Types of Hypertension
Primary or Essential Hypertension: This accounts for 90% of patients in which no underlying cause can be found. The potential mechanisms include abnormal sodium handling by the kidney, increased activity of the RAAS system, and sympathetic nervous system.
White Coat Hypertension: Refers to elevated BP in the doctor’s office with normal BP measurements at home.
Masked Hypertension: Just the opposite of white coat hypertension. Your BP is normal at the doctor’s office, but it’s high at home.
Resistant Hypertension: Here the BP is above goal despite 3 antihypertensive medications
Secondary Hypertension: With this, a specific cause can be identified that creates high BP. When this is corrected, the BP stabilizes. This includes certain prescription and non-prescription medications, kidney disease, thyroid disease, and sleep apnea just to name a few.
How do I know if I’m at risk?
All of the following are risk factors of hypertension:
- Having a family history of high BP
- Males and Postmenopausal females
- Age > 65 years
- Increased emotional stress
- High Cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, low HDL
- 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
- Chronic Kidney Disease
Hypertension: the “silent killer”
Hypertension is often called the “silent killer” as it may go unrecognized for several years. This is why it is important to check blood pressure. If left untreated, potential complications of hypertension include:
- Lapses in mental clarity
- Heart failure
- Aortic Dissection
- Kidney failure