What causes secondary hypertension? Secondary hypertension is a condition that has plagued human civilization for so many years now. Among the various conditions and diseases experienced by the human body, hypertension is among the most common, and at the same time most dangerous. People identified to have this condition are required to take extra care and extend a more conscious effort to keep themselves healthy, oftentimes restricting the kind and amount of food that they intake.
While this is a common condition, people often disregard this as a something that is similarly experienced by millions of other people around the globe, and thus, a majority of people do not take it as seriously as they should. The difficult thing about this is that a considerable number of cases of hypertension has no definite cause – a scenario which is classified as primary or essential hypertension, and only six percent of all patients have accumulated the so-called secondary hypertension due to another disease or condition.
Causes of Secondary hypertension
Secondary hypertension, which is the type of high blood pressure that is brought about by another disease or condition, may be caused by any one of the following:
- Kidney Disease. Hypertension and kidney disease are two diseases that are most commonly associated to one another. Practically any kind of kidney disorder can potentially cause high blood, but the narrowing of the kidney arteries is often the case.
- Hyperparathyroidism. A condition where the calcium levels in the blood increases due to the gland’s production of too much hormones. People with this kind of disorder have a higher chance of acquiring high blood pressure.
- Diabetes. The main reason why diabetes is associated with having secondary hypertension is because this can damage the kidneys.
- Obesity. Excessive body weight causes the blood in the body to increase as well, thus providing more pressure on the artery walls. Also, this can significantly increase the heart rate which decreases the capacity of the blood vessels to develop.
- Intake Of Certain Pills and Medicines. Birth control pills, steroids, appetite suppressants, and antidepressants can all cause secondary hypertension,
High Blood Pressure and Kidneys
Any kind of kidney damage can cause secondary hypertension, and at the same time, high blood pressure can also significantly affect the functioning of the kidneys. The kidneys are bean-shaped organs which are located just below the rib cage. The main function of this organ is to help cleanse the blood – it regulates the blood’s composition and blood pressure, stimulates the creation or red blood cells, and helps in the maintenance of calcium levels in the body.
The kidney works by receiving the blood from the renal artery and processing it to remove wastes and other unwanted materials (which becomes urine) before it is once again discharged into the body. This organ has several parts which allows it to function properly in filtering, secreting, and reabsorbing the blood to keep a person’s bloodstream healthy.
With this knowledge, it becomes easier for one to see the important connection between the kidneys and hypertension, and why one affects the other. Hypertension and kidney diseases are closely linked together; when the heart exerts extra pressure to supply the whole body with blood, the kidney is also forced to work double time. When left untreated, secondary hypertension can be the cause of worse conditions like heart attack and kidney failure.
- Kidney Disease. As the heart pumps faster, the kidney also works two times as fast, which can potentially “stress” the kidneys and lead to its failure. This condition is worsened if the secondary hypertension was accumulated due to a kidney condition, making it even more risky for the person.
- Damaged Vessels. The blood vessels through which the kidneys get its supply of blood and nutrients can be damaged due to high blood pressure. This would obviously lead to less supply of blood, and the kidneys then would have trouble in removing waste materials from the blood.
- Kidney Failure. A critical condition when a kidney fails would require a dialysis or a kidney transplant. Aside from this, the organ’s functions might not be completed or done properly, and it could cause a leakage of protein into the urine, which can cause malaise.
Secondary Hypertension Treatment
Secondary hypertension (and the diseases or conditions that cause this) is best avoided by a person by living a healthy life. As this kind of high blood pressure is caused primarily by another disease, avoidance of this specific disease would be a person’s best bet to not have secondary hypertension.
A kidney failure would prove to be a very fatal situation, and proper precautions are necessary to avoid damaging the kidneys. Among the risk factors to consider to keep the kidneys healthy include:
- Quit Smoking and Lessen Alcohol Consumption.
- Say No To Diabetes – avoid eating too many sweet food that can significantly increase the blood’s glucose.
- Exercise and Maintain a Healthy Diet. By healthy, I mean not too fat and not too thin. A healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and occasional meat is very helpful to keep a healthy body, and exercising regularly would keep the body moving and in good condition – with the added perk of providing a sexier body!
- Drink Lots Of Fluid. Drinking lots of water and saying no to carbonated drinks and the like would be a lot healthier for any person, plus water has its own several benefits for the body.
Testing Your Kidney
Diagnosing the kidney’s health is not a problem: it becomes easier with the numerous tests that a person may undertake. Some of these includes urine tests, blood tests, biopsy, imaging tests (x-rays, ultrasound, CT urography, MRI, cystogram, and CT) and blood pressure checks. The simplest, which are the urine and blood tests, can easily provide several information that a doctor needs to know to identify the kidney’s health. If more accurate results are wished (and a bit more transparent look at the condition of the internal organ), the doctor may opt to perform imaging tests or biopsy for the person.