Different Types of Hypertension

Blood pressure is the measure of the force that your heart uses to pump your blood. When your blood pressure is too high, it’s called hypertension. Normal blood pressure can be different for each person, but in general high blood pressure is considered anything over 140/90.

Often, you will have no idea you have high blood pressure as it may not present with any symptoms. A high blood pressure diagnosis usually comes after having your blood pressure checked and may be one of several different types of hypertension.

Essential Hypertension

If your blood pressure is recorded as high on three or more doctor visits, you may have essential hypertension. You may have no other symptoms, but it’s not uncommon to get headaches, dizziness, or fatigue.

Secondary Hypertension

Secondary hypertension is high blood pressure caused by another health condition. This could be sleep apnea, hormone fluctuations, adrenal gland diseases, thyroid disorders, or too much salt in your diet. Some medications can cause secondary hypertension as well.

Resistant Hypertension

This form of hypertension is one that doesn’t respond to medical treatment. People with resistant hypertension are more at risk of stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease. Sometimes it’s caused by people not taking their medications correctly or because they have bad lifestyle habits that contribute to high blood pressure.

Isolated Systolic Hypertension

Your blood pressure is recorded with two different numbers. The first is the systolic pressure (the pressure exerted when your heart beats) and the second is the diastolic pressure (the pressure when the heart rests between beats). In isolated systolic hypertension, it is only the systolic pressure that is recorded as high.

This type of hypertension is usually caused by the arteries becoming less elastic and can increase a person’s risk for heart disease.

Malignant Hypertension

This is a very rare type of hypertension that is more common in young adults, women with pregnancy toxaemia, and men of African descent. It is a medical emergency marked by a sudden and extreme rise in blood pressure and needs immediate medical treatment. Symptoms include blurred vision, chest pain, confusion, headaches, and numbness in the extremities.

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