Go to your Mom and Dad’s anniversary or retirement party, and two of every three of their friends and associates will have hypertension. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, doesn’t afflict only those over sixty-five. One of every three of the adult children attending the party will also have high blood pressure. In fact, according to the American Heart Association [1], nearly ninety million people in the U.S. today have high blood pressure.

What is high blood pressure, or hypertension, how is it measured, what are the health risks, protocols, and what causes high blood pressure in so many of us? In this article, we’ll address each of these questions and help you to become familiar with this significant health risk. We’ll also provide a list of protocols you can incorporate into your health regimen to support healthy blood pressure.

what causes high blood pressure

High Blood Pressure Defined

Blood pressure is the measurement of the pressure or force of blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.[2] The measurement is written as two numbers, such as 120/80 (stated 120 over 80). The upper number (systolic) indicates the force when the heart beats and forces blood into the arteries, and, the second number (diastolic) is the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests.

In November 2017 the AHA (American Heart Association) published new guidelines relating to blood pressure: Elevated Blood Pressure – Systolic 120 – 129 and Diastolic less than 80 Stage 1 High Blood Pressure – Systolic 130 – 139 or Diastolic 80 – 88 (Formerly known as pre-hypertension) Stage 2 High Blood Pressure – Systolic 140 or higher or Diastolic 90 or higher Hypertensive Crisis – Systolic higher than 180 and/or Diastolic higher than 120 In the case of a hypertensive crisis one should seek immediate medical attention.

what causes high blood pressureHealth Risks Associated with High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is known as the silent killer, as in most people there are no symptoms. The primary health risks associated with hypertension are heart attack, stroke, (high blood pressure accounts for more heart disease and stroke deaths than all other preventable causes, except smoking), aneurysms, kidney disease, angina (heart disease), sexual dysfunction, dementia, vision loss, and atherosclerosis, (narrowing of the arteries).

  what causes high blood pressure

So, Hypertension is a Killer – but What Causes High Blood Pressure

Essential Hypertension

In as many as 95% of high blood pressure cases in the U.S., the underlying cause simply can’t be determined. This type of high blood pressure is called “essential hypertension.” What is known are contributing factors, such as:

  • Genetics – family history of high blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption – more than 1-2 drinks per day
  • Being overweight, obesity being another health issue of epidemic proportions in the U.S.
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Excess salt in the diet
  • Stress
Gender also plays a role as men tend to experience high blood pressure more than women. Race is another consideration as black Americans experience elevated blood pressure twice as often as Caucasians. Once one reaches the age of their mid-forties these trends tend to balance out.

Secondary Hypertension

When individuals have high blood pressure as a result of an underlying condition, it is known as secondary hypertension. In these instances, blood pressures tend to be higher, and onset is more sudden. Conditions and medications that can lead to secondary hypertension are:
  • Sleep apnea
  • Kidney disease
  • Adrenal and thyroid disorders
  • Illegal drugs
  • Congenital defects
  • Certain medications, such as birth control, OTC pain medications, and specific prescription drugs

Doctor Prescribed Drugs for High Blood Pressure

Your physician’s goal is to proactively address your hypertension in order to protect your vital organs from damage. Below are several types of blood pressure prescription drugs:
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • Diuretics
  • Beta-blockers
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Alpha-blockers
  • Alpha-agonists
  • Renin inhibitors
Many of you will remember the recent issues with several branded ACE inhibitors, which were found to contain impurities which could cause cancer. The FDA issued numerous recalls of these products believed to contain carcinogens.


A More Natural Approach to Support Healthy Blood Pressure

As a result of the FDA recalls of ACE inhibitors, many people are seeking a more natural approach to support their healthy blood pressure. Now, let’s go back to the Mayo Clinic’s definition of high blood pressure; the more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. Enter the “miracle molecule” for healthy blood flow, N-O or nitric oxide, a compound formed from nitrogen (N) and oxygen (O).  The discovery of N-O was so groundbreaking and important for overall cardiovascular health that it won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1998.

Nitric oxide can signal your arteries to relax and open wider resulting in better circulation and healthier blood pressure.† Bodybuilders have long understood the benefit of N-O in bringing more blood and oxygen to the muscle. The two primary ingredients in N-O products are the amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline. Cardio Defender™ from Effi-Health features these essential amino acids, however, goes a step further with their N-O product by including important vitamins, CoQ10, and a proprietary N-O nutrient blend featuring Beet Root. If you’re looking for a more natural approach, we suggest you consider Cardio Defender™.

Additional Protocols to Address High Blood Pressure

Perhaps the most important things you can do prevent or support a healthy high blood pressure are within your control. They are lifestyle choices:

  • No smoking
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Move – get exercise
  • Control your weight
  • Eliminate salt from your diet
  • Adopt a healthy eating strategy


You have the opportunity and responsibility to make healthy lifestyle changes today. As with so much in life, adopting a healthy diet and active lifestyle can make all the difference, particularly when combined with regularly scheduled testing, early diagnosis, and a doctor’s care. It’s up to you to live life better.