Hypertension with certain specific additional signs and symptoms may suggest secondary hypertension, i.e. hypertension due to an identifiable cause. For example, Cushing's syndrome frequently causes truncal obesity, glucose intolerance, moon face, a hump of fat behind the neck/shoulder (referred to as a buffalo hump), and purple abdominal stretch marks. Hyperthyroidism frequently causes weight loss with increased appetite, fast heart rate, bulging eyes, and tremor. Renal artery stenosis (RAS) may be associated with a localized abdominal bruit to the left or right of the midline (unilateral RAS), or in both locations (bilateral RAS). Coarctation of the aorta frequently causes a decreased blood pressure in the lower extremities relative to the arms, or delayed or absent femoral arterial pulses. Pheochromocytoma may cause abrupt ("paroxysmal") episodes of hypertension accompanied by headache, palpitations, pale appearance, and excessive sweating.
Many of you at this point know my story, for the entirety of my life I had tried diet after diet. I was active, I ate well, yet no one would believe that because I was obese. Indeed, my poor mother dragged me from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what was going on with me. She was desperately trying to help me understand why nothing I did worked and why year after year I gained more and more weight and felt less at home in my body. I know that I am not alone in this as so many of you have reached out to tell me that they are struggling with weight loss. This phenomenon, that I have titled weight loss resistance, is a huge concern to me! This was part of the reason I became a Naturopathic Doctor. In the days when no one could help me shed the extra 80lbs of body fat I had, I had to do my own research, I had to blaze my own trail and now I am compelled to share that!
At the end of the twelve-week study both groups lost weight, but the difference in the amount of muscle vs. fat loss was telling. The aerobic group lost 37 pounds over the course of the study. Ten of those pounds came from muscle. In contrast, the resistance-training group lost 32 pounds. None of the weight they lost came from muscle. When the resting metabolic rate of each group was calculated, the aerobic group was shown to be burning 210 fewer calories per day. The resistance-training group avoided this metabolic decline and instead was burning 63 more calories per day.
Doctors may also prescribe medications to lower blood pressure, control cholesterol or help you lose weight. Insulin sensitizers like Glucophage (Metformin) may be prescribed to help your body use insulin more effectively. It lowers blood sugar, which also seems to help lower cholesterol and triglycerides as well as decreasing appetite. The side effects of Metformin (often temporary) include nausea, stomach pain, bloating and diarrhea. A more serious side effect, lactic acidosis, can affect those with kidney or liver disease, severe heart failure or a history of alcohol abuse and is potentially, though rarely, fatal. Aspirin therapy is often given to help reduce risk of heart attack and stroke.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of metabolic risk factors that come together in a single individual. These metabolic factors include insulin resistance, hypertension (high blood pressure), cholesterol abnormalities, and an increased risk for blood clotting. Affected individuals are most often overweight or obese. An association between certain metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease has been known since the 1940s.
[Guideline] Whelton PK, Carey RM, Aronow WS, et al. 2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Hypertension. 2018 Jun. 71(6):e13-e115. [Medline]. [Full Text].