High blood pressure (hypertension) does not just happen; it has an underlying cause. Hypertension doesn’t need to be an immediate problem. It poses a risk only when it persists for a long period of time. Long-term persistence of hypertension increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. For this reason, hypertension is often treated. After all, prevention is better than a cure. Therefore, it is important to know the cause of high blood pressure.
The primary cause of high blood pressure is hereditary predisposition. High blood pressure is more common in some families. With lifestyle changes, it is possible to prevent hypertension.
Use of salt, licorice and alcohol
Sodium can increase blood pressure in some cases. In addition to table salt, sodium is also found in foods. Examples of these are Bread and pre-packaged or processed foods Consuming licorice or excessive alcohol consumption also increases blood pressure.
Regular use of medication
Those who regularly take painkillers such as Ibuprofen or Diclofenac are at increased risk for high blood pressure. This is also true of other medications, including Prednisone.
For women: use of the contraceptive pill.
The blood pressure of women taking the contraceptive pill should be checked regularly. Use of the birth control pill is a known cause of high blood pressure, especially when combined with obesity or smoking.
Known cause, obesity
Obesity is a common cause of high blood pressure. This can lead to a variety of health problems in the long run, including hypertension. Obesity is defined as having a BMI higher than 25.
In many cases, no clear cause of high blood pressure is found. Still, it’s important to know the most well-known causes. It is possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle with this.
Measuring blood pressure yourself
Hypertension can remain hidden for a long time. Only when blood pressure is severely elevated do symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and shortness of breath occur. Prolonged hypertension damages the walls of the blood vessels. This can cause arteriosclerosis. People in the high-risk group are advised to measure blood pressure regularly. This includes the elderly, patients with cardiovascular disease, or those with elevated cholesterol levels.
We speak of high blood pressure when the upper pressure is above 140 mmhg and/or the under pressure is above 90 mmhg. An upper limit of 160 mmhg applies to people aged 60 years or older.
Buy a blood pressure monitor
Choose a blood pressure monitor that measures blood pressure on the wrist, or with a cuff around the upper arm. The upper arm blood pressure monitor gives the most reliable results. This is because the upper arm is easier to keep still compared to the wrist. Be sure to choose the right cuff size. This reduces the chance of errors in blood pressure measurement.