If your doctor thinks that you may have secondary high blood pressure, you may need tests to diagnose other health problems. Your doctor will also check the medicines that you take, because some medicines can cause high blood pressure as a side effect.
Cutting down on salt may help lower your blood pressure. And most Americans need to cut back, because they get more sodium than they should.
The American Heart Association recommends getting less than 1,500 milligrams (mg) of sodium each day. That's less than a teaspoon from all your meals and snacks.
Start with these tips:
Break the habit of automatically reaching for your salt shaker. Table salt is about 40% sodium, according to the American Heart Association. So avoid adding salt to foods...
Your doctor may suspect that you have secondary high blood pressure if:
Your blood pressure has suddenly gone up since it was last checked.
You are young and your blood pressure is 160/100 or higher.
You have had many treatments and medicines for high blood pressure, but it is still 160/100 or higher.
You have symptoms of health problems that may raise blood pressure.
Your kidneys don't work as well as they should.
How is it treated?
Secondary high blood pressure is typically treated by treating the cause of the high blood pressure. Your treatment depends on what is causing your high blood pressure and whether the high blood pressure should be lowered as soon as possible to prevent problems.
If a health problem is the cause, this high blood pressure may return to normal when the other health problem is treated. But treating the condition that
has caused your secondary high blood pressure will not
always lower blood pressure back to a normal level. In this case, you may
need to treat the high blood pressure too.
If a medicine is the cause, this high blood pressure may return to normal if the medicine is stopped or the dose is adjusted.
How do hormones affect blood pressure?
Hormones play a big role in controlling your blood pressure. They send messages controlling your heart's output of blood, the
stiffness of your arteries, and changes in your blood volume. For example, your body releases certain hormones (such as
adrenaline) when it is under stress and needs more blood and
Secondary high blood pressure caused by hormone problems is rare.
Hormone problems that can cause secondary high blood pressure include:
Pheochromocytoma (a tumor).
Excess growth hormone.
How do kidneys affect blood pressure?
Your kidneys are essential for blood pressure control. As
blood passes through your kidneys, special cells "measure" blood pressure in
the blood vessels leading to your kidneys (renal arteries) and adjust the
amount of the hormone renin that they secrete. Renin controls the
production of two other hormones, angiotensin and aldosterone. And these hormones control the width of your arteries and how much water and salt is moved out of the body. Both of these affect blood pressure.