High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects around 74.5 million Americans according to the American Heart Association. There are many causes such as diet, obesity, genetics, and smoking. But there are lesser known factors that could cause hypertension. WebMD states that in 95 percent of high blood pressure cases there is no known cause and is called essential hypertension. This article will focus on factors that can be controlled to help lower your blood pressure should you have one of these lesser known causes of high blood pressure.
Consuming more than two servings of alcohol per day may cause high blood pressure. One serving is considered 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard spirits such as whiskey according to the Mayo Clinic. Reducing your daily alcohol intake can lower your blood pressure by as much as 2 millimeters of mercury.
The University of Maryland Medical Center says the reason why alcohol raises blood pressure is that alcohol interferes with the flow of blood to your heart. It also steers nutrients away from your heart and into other parts of your body. Drinking alcohol also interferes with blood pressure medication.
Kidney disease may hinder the problem of hypertension. According to a report on MSN’s Healthwise website, when blood flows through the kidneys specialized cells measure how much blood flows through the organs. At this point, the kidneys secrete a hormone called renin that helps regulate two other hormones related to blood pressure.
One hormone is called angiotensin which constricts your arteries and the other is aldosterone which increases the volume of blood in your system when it attempts to filter salt and water out of your body. When the renal arteries aren’t working properly then your blood pressure may rise due to an imbalance of renin in your blood.
Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause a rise in blood pressure due to changes in your heart rate. Hypothyroidism can increase your diastolic blood pressure and hyperthyroidism can cause a rise in your systolic blood pressure. Diastolic blood pressure is the bottom number on your blood pressure measurement and represents the heart at rest. Systolic blood pressure is the top number and measures your heart as it pumps blood through your body according to Medline Plus.
The American Academy of Family Physicians further states that thyroid disorders can also lead to problems with your kidneys. These difficulties can also further complicate high blood pressure and make the situation worse.
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as actual medical advice. Consult with your doctor if you have been diagnosed with hypertension to discuss your treatment options.
My sources for this article include the American Heart Association, WebMD, the Mayo Clinic, University of Maryland Medical Center, and the National Institutes of Health.