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Identifying and Managing Different Types of Hypertension

Written byNikhil Ambatkar

Last updated on : 21 May, 2024

Read time : 11 min

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a prevalent medical ailment that affects a large proportion of the population. It can occur in many forms and lead to various adverse health complications. However, diagnosis and treatment of hypertension can often be relatively straightforward when approached with the proper medical knowledge. 

This article will explore the various types of hypertension, their causes, and their treatments. We will also discuss identifying signs and symptoms of hypertension and lowering and managing blood pressure levels. 

By better understanding hypertension and its types, we can make informed decisions about our health and that of our loved ones. 

The strength of your heartbeat propels your blood throughout your frame, and you can detect this pressure when you check your blood pressure. People have different ranges for normal blood pressure, but anything over 140/90 is usually classified as high. If your BP is too high, it’s known as hypertension.

Most of the time, you won’t be aware of your high blood pressure since it doesn’t produce any signs. Receiving a diagnosis of hypertension typically occurs after having your blood pressure checked, and there are various types of blood pressure.

Types of Hypertension

1) Primary Hypertension

Primary hypertension or essential hypertension is the most common form of hypertension. It results from various factors, such as genetics, diet, lifestyle, and age.

Despite extensive research on the condition, no specific cause has been identified. Life habits like smoking, consuming too much alcohol, worrying, being overweight, having a high-salt diet, and insufficient exercise can all contribute to high blood pressure and its associated issues. Changing your diet and life habits can help reduce your blood pressure and risk of complications from hypertension.

2) Secondary Hypertension 

Around 5 to 10% of all high blood pressure cases result from secondary hypertension caused by an identifiable factor. Secondary hypertension is more common in younger individuals; about 30% of individuals between 18 and 40 who suffer from hypertension have secondary hypertension.

Common factors that can lead to secondary hypertension include:

  • The constriction of the blood vessels that provides nourishment to your kidneys
  • An ailment of the adrenal glands
  • Certain drugs, such as birth control pills, diet pills, stimulants, antidepressants, and some non-prescription medicines, may lead to adverse reactions.
  • Interfering sleep disorder
  • Imbalances in hormone levels
  • Imbalances in the thyroid gland
  • Narrowing of the aorta

3) Other types of Hypertension 

Various subtypes of it that can be categorised as primary or secondary include:

1. Resistant Hypertension

It is a type of high blood pressure (above 140/90 mmHg) that is hard to regulate and requires several medications to optimise. 

This condition is classified as resistant when the blood pressure is higher than the desired level despite taking three different medications to lower it, including a diuretic.

About 10% of folks with high blood pressure are estimated to have resistant hypertension, which may be of unknown cause, thus leading to a doctor’s search for the underlying causes. 

Fortunately, with the help of multiple medications or identifying a secondary condition, most cases of resistant hypertension have been successfully addressed.

2. Malignant Hypertension 

High blood pressure that damages your organs is classified as ‘malignant hypertension’. It is a severe and life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.

Severe malignant hypertension is a dangerous condition typically associated with high blood pressure readings greater than 180 mm Hg systolic and 120-130 mm Hg diastolic. It can lead to severe and irreversible damage to multiple organs.

It is relatively rare – it’s estimated that 1 to 2 out of every 100,000 people are affected. It may be more common in specific black populations, however.

If you suspect having a hypertensive emergency, it is essential to seek medical care right away. It is a complicated medical situation that requires urgent attention. Do not hesitate to get the medical help you need!

3. Isolated Systolic Hypertension

It is characterised by a blood pressure reading of more than 140 mm Hg for the systolic value and below 90 mm Hg for the diastolic value.

Isolated systolic hypertension is the most common type seen in seniors, and it is thought that roughly 15% of individuals aged 60 and above have it.

It is believed that ageing leads to arterial hardening, which could be the source of the problem.

It has been observed that even younger individuals can suffer from isolated systolic hypertension. Research conducted in 2016 suggested that isolated systolic hypertension can be found in 2 per cent to 8 per cent of younger people. Furthermore, a survey conducted in the UK showed that this kind of hypertension is the most common among young adults aged between 17 to 27.

A comprehensive study published in 2015 that tracked participants over 31 years revealed that those with isolated systolic hypertension in the younger and middle-aged demographic were at a greater risk of stroke and heart attack than individuals with healthy blood pressure levels.

Management of Hypertension

It is essential to keep track of your blood pressure if you are at risk, and your doctor can help with this in their office, or you can purchase a blood pressure monitoring kit for home use. By monitoring your blood pressure, you can see whether or not any medications or other precautions you take are having an impact.

1. Lifestyle Modifications

If you have hypertension or want to avoid it, taking positive steps to change your lifestyle can be very beneficial. Exercise can be beneficial in reducing your blood pressure, so it’s essential to incorporate it into your daily routine.

If you want to improve your health, why not give up smoking, switch to a nutritious diet, reduce your intake of sugar and carbs, and make sure to limit your alcohol consumption or have it in moderation? Additionally, reducing salt intake and incorporating more potassium in your meals can be beneficial too. Keeping your weight in check and managing your stress levels are also beneficial. 

2. Medications

Depending on your risk profile and history of hypertension, your doctor may recommend a course of medication to reduce your blood pressure. However, medications should be taken in addition to making lifestyle modifications.

Regarding blood pressure, various medications are available that work in different ways. It’s essential to chat with your doctor to figure out which medication is suitable for you; it could take some time to find the right one that fits your needs. Each person is unique, so it’s vital to consider your circumstances.

Staying on track with your medication and seeing your doctor is essential, mainly if you observe any modifications to your blood pressure or health.

Causes of Hypertension

Hypertension can be caused by various factors. Some of the various causes of hypertension are:

  • Genetics
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Certain medical conditions like kidney disease, thyroid disorders, and hormonal imbalances can also contribute to hypertension

Symptoms of Hypertension

Hypertension often doesn’t show obvious symptoms, earning it the nickname “silent killer.” However, some people may experience following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath, or nosebleeds

These symptoms of hypertension usually occur when blood pressure is severely high or during a hypertensive crisis. It’s essential to monitor blood pressure regularly, especially if you have risk factors like family history, obesity, or an unhealthy lifestyle.
Early detection and management can prevent complications such as heart attack, stroke, or kidney damage. If you experience any symptoms or have concerns, consult with a doctor for proper evaluation and guidance.

Diagnosis of Hypertension

Diagnosis of hypertension involves measuring blood pressure using a blood pressure cuff and stethoscope or an electronic device. A diagnosis is made based on multiple blood pressure readings taken over time. If blood pressure consistently measures 130/80 mmHg or higher, it indicates hypertension. Regular blood pressure checks are essential for early detection, as hypertension often has no symptoms but can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.

Precaution of Hypertension

To manage hypertension it’s important to take some precautions. Precaution of hypertension include eating a healthy diet low in salt and fat, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, managing stress, and regularly monitoring blood pressure levels with the guidance of a doctor.

Takeaway Message

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The information given in this article is accurate to our best knowledge. Still, we recommend you consult your healthcare professional before taking any medication or dietary supplements mentioned in this article.

Frequently asked questions

Is hypertension curable or treatable?

Although there is no remedy for hypertension, it is still vital for patients to take action that will help, like adapting to healthy habits and taking blood pressure medications according to their doctor’s instructions.

What is the difference between primary and secondary hypertension?

Essential or primary hypertension is the term for high blood pressure that doesn’t have a known cause. On the other hand, secondary hypertension has a discernible origin.

Can essential hypertension be fatal?

Although you may not experience any signs and symptoms, keeping your essential hypertension under control is extremely important. If not, the damage to your blood vessels can lead to serious, possibly fatal, complications. However, if you can successfully treat your condition, you can reduce your blood pressure and maintain your health for many years.

Does sleeping affect blood pressure?

If you skimp on sleep, your blood pressure may rise. Those who get only 6 hours or less of sleep may experience higher rises in blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, inadequate sleep can worsen.

Which injection reduces BP?

Injecting Hydralazine is standard hypertension or high blood pressure treatment. When this persistent condition goes unchecked for an extended period, it affects the heart and arteries, decreasing their capacity to function correctly.

What are the different additional types of hypertension?

Different additional types of hypertension including Isolated systolic hypertension, malignant hypertension, and resistant hypertension are all recognized hypertension types with specific diagnostic criteria.

What are the 5 stages of hypertension?

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is categorized into five stages based on blood pressure measurements. The first stage, Normal, indicates blood pressure readings below 120/80 mmHg, which is considered within a healthy range. The Elevated stage signifies blood pressure consistently between 120-129 systolic and less than 80 diastolic mmHg. Stage 1 Hypertension is characterized by blood pressure ranging from 130-139 systolic and 80-89 diastolic mmHg. Stage 2 Hypertension occurs when blood pressure measures 140/90 mmHg or higher. Finally, a Hypertensive Crisis indicates a blood pressure of 180/120 mmHg or higher, requiring immediate medical attention to prevent complications.

What is Type 1 and Type 2 hypertension?

Type 1 hypertension refers to high blood pressure with no identifiable cause, while Type 2 hypertension occurs due to underlying health conditions such as kidney disease, thyroid disorders, or hormonal imbalances.

What is normal BP?

Normal blood pressure is typically considered to be below 120/80 mmHg. This indicates that your blood pressure is within a healthy range, reducing the risk of heart disease and other health issues.

What is hypertension and its symptoms?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition in which the force of blood against the walls of the arteries is consistently too high. Symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, and nosebleeds. However, many people with hypertension may not experience any symptoms, making regular blood pressure monitoring crucial.

What is the main cause of hypertension?

The main cause of hypertension is often not known, but several factors can contribute to its development. These include genetics, lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity levels, obesity, stress, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and certain underlying health conditions like kidney disease and diabetes.


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Our healthcare experts have carefully reviewed and compiled the information presented here to ensure accuracy and trustworthiness. It is important to note that this information serves as a general overview of the topic and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or cure any health problem. This page does not establish a doctor-patient relationship, nor does it replace the advice or consultation of a registered medical practitioner. We recommend seeking guidance from your registered medical practitioner for any questions or concerns regarding your medical condition.


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