A Closer Look at Secondary Hypertension

A Closer Look at Secondary Hypertension

Chronic high blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common disease in the United States. Over 80 million American adults have been diagnosed with this “silent killer,” which causes serious damage to your blood vessels and heart without triggering noticeable symptoms. 

At Beth and Howard Braver, MD, our board-certified physicians offer a line of comprehensive services to keep patients in Aventura and Hollywood, Florida, healthy and well. One way we achieve this is through personalized hypertension management. 

While most people have primary hypertension, a small percentage have a condition called secondary hypertension. The cause of secondary hypertension differs from primary hypertension and can signal a life-threatening health concern. 

Learn what you need to know to protect your health by taking a closer look at secondary hypertension in this informative post. 

What is secondary hypertension?

About 95% of people with high blood pressure have primary hypertension. No single known cause exists for this condition, but researchers know having one or more risk factors makes it more likely you’ll develop the disease. These factors include:

But for about 5% of people diagnosed with hypertension, an identifiable cause does exist. In this case, your high blood pressure is actually a symptom of an underlying health concern, which is why it’s called secondary hypertension. 

Many things can trigger secondary hypertension. For example, certain medications can raise your blood pressure, including over-the-counter pain medications, stimulants, birth control pills, diet pills, decongestants, and some antidepressants. 

Sometimes, though, the cause of secondary hypertension is a serious medical condition. Some of the most common conditions that trigger secondary hypertension include:

Less common causes, such as Cushing’s syndrome and pheochromocytoma, also exist. As such, it’s important to see a medical doctor for help diagnosing the underlying reason you may have secondary hypertension.

How can I tell if I have secondary hypertension?

Chronic high blood pressure causes damage to your delicate cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of stroke and heart disease. But this silent killer does this without causing any noticeable symptoms.

That’s why having your blood pressure checked at least once each year is essential for your health. At our two Florida locations, we can diagnose hypertension and help improve your numbers. 

When you’re first diagnosed with chronic high blood pressure, it’s not easy to know if you have primary or secondary hypertension. It may take some time for us to determine which type of hypertension you have. 

Some signs you have secondary hypertension may include:

We may also evaluate you for secondary hypertension if you have high blood pressure that stops responding to previously effective medication. 

How is secondary hypertension treated?

If you have secondary hypertension, it’s necessary to both treat your high blood pressure and treat or manage the underlying condition causing your numbers to rise. 

At Beth and Howard Braver, MD, we work with you to get the diagnosis of the condition causing your high blood pressure so you can begin effective treatment. In addition, we address your hypertension. 

The good news is that many strategies that help primary hypertension work to improve or control secondary hypertension, including: 

Whether you have primary or secondary hypertension, it’s also important to see us for regular screenings to monitor your progress. As your blood pressure improves — or if it doesn’t — we adjust your treatments to improve your health. 

Do you have more questions about secondary hypertension? Schedule an appointment with us today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Understanding the Two Types of Hypertension

Understanding the Two Types of Hypertension

You may have heard of chronic high blood pressure, but did you know there are two different types of this condition? Keep reading to learn more about the differences between primary and secondary hypertension and how we treat them.
Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a debilitating bone disease that affects over 10 million Americans. If you’re worried, take a moment to learn about the risk factors and steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis.
How Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Work?

How Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Work?

Are you ready to say goodbye to bothersome menopause symptoms and hello to a restored quality of life? Discover how hormone replacement therapy works and how it can help you take control of your well-being.
Common Myths About Vaccines, Debunked

Common Myths About Vaccines, Debunked

Vaccines play a key role in your health, the health of your child, and the health of your community. Myths about vaccines have circulated for years, so we want you to understand the facts. Keep reading to learn what you need to know.
What Is a Fall Risk Assessment and Who Should Have One?

What Is a Fall Risk Assessment and Who Should Have One?

Falling is a risk at any age, but it’s especially dangerous for older adults, as it can lead to serious medical complications and increases your risk of death. Learn how a fall risk assessment can help and what’s involved in the screening.