Understand what are the main causes of high blood pressure

Understand what are the main causes of high blood pressure

According to the Brazilian Society of Hypertension , the country currently has about 17 million hypertensive. Despite being a fairly common problem among Brazilians, it is not uncommon to find people who do not know the causes of high blood pressure.

In fact, hypertension is divided into two categories: primary or essential and secondary. The first, which usually develops without apparent cause, reaches about 95% of patients, that is, the overwhelming majority.

The other 5% have high blood pressure due to secondary hypertension, so named when a specific disease, such as chronic renal failure is the cause of the problem.

What are the risk factors for high blood pressure?

It is not known exactly what the mechanism that leads to the emergence of primary hypertension, but one thing is certain: the high pressure is caused by a combination of genetic factors and lifestyle, and is usually installed gradually, with worsening over the years.

This means that changing your habits may be important in the prevention and reduction of health problems caused by the disease. Let’s understand what these risk factors?


Being overweight is a major cause of high blood pressure. Therefore, it is essential to take care of what you put on your plate and avoid obesity! Look maintain a healthy diet and balanced , free of excess fat, sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Give preference to fruits, vegetables and vegetables, the lean meats and complex carbohydrates  from whole grains and roots. Do not forget to associate these eating habits to physical exercises!

Excessive consumption of salt

The excessive salt intake is one of the main risk factors for hypertension. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the daily salt consumption should not exceed 5 grams. This corresponds to a teaspoon.

Above these values, the likelihood of having high blood pressure increases considerably. This is because sodium increases the fluid retention in the blood vessels and acts directly on the artery walls, compressing them, which reduces the vasodilation capacity.

So, do not overdo the salt intake! Search become accustomed to other seasonings such as rosemary and thyme, for example, that add flavor to food without increasing the sodium content. Also avoid products with high concentrations of the mineral, such as instant noodles, soups powder and French bread .

Alcohol intake above recommended levels

If you want to keep your blood pressure at appropriate levels, better be careful with the amount of alcohol you drink.

The consumption of more than two glasses of wine or beer a day already raises the risk of hypertension and the more alcohol you drink, the greater risk is running.

Nevertheless, unless there are medical reasons to the contrary, it is not necessary to cut all of their drinks menu. Only consume them in moderation and on specific occasions, not allowing them to become a regular habit.


Age is a major risk factor for high blood pressure. This is because, over the years, the walls of the arteries lose elasticity and are becoming increasingly hardened in a process called atherosclerosis. This decreases the natural ability that they have to adapt to the pressure variations.


Unlike alcohol, which can be consumed in moderate amounts, addiction to tobacco must be removed completely as soon as possible. In addition to causing an increase in blood pressure immediately, because nicotine has vasoconstrictor action, smoking can also lead to arteriosclerosis.

Even passive smokers, or people who do not smoke, but live with those who have this habit, at risk to suffer from problems caused by hypertension. So besides not smoking, avoid environments where smoking is quite common.

Sedentary lifestyle

Even if you are thin, physical inactivity is a major risk factor for hypertension. It contributes to the increase in cholesterol and fat accumulation in the body, which can lead to overweight.

In addition, regular exercise reduces levels of epinephrine, a hormone that causes blood constriction and increases the production of endorphins, substances responsible for the well-being feeling and vasodilatory effect.

So, try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week. Hike, swim, play football or perform any exercise with which you identify.

Why is it so important to avoid high blood pressure?

Now that you know what are the main risk factors for hypertension, you may be asking, but, after all, why is it so important to keep blood pressure at appropriate levels?

The answer, actually, is quite simple: hypertension can be directly linked to a number of serious illnesses, such as insufficient heart , disease in which the heart can not supply the body with the volume of blood needed for proper operation.

But it is misleading to believe that hypertension brings only harm to the heart. The problem is also linked to brain diseases. The increase in blood pressure can cause strokes or cerebral attacks which occur when the blood flow is interrupted or when the vessels break and reaches the blood cells in the region.

Hypertension can also damage your kidneys, since, as we said, the excess pressure in the arteries undermines the work of the heart. Over time, you can end up causing damage to the blood vessels of the body.

If this happens, increase the odds that he can not eliminate impurities and excess fluid, worsening the pressure above and overloading the whole organism. Therefore, it is important to lead a healthy life and constantly monitor your pressure levels!

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