High blood pressure is a chronic health condition in which blood flows through blood vessels, or arteries, at higher than normal pressures.
It is a big risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Many things can cause high blood pressure, including genetic changes, environment changes, or changes in body functions.
Scientists from the National Institute of Health suggest that there are eight big causes of high blood pressure everyone should know.
The kidneys normally regulate the body’s salt balance by retaining sodium and water and excreting potassium.
When there is a problem in kidney functions, blood volumes can be expanded and lead to high blood pressure.
Previous research has shown that hormone diseases can lead to high blood pressure.
In our body, the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system makes angiotensin and aldosterone hormones.
Too much angiotensin hormone can narrow blood vessels and cause an increase in blood pressure.
The aldosterone hormone controls how the kidneys balance fluid and salt levels.
Too much aldosterone hormone may change kidney function and increased blood volumes and high blood pressure.
Diseases in the sympathetic nervous system
The sympathetic nervous system has important functions in blood pressure regulation, including heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.
Imbalances in this system may contribute to high blood pressure. Researchers are conducting experiments to find out.
Blood vessel diseases
Studies have shown that changes in the structure and function of small and large arteries may contribute to high blood pressure.
For example, if small and large arteries get stiffen, they can affect blood pressure.
High blood pressure often runs in families due to genetic factors.
Researchers have identified many genes and other mutations are linked to high blood pressure, some in the renal salt regulatory and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone pathways.
But these known genetic factors only account for 2-3% of all high blood pressure cases.
New research suggests that certain DNA changes during fetal development may cause high blood pressure later in life.
Environmental causes of high blood pressure include unhealthy lifestyle habits, being overweight or obese, and medications.
Unhealthy lifestyle habits include diets high in sodium, excessive alcohol drinking, and sedentary lifestyles.
Research has shown show that being overweight or obese can increase the resistance in the blood vessels, force the heart to work harder and lead to high blood pressure.
Some medications such as asthma or hormone therapies, birth control pills and over-the-counter medicines such as cold relief medicines may contribute to high blood pressure.
These drugs may change the way the body controls fluid and salt balance and cause your blood vessels to constrict.
Other causes of high blood pressure
Sleep apnea, thyroid problems, or some types of tumors.
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