Facts About The Human Body
31st August 2017
Members Section
31st August 2017

Types Of Hypertension


When people refer to blood pressure and before we look at the different types of Hypertension, I need to mention the difference between having 'Blood Pressure' and having 'Hypertension'
Everyone has blood pressure, without pressure, the blood pumping from your heart wouldn't reach your brain and all the organs in your body, when the brain is permanently starved of oxygenated blood, people have around four minutes to live before the brain starts to die. Blood pressure is measured by two numbers. The accepted blood pressure has a range between 90mmHg/60mmHg and 120mmHg/80mmHg. The first number (120) is called Systolic, it's the measurement of pressure from your heart to maintain a healthy body, the second number (80) is called Diastolic it's the measurement of pressure when your heart is at rest, most times this is shortened to 90/60 & 120/80. More about blood pressure in other sections.

Caffeine will raise your blood pressure

Blood pressure however can increase, if you drink a few cups of coffee the caffeine will raise your blood pressure, if you receive some bad news your blood pressure may increase, if you go in the gym and exercise your blood pressure will increase. The increase in blood pressure is a normal reaction and is not necessarily any cause for concern, in a healthy body your blood pressure will drop after these events to an accepted level. The increases mentioned above may be caused by adrenalin or moments of stress, more information on adrenalin is in section 26, more on stress in section 19.

Blood pressure goes up and down during the day

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People who have blood pressure within the accepted range will still find their blood pressure goes up and down during the day. However, some people may find their blood pressure is higher in the morning. Lifestyle can have an impact on blood pressure when we wake up, this can be due to the brain releasing hormones into the blood stream while we sleep. Normally blood pressure returns to accepted levels during the day. It’s the increase in blood pressure and other factors while we sleep and wake in the morning that can cause of a heart attack, it’s been established you’re up to five times more likely to have a heart attack in the morning. There’s more information about the heart and sleep in sections 6, 21, 25, 20.

Blood pressure becomes a problem when the pressure stays elevated for long periods of time, the medical term for this is called Isolated Systolic Hypertension. So, when you're told you have hypertension it can mean you need to change your life style or take medication. There are many things that can be a cause of hypertension, I have covered this subject in a greater detail in this section, and the members section.

Apart from high blood pressure some people have low blood pressure, this is called hypotension. This subject and other terms used to define types of hypertension are detailed below.


WHITE COAT HYPERTENSION is when your blood pressure is taken in a Doctors Surgery or similar conditions causing the readings to be inaccurate or misleading. I've seen this scenario first hand. A good friend of mine was in my office and asked about the web site I'm writing. He asked if he could check his blood pressure, the readings were 182mmHg/98mmHg with a pulse of 126bpm, he was horrified, I suggested he gets it checked again. I had a call around an hour later to say he checked it at a local chemist, it was 129mmHg/81mmHg with a pulse of 76bpm, he has since checked it again to find it was a similar accepted reading.

There are different thoughts on this situation, some Doctors suggest that this should be treated on the basis that during a typical day the person may get stressed at work, an argument at home, or similar situation, other Doctors have the opinion that high readings taken in the surgery could be misleading and possibly lead to people taking unnecessary medication. It may be an option to purchase a home blood pressure monitor and take readings under different conditions. However, any readings should be discussed with your own doctor before you make any life style decisions.


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MASKED HYPERTENSION is a condition totally the opposite to White Coat Hypertension where a reading taken in the Doctors surgery is within normal accepted range and on the face of it requires no treatment. However, if the same person takes their blood pressure at home or place of work etc. the readings can be a lot higher. This leaves the problem with people who have this condition, thinking that the blood pressure reading in the surgery indicates their blood pressure was controlled. where they will be living with hypertension that may be damaging their heart and other organs.

What is the answer?

Maybe you have a friend who has a home blood measure machine. If you have any concern you should discuss with your doctor or health professional.


ESSENTIAL HYPERTENSION is also referred to as Primary Hypertension, has no known causes affecting a large proportion of the adult population, it is known to slowly increase blood pressure over many years. I am told there is no cure for Primary Hypertension, however there are things you can do to lower your blood pressure, sadly there is no single change that would bring about lower blood pressure, you are unique and require a treatment plan solely dedicated to you. This could include some medication and lifestyle changes. I have put together suggestions, some of which I've tried myself in the members section, please don't go there straight away, there is information in other sections on my website that may assist you.


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RESISTANT HYPERTENSION is when people have high blood pressure that doesn't respond to medication. Blood pressure that remains high can be a cause of a stroke, and other cardiac complications. Doctors then look at what can be the cause, sometimes there is an underlying medical condition, possible kidney problems, even hormones can be the culprit of high blood pressure. In addition, your doctor may ask about how well you sleep, a condition known as Sleep Apnea (More about sleep in section 25) can cause blood pressure problems. Other causes such as obesity and smoking may contribute. I've often heard people saying `I'm stressed out' this may cause a temporary increase, however if you're continually stressed it may be something that needs to be managed (More on stress in section 19).




HYPOTENSION Low Blood Pressure is the opposite to hypertension, people who have a low blood pressure are said to have hypotension, it's when people have a blood pressure 90mmHg/60mmHg or lower you are said to have hypotension. The 90 being your systolic pressure, 60 being the diastolic pressure. I have a family member that has hypotension, I've seen this first hand where standing in heat for a period, can causes a person to faint.

There are many conditions causing a low blood pressure, as mentioned symptoms are fainting, also feeling dizzy, an accident where you lose blood, heart disease that causes a slower than normal pulse, dehydration, the early stages of pregnancy, plus some blood pressure drugs can bring your blood pressure too low. Diabetes can lower your blood pressure especially when suddenly standing up. Hormone levels are also known to cause low blood pressure; a blood test can possibly confirm this. Treatment is available, however this varies from person to person, you should speak with your doctor who could suggest a course of treatment, it can affect anyone, no matter what age or gender.


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PRE-ECLAMPSIA is divided into two separate groups, one is referred to as normotensive which means a pregnant woman has normal blood pressure who may develop pre-eclampsia in the later stages of pregnancy around 20 weeks from gestation. The second is with women who have chronic hypertension, edema and a protein in the urine which has implications on the kidneys, this is medically referred to as proteinuria.
Complications with a pregnancy can be caused by any blood pressure disorder that affects the organs, which in turn supplies blood from the mother to the placenta. As well as chronic blood pressure mentioned above, there are several factors that can make you susceptible to this condition. Being over 35 years old, blood pressure problems with a previous pregnancy, having a body mass index BMI in excess of 39, a healthy BMI number is said to be between 18 and 25. Checking blood pressure is part of all assessments during a pregnancy, an obstetrician and midwife continually monitor if blood pressure is high in the later stages of your pregnancy, 20 weeks. As pre-eclampsia can complicate any pregnancy, any concerns should be discussed with your doctor, obstetrician, midwife, health specialist as soon as possible, there are options to control blood pressure.


RENOVASCULAR HYPERTENSION affects the kidneys. When the arteries taking blood to the kidneys become restricted due to plaque, it reduces blood supply, the kidneys, which in turn makes the kidneys believe blood pressure is low, so to compensate the kidneys send a message to the brain to release hormones and tells the body to retain more salt. As you will see, the body then raises blood pressure to ensure the kidneys keep working correctly.
The problem has been caused by the plaque building up in the arteries taking blood to the kidneys, this can be referred to as atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, a similar situation can cause heart attacks when plaque builds up in the arteries around the heart. Cholesterol and life style play a part in the damage. I am covering these conditions and others in the members section suggesting ways to minimise or possibly avoid these dangerous conditions.


PORTAL HYPERTENSION is caused when blood coming from the Pancreas, Intestine and Stomach all merge together, blood then flows through the portal vein into the liver, however if the flow of blood through the liver is restricted pressure increases causing blood pressure to rise, one of the main causes of this condition is Cirrhosis, the scaring left by this condition is a by-product of the liver trying to heal itself.

There are several tests to identify this condition, one being a blood test looking at white cells and platelets. There are further tests and examinations that a doctor will carry out should they suspect this condition.


MALIGNANT HYPERTENSION is a serious condition when high blood pressure causes "Target Organ Damage". Damage occurs in the body's main organs that are supplied with blood through the body's circulatory system, these organs include the kidneys, brain, heart, eyes, liver, due to uncontrolled blood pressure conditions. Another cause is the use of illegal drugs, cocaine being a main contender.

Also, the loss of blood due to an accident or other complications that reduce the body's volume of blood may cause organ damage, medically this is referred to as Hypovolemia. Malignant hypertension is a very complex subject that needs to be explained in greater detail by a qualified medical practitioner, I have provided more information in the members section.


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ACCELERATED HYPERTENSION if not diagnosed or treated can be a very serious condition which can be life threatening. As the name implies this condition causes a sudden and quick rise in blood pressure causing possible damage to organs such as the kidneys, brain, liver, blood vessels, it has been said it has some similarities to malignant hypertension, however it's not quite the same.
It's possible a person's blood pressure reading could rapidly rise to 210mmHg/135mmHg, a very high diastolic figure up to 135 or higher indicates the person needs urgent medical treatment to gradually reduce their blood pressure and then carry out tests to determine the cause. As mentioned before this is a complex condition.


OCULAR HYPERTENSION you may be interested to know has nothing to do with blood pressure, Ocular Hypertension is when the pressure of the Vitreous Gel Like substance (Fluid) inside the eye is above accepted levels. I've mentioned this as there is a separate condition that relates to the back of the eye.

On the optic nerve there are around 1.5 million nerve fibers as well as blood vessels, the nerve fibers carry the visual messages from the retina to the brain. Should you go for an eye test, one of the procedures carried out by the Ophthalmologist is to shine a light into your eye allowing them to see the optic nerve along with blood vessels at the back of the eye, they can examine in great detail how healthy the capillaries (small blood vessels) are looking, the ophthalmologist can also see if they are damaged, possibly thicker than normal! It's also a possibility there could be a burst blood vessel.

It has been said that the health of the blood vessels on the back of your eye are an indication of the health of blood vessels within your body, however this is an indication not a diagnosis. One thing I would mention is that Ocular Hypertension is not the same condition as glaucoma, however your eyes should be checked regularly as it can possibly develop into glaucoma


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