndrome, hormone secreting tumors and others.

The medications that are recognized as causing hypertension are combined OCP or combined oral contraceptives, corticosteroid medications, NSAIDs or Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as diclofenac, ketorolac, ibuprofen, naproxen, antidepressants as if citalopram, sertraline, trazodone, OTC drugs or some over the counter medications, herbal medication as if liquorice and illegal drugs as if cocaine, amphetamines.

The lifestyle habits that can cause high blood pressure are obesity, high salt intake, severe alcohol consumption, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, high-stress job, emotional stress. These lifestyle habits pay a major role in high blood pressure that affects the children and young adults.

The other risk factors for hypertension are genetics, familial history of high blood pressure and old age. The exact cause of the high blood pressure is usually difficult to narrow down due to the complexity of the causes.

Even though the causes that mentioned above are probable causes, the presence of any of those diseases or the use of the medications that are listed above does not necessarily mean that it will induce hypertension.


written by Dr. Nuwanthi