The causes of high blood pressure is a bit of a contentious issue. That is to say that although it is generally agreed that there can be many things that can lead to hypertension it can hardly ever be narrowed down to one single definitive cause.
This is complicated by the fact that high blood pressure symptoms are practically non existent, and this is what makes it such an insidious condition. You don’t usually know anything about it until it’s picked up on say a routine check at your doctor’s.
You may rarely, if you have very high blood pressure, or it rises very quickly, suffer headaches, vision problems, or even fits or backouts. But in the vast majority of cases you will not know you have blood pressure problems at all.
Having said that here are a few of the main known causes of high blood pressure. Primary hypertension is when you have no one definitive cause for your condition, and that is indeed the vast majority of cases, around 95%.
Contributory factors in these cases are smoking, being overweight, alcohol consumption, taking little or no exercise, and diet. There is also a genetic connection, and high blood pressure is known to run in families. In my own case both my parents had the condition.
A very small percentage of people (around 5%) with high blood pressure have what is known as secondary hypertension. In these cases the condition can be related to a known cause, the most common of which are kidney disease, endocrine disease (leading to hormone increase or decrease which affects blood pressure), narrowing of the aorta or the arteries leading to the kidneys.
Other known causes of secondary hypertension are steroids, the contraceptive pill, and pregnancy. The last two obviously affecting women.