Types of Hypertension

Covering types of hypertension and in pregnancy and drugs and medication for high blood pressure



There are two main types of hypertension namely primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. Hypertension which is also commonly known as high blood pressure affects a significant number of any population. In fact it is a growing problem in the western countries and a host of urban societies across the globe even in the developing countries.

In order to best treat hypertension doctors have come up with two main classifications of high blood pressure. All other different sub-types of blood pressure known fall into any of these two hypertension types. Whether hypertension type is primary or secondary is essentially a function of its causes. If the causes of hypertension are known or identifiable the condition is known as secondary hypertension.

Types of Hypertension: Secondary Hypertension

Secondary high blood pressure affects a much smaller segment of society compared to the elusive primary essential hypertension. Five to ten percent of all hypertensive individuals are classified as secondary hypertension sufferers. The causes of this type of hypertension are disorders that are underlying such as diabetes, heart disease, liver disease and others.

In most cases when the underlying medical condition is resolved the high blood pressure disappears. Other causes of secondary hypertension which are not medical are side effects of other health drugs. Certain medical drugs raise blood pressure and blood pressure will drop when they are discontinued. Understanding the different types of hypertension has made understanding blood pressure in general easier for doctors. There are certain hypertension sub-types that fall under secondary hypertension. These include portal hypertension and renovascular hypertension.

Types of Hypertension: Primary Hypertension

The other type of hypertension affecting a greater number of people is called essential hypertension. This is also the same as primary hypertension. About 90 to 95 percent of high blood pressure sufferers suffer from essential hypertension. Its causes are not known and essentially remain largely an area of ongoing medical study.

What doctors know about primary hypertension are its risk factors. These have often been wrongly confused for causes. Should these risk factors be left intact, they will predispose the individuals concerned to the development of hypertension. Primary hypertension risk factors will include tobacco use, a sedentary lifestyle, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity including childhood obesity, family history and genetics. Salt and a poor diet in general are also important risk factors.

There are a plethora of hypertension subtypes that are essentially primary hypertension condition because their causes are not known nor fully understood. These include accelerated hypertension, benign hypertension, gestational hypertension, labile hypertension> and morning hypertension. Apart from the two hypertension types discussed above, doctors also use a certain classification of hypertension regardless of type but based on blood pressure numbers.

These are commonly known as stages of hypertension and are prehypertension, hypertension stage 1 and hypertension stage 2 as well as isolated systolic hypertension.

Types of Hypertension In Pregnancy

High blood pressure in pregnancy affects a relatively small segment of women. In most cases many women carry pregnancy to full term without any blood pressure issues or related complications. High blood pressure in pregnancy occurs primarily in three types namely gestational hypertension, preeclampsia and eclampsia.

Gestational hypertension is any type of high blood pressure that occurs during a pregnancy. It is usually asymptomatic but patients might experience headaches. Best treatment for this is delivery. Normally after delivery blood pressure starts to return to normal. However anti-hypertensive medications are also used especially if the blood pressure is too high and the unborn baby is still some time away from safe induced delivery. Gestational hypertension can develop to another severe type called preeclampsia.

This affects about 5 percent of pregnancies. Preeclampsia can also advance to another type of hypertension in pregnancy called eclampsia. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to loss of both mother and unborn baby. It often involves seizures. It is essentially a complication of preeclampsia.

Types of Hypertension Drugs and Medication

Treatment of hypertension using pharmacological drugs is usually done in consultation of hypertension guidelines. Usually patients with seriously elevated blood pressure readings will require drugs. Patients at the prehypertension stage and hypertension stage 1 are normally treated using lifestyle modifications such as a hypertension diet and by eating foods that lower blood pressure as well as exercising.

The following is a list of available blood pressure meds. All of these drugs and medications have varying side effects which patients have to be aware of;

  • Diuretics - 'water-pills'
  • Vasolidators
  • Beta-blockers
  • Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs)
  • Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors (ACE Inhibitors)
  • Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)

You may follow link to learn in more detail about hypertension medications.


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