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High Blood Pressure (cont.)

Cause

Experts know that many different factors are linked to high blood pressure. But experts still don't fully understand the exact cause. Factors that are linked to high blood pressure include:

  • Aging.
  • Drinking more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day for men or more than 1 alcoholic drink a day for women.
  • Eating a lot of sodium (salt).
  • Being overweight or obese.
  • Not exercising.
  • Being under a lot of stress.
  • Eating a diet low in potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
  • Being insulin-resistant.

Primary, or essential, high blood pressure is the most common type of high blood pressure. Most people who have high blood pressure have primary high blood pressure.

Secondary high blood pressure, which is caused by another disease or medicine, is less common.

Elevated blood pressure readings may not always mean that you have high blood pressure. For some people, just being in a medical setting causes their blood pressure to rise. This is called white-coat hypertension.

Symptoms

People who have high blood pressure usually don't have any symptoms. Most people with high blood pressure feel fine. It's during a routine exam or a doctor visit for another problem that they find out that they have high blood pressure.

Very severe high blood pressure (such as 180 over 110 or higher) may lead to malignant high blood pressure. This is also called hypertensive emergency or hypertensive crisis. Very severe high blood pressure is a medical emergency. Symptoms of very severe high blood pressure include:

  • Severe headache, especially pulsating headaches behind the eyes.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Nausea or vomiting.

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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