High blood pressure or hypertension is a chronic health condition that does not give rise to any symptoms, which is why one might not even be aware that they are having it in the first place. It is a kind of silent killer disease, which leads to gradual health damage over the years, but the individual remains asymptomatic throughout.
In this condition, the blood flows through the arteries under high pressure. The pressure with which the blood flows can damage the blood vessels. This damage further potentiates the risk of narrowing, rupturing, or leaking of the blood vessels. A consistently high blood pressure enhances the risk of heart attack or stroke.
To eliminate the health risk, one must monitor their blood pressure and try to keep it under control. But first, it is important to know the factors that cause a spike in blood pressure. In this blog, we shall see what causes hypertension.
Factors causing blood pressure spikes
Smoking can lead to an increase the blood pressure acutely. Smokers are at a higher risk of developing vascular disorders due to plaque formation in the blood vessels. Your body produces a chemical, known as nitric oxide, naturally, which is responsible for a healthy vascular mechanism. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, which expands the blood vessels and allows blood to flow through the vascular passages efficiently.
Smoking depletes nitric oxide by inhibiting its release. The hazardous chemicals present in the smoke lead to the narrowing of the vascular passages by causing vasoconstriction. Lack of nitric oxide leads to the accumulation of plaque in the blood vessels, which clogs the blood vessels and restricts the flow of blood through them. Narrowing of the blood vessels increases the blood pressure. Therefore, one must give up the habit of smoking, as it injures the blood vessels and leads to a rise in blood pressure.
Side effects of certain medications can cause a spike in blood pressure. Individuals diagnosed with high blood pressure and already consuming medications for managing the condition must be careful while consuming any other medication. Such individuals must be careful because medication taken for some other cause can interact with blood pressure medicine and give rise to dangerous side effects. Therefore, hypertensive individuals must never take any other medication without their doctor’s permission.
Excessive consumption of salt
Too much salt can be detrimental to health. It tends to retain water in your body. Your blood volume increases as a result, due to which the blood exerts excessive pressure on the walls of the blood vessels. The levels of sodium increase in the blood after eating too much salt.
The rise in the blood volume makes the heart pump the blood with a greater force, which can have a damaging impact on the heart. When you do not limit your salt intake, then the high blood volume causes the stiffening of the blood vessels, which potentiates the risk of heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.
One cannot avoid the challenges of today’s world, which can trigger some stress. Stress is a response to difficult situations, and it is quite common. But long-term stress can cause high blood pressure problems. Your blood pressure may rise due to stress because it releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol in the body.
The release of these hormones causes the constriction of your blood vessels. When vasoconstriction happens, your blood vessels become narrow and limit the flow of blood through it. The narrowing of the vascular passages leads to a rise in blood pressure. Therefore, you must manage your stress to control blood pressure.
Chronic stress leads to anxiety. Prolonged anxiety can keep the blood vessels constricted, which restricts the flow of blood. This can lead to long-term high blood pressure, which potentiates the risk of other health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, and others. Hence, one can overcome anxiety by managing stress, which will expand the blood vessels and cause complete relaxation.
Caffeine consumption can lead to an acute blood pressure spike, which can have dangerous consequences. It is a substance that has vasoconstricting properties. It narrows down the vascular passages and leads to a sudden rise in blood pressure. So, limiting caffeine consumption will be helpful in managing your blood pressure.
No physical activity
At least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity will help you in reducing your blood pressure. Within 30 minutes you can do moderate exercises like walking, brisk walking, jogging, running, and bicycling. Such activities enhance your heart health, which enables your heart to pump blood efficiently. But individuals who do not perform any physical activity are more likely to develop blood pressure problems.
Drinking too much alcohol
Regular consumption of alcohol can lead to the development of chronic high blood pressure. Those who drink excessively must limit their alcohol consumption, otherwise, it will give rise to health complications due to a rise in blood pressure.