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The Causes, Types, and Stages of High Blood Pressure


There are some unchangeable factors as well as some changeable factors that contribute to high blood pressure.


In general, unchangeable factors that can be the root cause of high blood pressure include age, sex, ethnicity, family history, and the person’s medical history. Changeable factors which also have an impact on high blood pressure include diet, exercise routine, and stress management.


Essential Hypertension (Primary Blood Pressure)


Essential hypertension also referred to as primary high blood pressure, is where the exact cause of the high blood pressure is unknown. The causes of essential hypertension can be genetic, due to aging, or influenced by environmental factors.
Some of the most common environmental factors thought to have impacted on high blood pressure include:


  • Excess caffeine consumption.
  • High salt intake – this raises the blood pressure in salt-sensitive individuals.
  • Lack of physical activity.


Secondary Hypertension


Secondary high blood pressure is blood pressure resulting from a disease, therefore there is an identifiable cause.
Secondary causes/conditions that can cause high blood pressure include but are not limited to:

  • Acromegaly – abnormal enlargement or growth of the hands, feet, and face.
  • Coarctation (narrowing) of the aorta.
  • Conn’s syndrome.
  • Cushing’s syndrome.
  • Hyperaldosteronism – a condition of excessive secretion of aldosterone leading to high blood pressure and low potassium levels.
  • Hyperthyroidism – a condition characterized by a rapid heartbeat caused by the abnormal over-activity of a thyroid gland or Hypothyroidism – a condition where the activity of the thyroid gland is abnormally low.
  • Kidney disease – kidney disease is the most common secondary cause of high blood pressure.
  • Pheochromocytoma – tumor of the adrenal medulla.
  • Pregnancy – high blood pressure during pregnancy.
  • Sleep apnea.


One of the most effective ways in which you can gain an understanding of your current health is to routinely measure your blood pressure using a home monitoring device. How to go about doing this will be covered later on in this article.


Different Stages of High Blood Pressure:


  • Prehypertension: Individuals considered to fall under the prehypertension classification are strongly encouraged to adopt health-promoting lifestyle changes/modifications.
  • Stage 1 Hypertension: During this stage, defined by a constriction of arteries or an increase in blood volume, high blood pressure is reversible.
  • Stage 2 Hypertension: During this stage, characterized by the permanent thickening of the blood vessels, high blood pressure is irreversible without the use of medication.
  • Stage 3 Hypertension: This is a hypertensive emergency.


Blood Pressure Category  

Systolic (mm Hg)


Diastolic (mm Hg)


Less than 120




Less than 80





120 – 139




80 – 90


High Blood Pressure
Stage 1

140 – 159




90 – 99

High Blood Pressure
Stage 2

160 or higher




100 or higher

Hypertensive Crisis (Emergency Care Needed)  

180 or higher




110 or higher

Formulating a Successful Treatment Plan


The first step to creating a successful treatment plan is by setting yourself a clear goal. Your treatment goal will depend on your current blood pressure.


  • If you have normal blood pressure (120/80 mm Hg or less), your goal is to keep your blood pressure normal. This can be done by adhering to heart-healthy lifestyle choices.
  • If you have prehypertension or high blood pressure, your goal is to lower your blood pressure and reach the normal range.
    • If you have prehypertension, it is important to alter your lifestyle habits
    • If you have high blood pressure, apply the same lifestyle modifications. If lifestyle modifications prove to be unsuccessful, consult your physician who may prescribe medications. If medications prove unsuccessful, your doctor may order to have the dosage increased until your blood pressure is under control.


Note that for individuals with kidney disease or diabetes mellitus, the blood pressure goal is 130/80 mm Hg or less. Therefore, if you are diabetic or have kidney disease and a blood pressure greater than 130/80 mm Hg, this is considered to be stage 1 hypertension.

  • If you have a more serious complication associated with high blood pressure, your goal is to control it, prevent it from progressing, and reverse it if possible. Work with your doctor to formulate a plan that could potentially lower your blood pressure or reverse the risk factors.


You can start taking steps to manage or lower your blood pressure today, regardless of whether your blood pressure is normal, high, or very high. Firstly, however, it is important to differentiate between the habits that have a good effect on your blood pressure and those that have a bad effect on your blood pressure and general health.

Good Habits Bad Habits
Eating healthily Salt
Staying physically active Tobacco
Maintaining a healthy weight Alcohol
Monitoring your blood pressure Caffeine
Meditation and Yoga Stress


The more good habits you adopt, and the more bad habits you eliminate, the greater the effect they are likely to have on your blood pressure. Some people have managed to avoid blood pressure medication altogether by sticking to healthy lifestyle habits. After all, treating high blood pressure is a lifelong focus!


When setting goals, make sure to set long-term goals as well as short-term goals (e.g. your goals for the week and for each day). The following are general guidelines that will help you set achievable and effective goals.


  • Always write your goals down.
  • Be precise in your daily goals.
  • Express your goal positively – use positive statements and positive affirmations. E.g. ‘Exercise every day and stay optimistic’, rather than ‘Don’t forget to exercise’.
  • Set performance goals, not outcome goals – only set goals over which you have control, e.g. how much to exercise and the types of food to eat and not what your blood pressure reading for the day should be.
  • Set priorities – make sure that your goals of the day take priority over other less important tasks.
  • Set realistic goals.

10-Step Treatment Plan to Lower Your Blood Pressure in 4 Weeks!

  • Step 1: Lose 5 pounds
  • Step 2: Cut down on salt
  • Step 3: Exercise regularly
  • Step 4: Eat the right foods!
  • Step 5: Try juicing!
  • Step 6: Stay away from toxins!
  • Step 7: Eat Potassium!
  • Step 8: Manage stress more healthily
  • Step 9: Take natural supplements!
  • Step 10: Eat dark chocolate!





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