When a direct cause for high blood pressure can be identified, the condition is described as Secondary Hypertension. Among the known causes of secondary hypertension, kidney disease ranks highest. Some sources blame hypertension as the cause of kidney disease, not the other way around. Regardless of what caused you to have essential or secondary hypertension the fact remains …your body is not working right.
The CAUSES for Secondary Hypertension are pretty straightforward.
Kidney damage and decreased function lasting longer than 3 months is called chronic kidney disease (CKD). Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Other causes include: immune system conditions (such as lupus), chronic viral illnesses (HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C), a severe infection in the kidneys (pyelonephritis), inflammation in the tiny filters in the kidneys (glomerulonephritis), polycystic kidney disease, congenital defects (present at birth), drugs and toxins, overuse of NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such asibuprofen and naproxen, intravenous “street” drugs. Other factors that have been associated with high blood pressure or hypertension include: obesity; diabetes; stress; insufficient intake of potassium, calcium, and magnesium; lack of physical activity; and chronic alcohol consumption.
I had a conversation with a patient of mine a few days ago and he recalled how the last time he went for a physical the doctor told him he had borderline high blood pressure and then wrote him a prescription. There was no mention of diet or exercise as a safe and natural way of seeing if that would lower his pressure. Most people who have borderline hypertension respond well to a change in diet and incorporating some exercise into their lifestyle. WebMD also reported a study which showed that specific Chiropractic adjustments to the spine lowered high blood pressure as well as not one but two medications WITHOUT the side effects.
You can read the entire article here: http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/news/20070316/chiropractic-cuts-blood-pressure
Unfortunately some people find it easier to take a little pill than to make some lifestyle changes. What many people do not realize is that there are so many side effects of blood pressure medications and for that matter ALL prescription drugs have side effects. There are also medications which CAUSE high blood pressure. Women are especially vulnerable because one of the side effects ( and there are many) of the birth control pill is High Blood Pressure.
Below is a partial list of the different types of drugs, how they work, some of their side effects and the brand and generic names of some of the more common drugs.
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors
These are often prescribed for people with diabetes, because the medication has fewer side effects and does not affect blood sugar levels. ACE inhibitors expand blood vessels and decrease resistance, which lets blood flow more easily and makes the heart’s work easier or more efficient. Your doctor should order routine blood tests to make sure there are no effects on your potassium levels or kidneys.
- Dry cough
- Rash or itching
- Allergy-like symptoms
- Allergic reaction with generalized swelling
- Excess potassium in the body especially in people with kidney failure
- Benazepril (Lotensin)
- Enalapril (Vasotec)
- Fosinopril (Monopril)
- Lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril)
- Quinapril (Accupril)
- Ramipril (Altace)
Diuretics lower blood pressure by causing the body to rid itself of excess fluids and sodium through urination. If diuretics alone don’t bring the desired effects, they may be combined with other blood pressure medications. In people with diabetes, diuretic drugs may increase blood sugar levels. Some of these drugs may decrease your body’s supply of potassium.
- Leg cramping
- Decreased potassium levels
Some commonly prescribed diuretics:
- Amiloride (Midamor)
- Bumetanide (Bumex)
- Chlorothiazide (Diuril)
- Furosemide (Lasix)
Beta blockers decrease the heart rate and cardiac output, which lowers blood pressure. They’re also used with therapy for cardiac arrhythmias and in treating angina pectoris.
For people with diabetes, beta blockers may hide some of the warning signs of low blood sugar. When you take a beta blocker, your heart rate may not increase in response to a low blood sugar level. You will need to check your blood sugar levels carefully if you start taking a beta blocker.
- Cold hands and feet
- Slow heartbeat
- Symptoms of asthma
Some commonly prescribed drugs:
- Atenolol (Tenormin)
- Carteolol (Cartrol)
- InsoAcebutolol (Sectral)
- Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
- Propranolol (Inderal)
Angiotensin-2 Receptor Antagonists
Angiotensin-2 (AT-2) receptor antagonists have been shown to produce effects similar to those produced by ACE inhibitors. They may be better tolerated because they produce less cough. Rather than lowering levels of angiotensin II (as ACE inhibitors do), angiotensin II receptor blockers prevent this chemical from having any effects on the heart and blood vessels.
- Decreased kidney function
- Increased potassium levels
- Candesartan (Atacand)
- Irbesartan (Avapro)
- Telmisartan (Micardis)
- Valsartan (Diovan)
Calcium Channel Blockers
Calcium channel blockers interrupt the movement of calcium into heart and vessel cells. Besides being used to treat high blood pressure, they’re also used to treat angina (chest pain) and/or some arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms).
- Rapid heartbeat
- Swelling in the feet and legs
- Amlodipine (Norvasc, Lotrel)
- Diltiazem (Cardizem, Tiazac)
- Nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia)
- Nisoldipine (Sular)
- Verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan)
Here is a list of what YOU can do to help you PREVENT Hypertension/High Blood Pressure or if you already have it get your health back in control without prescription drugs or at least reducing the amount you presently take!
- Don’t smoke cigarettes or use any tobacco product.
- Lose weight if you’re overweight.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Limit your sodium, alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat intake.
- Try relaxation techniques or biofeedback.
- Take a high quality vitamin mineral supplement
- Take up yoga, meditation, tai chi, qui gong
- Start regular chiropractic adjustments
Here are some useful resources I found while researching on the internet.