TYPES OF HYPERTENSION
THE TYPES OF HYPERTENSION (HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE)
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, the pressure is measured by two numbers. The accepted blood pressure is between 90/60mmhg and 120/80mmhg. The first number (90) is called Systolic, it's the measurement of pressure from your heart to maintain a healthy body, the second number (60) is called Diastolic it's the measurement of pressure when your heart is at rest.
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.
Blood pressure becomes a problem when the pressure stays elevated for long periods of time, the medical term for this is called 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 greater detail in the members section.
Blood pressure is normally measured by placing a cuff around the top of the arm, within this area of the arm is the Brachial Artery, it's this artery that allows the measurement of blood pressure. Adults may have arteries that are stiff and don't dilate under pressure, where compared to a young person's arteries that are flexible and dilate under pressure. This scenario may possibly lead to inaccurate blood pressure readings, it's blood pressure figures that Doctors and Health Professionals use to prescribe drugs to keep blood pressure under control. This may lead to a scenario where incorrect medication may be prescribed.
Apart from high blood pressure some people have low blood pressure, this is called hypotension. This subject and other terms used to define different types of hypertension are detailed below.
WHITE COAT HYPERTENSION
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 102/93 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 129/81 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.
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 their 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 in reality 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.
PRIMARY HYPERTENSION has no known cause and is the commonest cause of hypertension affecting a large proportion of the adult population.
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 in the members section, please don't go there straight away, there is information in other sections on my website that could assist you.
SECONDARY HYPERTENSION is an underlying condition such as:
- Kidney problems
- Thyroid problems
- Overactive adrenal gland
- Taking drugs (cocaine etc.)
Some over the counter medications such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications and many more, can be the possible cause of an increase in blood pressure.
Other factors that may cause your blood pressure to go up include alcohol, smoking, being overweight.
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 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.
PULMONARY HYPERTENSION relates to the blood pressure measured between your heart and your lungs.
The pressure can't be measured in the normal way by putting a cuff around your arm.
If your doctor had cause to check the pressure between your heart and lungs he may suggest you have an echo cardiogram or a medical procedure necessitating inserting a probe into your heart.
Your doctor will be able to explain if this procedure is relevant to a long term raised blood pressure.
HYPOTENSION Low Blood Pressure is the opposite to hypertension, people who have a low blood pressure are said to have hypotension, it's reported that if you have a blood pressure 90/60 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 of time causes the person to faint.
There are many conditions causing 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.
PRE-ECLAMPSIA HYPERTENSION can affect some women in the later stages of pregnancy, it has been suggested that the cause is within the organ that supplies blood from the mother to the placenta.
There are a number of 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.
It is important that If your blood pressure is high in the later stages of your pregnancy you should see your doctor, midwife, health specialist as soon as possible as there are options to control your 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 in turn believe the 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 my download 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.
...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 a number of 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 my download section.
REBOUND HYPERTENSION is a terminology that has many answers, it can simply mean that a person taking medication for hypertension make their own decision to change or stop the medication prescribed, they may think as their blood pressure has improved they don't need the medication, they may be experiencing unpleasant side effects and decided to stop.
The side effects of suddenly stopping blood pressure medication can be extremely dangerous and may lead to resistant hypertension.
Stopping a number of specific medications can cause dangerous side effects, when blood pressure or other drugs need to stop the doctor will explain how the daily dose is gradually tapered off.
In general, it is safer to maintain the dose prescribed and if there are reasons a person needs to stop they should discuss with their doctor or health professional before doing anything.
I've provided suggested links in my download to persons wishing to understand more.
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
- blood vessels