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)
  • Hypothyroidism

 

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
  • Obesity
  • 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
  • Smoking
  • **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:

  • Headaches
  • Lapses in mental clarity
  • Seizures
  • Heart failure
  • Aortic Dissection
  • Stroke
  • Kidney failure