What are the causes of a sudden onset of high blood pressure?

Updated March 23, 2017

The sudden onset of high blood pressure is associated with the condition of secondary hypertension. This is a type of high blood pressure that is caused by a specific medical condition, as opposed to the more common primary hypertension, which develops gradually.


Secondary hypertension is the result of conditions that affect your kidneys, arteries, heart or endocrine system, and also sometimes happens during pregnancy.


The sudden onset of high blood pressure is caused an underlying medical condition. If you have normal blood pressure and suddenly experience an unusually high reading, you should be checked for secondary causes.


Unlike primary hypertension, which can be controlled by dietary and lifestyle changes as well as medication, secondary hypertension that comes on suddenly is dealt with through reactive measures. Your doctor will diagnose and treat the underlying condition.


The main cause of secondary hypertension and the sudden rise in blood pressure that can be a result of it are kidney, artery, heart or endocrine system problems. If you have these types of problems you should monitor your blood pressure regularly.


A sudden rise in blood pressure increases your risk for heat attack or stoke, and also can worsen the underlying condition that is causing the elevated reading. If you have a sudden, dramatic rise in your blood pressure seek medical attention immediately.

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Scott Yoder is professional SEO copywriter and editor who specializes in creating online informational marketing content. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts in English. A former teacher and specialist in writing curriculum for public education, he now writes extensively about online marketing, green business, technology, legal, and medical topics.