Benign Essential Hypertension

Understanding Benign Essential Hypertension

Contrary to popular belief, there are more than one type of hypertension, benign essential hypertension being just one classification. Some types were once considered to be harmless and classified as such. Others were and are still considered to be potentially lethal and their classification reflects this as well.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with essential benign hypertension, you may be confused by the long name and want to know exactly what it constitutes and what classification of hypertension it falls under. For this and other information, read further as this article discusses characteristics and other information regarding essential benign hypertension.

How is Hypertension Classified Into Groups?

There are many varying degrees of hypertension, with different underlying causes. In regards to causes, there are two categories—primary and essential. Primary hypertension’s causes are quite well known, but there is no known cause for essential hypertension.

Depending on the severity and potential damage to various parts of the body, hypertension can also be classified as malignant or benign. Malignant hypertension is characterized by blood pressure that can rise very quickly. In addition to this, it is also often accompanied by relating conditions such as heart or renal failure. Essentially, malignant hypertension is uncontrolled and very serious high blood pressure.

Benign hypertension, however, describes a much less serious form of hypertension. Although it may eventually turn malignant, benign hypertension is generally mild to moderate high blood pressure, and can be controlled and treated if proper steps are taken.

What is Benign Essential Hypertension?

From the above classifications, one can ascertain that this very particular form of hypertension can best be described as being a mild to moderate form of high blood pressure that has no discernable underlying cause. It is not considered an uncontrolled risk to the body, and will not likely lead to any renal or heart failure.

Problems with this Form of Hypertension

Although this form of hypertension is not thought to be a major impending risk, it can still lead to some very serious problems if left untreated. This condition still puts additional pressure on the heart, and if it’s not treated it can possibly lead to atherosclerosis and hypertrophy of the left ventricle. Atherosclerosis is a thickening of the arterial walls, and hypertrophy refers to the enlargement of the heart’s primary pumping chamber. These are potentially fatal conditions, and it is therefore critical that even though this condition is not considered malignant, you still be treated for high blood pressure.


Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing benign essential hypertension begins with a simple blood pressure test at your doctor’s office. If your test shows high blood pressure, your doctor will want to monitor this. This is done by having you come back at least two more times to have your blood pressure taken. If your blood pressure remains high for each test, you will be diagnosed with hypertension.

Upon receiving this diagnosis, the doctor should then look into underlying cause and severity. Urinalysis and blood tests may be given, as well as an electrocardiogram and x-ray to determine the cause. If no cause can be found, your hypertension will be classified as essential. Benign classification depends on factors that will be tested and monitored as well.

Treatment is tricky in that it often requires a bit of trial and error. Not everyone will react favorably to the same medications, although some may respond incredibly well. Once it has been established which medication is the proper fit for you, you will begin a strict regimen of pills. You should take your meds at the same time every day and be sure to never miss a dose, as it will set you back considerably. You will also likely be instructed to exercise and change your dietary habits. These lifestyle changes may be enough to do the trick, and medication may not be needed at all.