What causes hypertension?
Primary or Essential Hypertension: Most common and is caused by genetics and environment
Secondary Hypertension: There is an underlying cause making BP rise. Talk to your doctor! This type of hypertension is reversible through treatment of the underlying disorder
How do I know what type I have?
If you have ANY of these symptoms in addition to your high blood pressure, talk to your doctor! You may have secondary hypertension.
- High creatinine level
- Low potassium levels
- Flushing, Sweating and Rapid heart rate
- Use of birth control pills, ibuprofen, steroids, erythropoietin, herbal meds or drugs, alcohol, cocaine and other illicit drugs
- ‘Moon’, puffy round face
- Heavy trunk with thin arms and legs
- Excessive snoring at night and daytime sleepiness (points towards sleep apnea)
How do I know if I’m at risk?
All of the following are risk factors of hypertension:
- Family history of HTN: even one parent or sibling with high BP puts you at risk
- Males and Postmenopausal females
- Age > 65 years
- African American Race (80% of women, 65% women)
- Caucasian (65% of women, 55% of men)
- Increased emotional stress
- Cholesterol and HDL cholesterol
- High salt intake
- Excess alcohol intake
- **High uric acid level: High Fructose corn syrup found in artificial sweeteners, sodas and fruit flavored drinks cause uric acid levels to increase.
- Pre-Diabetes or Diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- Decreased kidney function
How do I recognize symptoms when Hypertension is called the “SILENT killer”?
Unfortunately, it lives up to the name: Patients can go DECADES undiagnosed, which is how poor health habits snowball into a self-perpetuating cycle of ever worsening hypertension. YOU need to be proactive! Otherwise, you can look forward to:
- Lapses in mental clarity
- Heart failure
- Aortic Dissection
- Kidney failure