Reasons for Hypertension

Medical experts cannot definitively say what causes hypertension, also called high blood pressure, in adults. It seems that in most cases blood pressure creeps up gradually over the course of many years. There are several theories for what might be the cause of this increase, which eventually could result in a hypertension condition if not treated.

High Sodium Foods

Too much sodium (salt) in your diet can cause hypertension because too much sodium in the blood raises your pressure. According to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, an adult should take in no more than about 1,500 to 2,400 mg of salt each day–anything above that would be considered excessive and could lead to high blood pressure issues.


Too much alcohol consumption can also cause problems with high blood pressure. Some experts recommend that you restrict alcohol use to no more than two drinks per day while others say that drinking seven glasses of alcohol per week should be your absolute limit to avoid problems with hypertension (see References).

Drug Use and Tobacco

Doctors and insurance companies will ask you if you use tobacco and other drugs for a very good reason—because using these substances can cause numerous health issues, including hypertension. Recreational drugs can cause changes in the blood, and the nicotine in cigarettes constricts the blood vessels. Partaking in either one of these can result in a significant increase in blood pressure.

Anxiety and Stress

Constantly stressing about life and/or work issues can cause your blood pressure to rise. The stress you experience in your life can have a negative effect on your body and cause hypertension issues over time.


Being weighed down with excess fat can cause serious hypertension issues over time. The more you weigh, the more at risk you are for high blood pressure problems.

Medical experts cannot definitively say what causes hypertension