Causes of high blood pressure

June 29, 2022
6 minute read

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a condition in which your blood is pushing against the walls of the blood vessels with too much force. This increases the pressure on the heart and other organs in the body such as the brain and kidneys.

In most cases, having high blood pressure rarely displays any noticeable symptoms and therefore many people suffer from it without realising it. You can check your blood pressure by having it measured, either by a medical health professional such as a nurse or pharmacist, or by using a blood pressure monitor at home. If you have any concerns with your reading, always speak to your GP, pharmacist or nurse for guidance. If you have high blood pressure, you have an increased risk for some serious conditions such as heart attacks or strokes.

Risk factors of high blood pressure

Although the exact cause of developing high blood pressure is not clear, there are many risk factors that can contribute to your overall increased risk.

Some of these include:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Being overweight
  • Eating too much salt
  • Not doing enough exercise
  • Lack of sleep or disturbed sleep

(British Heart Foundation)

To find out more, watch this video from our Head of Patient Care Prab:

Known causes of high blood pressure

In certain circumstances, high blood pressure can occur as the result of an underlying health condition or from taking a certain medication. The prevalence of this is around 1 in every 20 cases.

Some of the health conditions that can cause high blood pressure are:

  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obstructive sleep apnoea
  • Hormone problems such as underactive or overactive thyroid
  • Lupus

There are also some medications which increase your blood pressure; such as the contraceptive pill, steroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, some anti-depressants, and some pharmacy cough and cold remedies.

However, in most cases, your blood pressure will return to normal once you stop taking these medications. Find out five easy ways to lower your blood pressure naturally through diet and lifestyle here.

If you have concerns about your blood pressure and are looking for ways to help manage it, you can always speak to our friendly pharmacy team for advice and guidance.

Content last reviewed on:
June 29, 2022
Next review date:
June 29, 2024
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