Hypertension: is there a cure?

Hypertension: is there a cure?

checking blood pressure

As you grow older, your risk of developing hypertension increases. This kind of hypertension, known as primary hypertension, cannot be cured, at least until we find the antidote to aging, but there are other kinds of hypertension, yes, you read right. Hypertension simply refers to persistently raised blood pressure, therefore, technically, hypertension is only a symptom of some underlying ongoing process. That underlying process is what determines the kind of hypertension that one has.

In this regard there are 2 main types of hypertension: primary and secondary hypertension.

Primary hypertension typically has no identifiable cause. It develops gradually over many years. Even though there may be no clear cut cause, there are associated factors that make one more likely to develop primary hypertension such as age, race, sex, family history, body weight, level of physical activity among others. It is important that we control the risks we can and manage what we cannot to minimize the risk of developing primary hypertension

Secondary hypertension on the other hand has a specific cause such that if the cause is dealt with, the blood pressure will return to normal. Hypertension of this nature starts suddenly and the blood pressure recordings are usually much higher than that recorded in primary hypertension.

Some common causes of secondary hypertension include

  • adrenal gland tumors
  • thyroid gland dysfunctions
  • some medication including cough and cold medication as well as some recreational drugs.

Other forms of secondary hypertension may be triggered by pregnancy or a simple visit to the doctor for a check up, known as white coat hypertension.

Primary hypertension typically has no symptoms. The only way you can detect its presence is when you get your blood pressure taken. This is why it is commonly referred to as ‘the silent killer’. Most people are diagnosed only after a complication of hypertension has already set in. Secondary hypertension on the other hand will have other symptoms related to the condition precipitating the high blood pressure.

As it is with many health conditions, early detection is key! It is therefore important to be health conscious and have regular health check ups. As the year is coming to an end, this would be a great time to schedule a routine check up to know your health status.

As always, your health is indeed your most important asset; protect it with your life!

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Written by
Kelvin Owusu, MD
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Kelvin Owusu, MD

Dr. Kelvin Owusu is a Health and Wellness Consultant who, through a holistic approach, helps individuals and groups craft innovative health plans aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles.

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