What Causes High Blood Pressure?

The causes of high blood pressure vary.

What Causes High Blood PressureHowever, most of the time, exactly what causes high blood pressure is simply not known. Causes may include narrowing of the arteries, a greater than normal volume of blood, or the heart beating faster or more forcefully than it should.

Any of these conditions will cause increased pressure against the artery walls. High blood pressure might also be caused by another medical problem. However, most of the time, the cause is simply not known.

Can High Blood Pressure be Cured?

As part of the normal aging process, the arteries harden and become less elastic – High blood pressure speeds this process. The pressure inside the arteries rises because the arteries no longer “cooperate” by expanding when blood pumps through them.

Your heart is then forced to work harder to pump that 5 ounces of blood. Over a long period, the heart enlarges and the blood vessels to the brain and kidneys become damaged. This combination of heart enlargement and damaged blood vessels greatly increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.

Traditionally, it was thought that high blood pressure could not be cured, once it had developed, you had it for life. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. Because, with a greater understanding of the major risk factors (below) and the adoption of a healthier lifestyle, more and more people are now in control of their blood pressure – not the other way round.

Risk Factors Contributing to High Blood Pressure

Even modern science, can’t explain why most cases of high blood pressure occur, so it’s difficult to understand how to prevent it. However, we do know of several factors that may contribute to high blood pressure and put you at risk.

Major Risk Factors That Can Be Changed

Obesity: people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher are more likely to develop high blood pressure

Smoking: smoking increases the amount of plaque build-up on the walls of the arteries. Plaque is a fatty deposit that can cause arteries to narrow

Cholesterol: high blood cholesterol levels also create a greater risk of plaque formation in the arteries

Eating too much salt: a high sodium intake increases blood pressure in some people – Adopt Healthy Eating Habits

Alcohol: heavy and regular use of alcohol can increase blood pressure dramatically.
Excessive alcohol consumption can cause damage to your heart muscle and its arteries

Lack of physical activity: an inactive lifestyle makes it easier to become overweight and increases the chance of high blood pressure – Be Physically Active Each Day
Exercise can help reduce High Blood Pressure and prevent plaque forming on the artery walls

Oral contraceptives: should not be taken if you have high cholesterol and / or high blood pressure.
Woman should not smoke when taking oral contraceptives because this increases the risk of blood clot formation

Stress: this is often mentioned as a risk factor, but stress levels are hard to measure, and responses to stress vary from person to person
However, prolonged stress over a period of time can contribute to an increase in smoking and alcohol abuse, overeating which all increase the risk of heart disease.

Uncontrollable risk factors

Race: people of darker skin – African Americans, Polynesian, Maori, for example – develop high blood pressure more often than whites, and it tends to occur earlier and be more severe

Heredity: if your parents or other close blood relatives have high blood pressure, you’re more likely to develop it

Sex: men are more likely to have a cardiovascular illness than a woman of childbearing years. It seems that female hormones can prevent heart disease.However, in females after menopause or surgical removal of the ovaries, this protection is gone
In recent years there has been an increase in the number of woman who are under the age of 40 who have developed high blood pressure. It is believed that this is due to the increase in the use of oral contraceptives and the increase in smoking in this group

Age: In general, the older you get, the greater your chance of developing high blood pressure. It occurs most often in people over age 35. Men seem to develop it most often between age 35 and 55. Women are more likely to develop it after menopause

If you suspect your blood pressure if high, we recommend that you consult your health professional immediately. And take some time to learn more about what high blood pressure is and what effect it has on the body.

The regular practice of Vedic Meditation can help you to minimize the use of prescription medications – and the lifelong side effects. However, we do not advise, nor condone the reduction of any medication without the prior approval of your health professional.

Related Topic:

Monitoring Blood Pressure at Home
One of the greatest benefits of monitoring your blood pressure yourself is that you will have a much better understanding of your condition.

Do You Have High Blood Pressure?

book_cover_front_100_hr_aThen you need to read this book, by New Zealand author, Dr. David Lovell-Smith.

In this book, Dr. David Lovell-Smith describes how his patients successfully used diet, lifestyle changes, and Transcendental Meditation to bring their blood pressure down.

This book offers new hope and insight for those with high blood pressure but it is not for hypertensives alone. The knowledge which Dr. Lovell-Smith presents in his book is timely and relevant, and its exposition is long overdue.

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