Secondary hypertension can be caused by kidney disease; sleep apnea; coarctation of the aorta; disease of the blood vessels supplying the kidneys; various endocrine gland disorders; the use of oral contraceptives; smoking; alcohol intake of more than two drinks per day; chronic use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); and antidepressant use.
Family or personal history. Your risk increases if you have prediabetes — a precursor to type 2 diabetes — or if a close family member, such as a parent or sibling, has type 2 diabetes. You're also at greater risk if you had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy, if you delivered a very large baby or if you had an unexplained stillbirth.
Monitor your blood pressure at home. Home blood pressure monitoring can help you keep closer tabs on your blood pressure, show if medication is working, and even alert you and your doctor to potential complications. Home blood pressure monitoring isn't a substitute for visits to your doctor, and home blood pressure monitors may have some limitations. Even if you get normal readings, don't stop or change your medications or alter your diet without talking to your doctor first.
Because some medications, such as over-the-counter cold medicines, pain medications, antidepressants, birth control pills and others, can raise your blood pressure, it might be a good idea to bring a list of medications and supplements you take to your doctor's appointment. Don't stop taking any prescription medications that you think may affect your blood pressure without your doctor's advice.

Another common endocrine cause is oral contraceptive use. Activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is the likely mechanism, because hepatic synthesis of angiotensinogen is induced by the estrogen component of oral contraceptives. Approximately 5% of women taking oral contraceptives may develop hypertension, which abates within 6 months after discontinuation. The risk factors for oral contraceptive–associated hypertension include mild renal disease, familial history of essential hypertension, age older than 35 years, and obesity. It would be better to group oral contraceptives and steroids with drug-induced hypertension (see Table 1, below).

Now that you've enjoyed some success following the Atkins Nutritional Approach™, let's talk about sustaining that weight loss. You undoubtedly know exactly how much weight you lost during the first 14 days of Induction. That number will help give you a general understanding of your personal degree of metabolic resistance. As you can see on the metabolic resistance table below, a woman who has 40 pounds to lose and sheds three pounds in two weeks during Induction has a high degree of metabolic resistance as compared to a woman with similar weight-loss goals who drops eight pounds.


In autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakenly manufactures antibodies and inflammatory cells that are directed against and cause damage to patients' own body tissues. In persons with type 1 diabetes, the beta cells of the pancreas, which are responsible for insulin production, are attacked by the misdirected immune system. It is believed that the tendency to develop abnormal antibodies in type 1 diabetes is, in part, genetically inherited, though the details are not fully understood.
Findings from the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) and the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) have clearly shown that aggressive and intensive control of elevated levels of blood sugar in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes decreases the complications of nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy, and may reduce the occurrence and severity of large blood vessel diseases. Aggressive control with intensive therapy means achieving fasting glucose levels between 70-120 mg/dl; glucose levels of less than 160 mg/dl after meals; and a near normal hemoglobin A1c levels (see below).
The relationship between type 2 diabetes and the main modifiable risk factors (excess weight, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and tobacco use) is similar in all regions of the world. There is growing evidence that the underlying determinants of diabetes are a reflection of the major forces driving social, economic and cultural change: globalization, urbanization, population aging, and the general health policy environment.[74]

People who have metabolic syndrome or are at risk for it may need to take medicine as treatment. This is especially true if diet and other lifestyle changes have not made a difference. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to help lower blood pressure, improve insulin metabolism, lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol, increase weight loss, or some combination of these.


Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell vertically next to chest with both hands cupping the dumbbell head. Lower body as far as you can by pushing hips back and bending knees. Pause, then push back to the starting position and repeat, keeping weight in heels, not toes, during the entire movement. Elbows should point down to the floor and brush insides of knees as you lower.

Optimally, the management approach results in weight loss based on a healthy diet and regular physical activity, which includes a combination of aerobic activity and resistance training, reinforced with behavioral therapy. Metformin, an insulin sensitizer, or a thiazolidinedione (eg, rosiglitazone, pioglitazone) may be useful. Weight loss of ≈ 7% may be sufficient to reverse the syndrome, but if not, each feature of the syndrome should be managed to achieve recommended targets; available drug treatment is very effective.

Dietary changes: The health care provider might recommend a diet that includes more vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables), fruits, low-fat dairy products, and fiber-rich foods, and fewer carbohydrates, fats, processed foods, and sugary drinks. He or she also might recommend preparing low-sodium dishes and not adding salt to foods. Watch out for foods with lots of hidden salt (like bread, sandwiches, pizza, and many restaurant and fast-food options). 
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