Surprising Causes of Hypertension

By Dr. Ripen Gupta in Cardiology

May 09 , 2023 | 2 min read


High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects millions worldwide. It is a condition that increases the risk of various health problems such as strokesheart attacks, and more. While there are several well-known causes of hypertension, such as a poor diet, smoking and lack of exercise, there are other factors that can contribute to high blood pressure.

In this post, let's explore some surprising causes of hypertension that you may not know.

  • Poor sleep: One of the surprising causes of hypertension is poor sleep. Research shows people who don't get enough quality sleep are at risk of developing hypertension. This is because sleep helps regulate the body's stress hormones, which affect blood pressure. If you're not getting enough restful sleep each night, it could be contributing to your high blood pressure.

  • Oral health problems: Poor oral health can contribute to hypertension. Studies show people with gum disease and other oral health conditions are more likely to have high blood pressure; this could be due to inflammation caused by oral bacteria, which can affect blood vessels and increase blood pressure.

  • Exposure to noise pollution: Noise pollution, such as traffic noise or loud music, can also contribute to high blood pressure. Research has shown that exposure to loud noise can increase stress hormones in the body, leading to hypertension. If you work in loud environments or live in a noisy area, it may be worth investing in earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones to protect your hearing and heart.

  • Sodium: We all know that a high-sodium diet increases blood pressure, but did you know that sodium can be found in many foods? Processed foods, canned goods, and even some bread and cereals can be high in sodium. Lower your blood pressure and reduce your sodium intake by cooking more meals at home with fresh ingredients and avoiding processed and packaged foods.

  • Lack of Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to other health problems, including hypertension. Research suggests people with low levels of vitamin D are prone to high blood pressure issues. To boost your vitamin D levels, spend more time in the sun, eat foods rich in vitamin D, or take vitamin D supplements.

  • Stress: It's no surprise that stress contributes to high blood pressure, but did you know low levels of stress can also have an impact? Chronic stress can increase stress hormones, leading to hypertension over time. Manage your stress levels and lower your blood pressure by practising relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.

  • Over-the-counter medications: Certain over-the-counter medications, such as cold and allergy medications, can raise blood pressure. If you have hypertension, talk to a doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications, and read the labels carefully to avoid those that may increase your blood pressure.

Hypertension is a complex condition with many possible causes, some of which may be surprising. By being aware of these surprising factors, you can take steps to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of developing hypertension-related health problems.