Hypertension, more commonly called high blood pressure, is a common complaint among most groups of people. According to an online survey, more than 93% of people suffer from some form of hypertension. But how much do we really know about hypertension and the numerous kinds that are there? For starters, there are two main types of hypertension – Essential hypertension and Secondary Hypertension.
Essential hypertension is not caused by any of the known causes of hypertension, that is to say, that when the doctor has eliminated any other problem that may be manifesting as hypertension, then your problem is essential hypertension. This form of hypertension may have no symptoms, but you might experience frequent headaches, tiredness, and even nosebleeds. According to Delhi based independent medical practitioner, Dr Arpanaa Kumar, “Essential hypertension can be brought on due to lifestyle issues like smoking, obesity or the kind of food one is in the habit of eating. Alternatively, it can be hereditary.”
The other kind of hypertension is what is commonly known as secondary hypertension. This is caused due to problems in the body such as hormone anomalies (example thyroid problems). It could also be due to something like abnormalities in the blood supply to the kidneys or due to some form of obstructions in the airways while sleeping. Dr Kumar also says that too much alcohol or salt in the food can lead to secondary hypertension. Some over-the-counter drugs too may be a cause. “But there is nothing to worry about,” assures Dr Kumar, “once the causes are determined, it can be easily controlled.”
Other known types of hypertension are white coat hypertension, in which patients record a higher blood pressure level at a hospital or medical centre but less when recorded at home. It is for this well-studied phenomenon that the American Heart Association recommends that blood pressure should be determined at least three different times in order to facilitate accurate diagnosis. In people over the age of 65, it is commonly seen that the systolic (upper) number is higher than the normal 120 but the diastolic (lower) is normal. This is caused due to the loss of elasticity of the arteries with age.
So, if you don’t know what kind of hypertension you suffer from or whether or not you do, it’s time to ask your doctor!
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