The Most Common High Blood Pressure Complications
Brief high blood pressure spikes aren't usually of great concern but if your blood pressure remains high for a long time, you may experience some adverse side effects, even though you may feel fine.
Certain issues due to ongoing elevated blood pressure can be easily managed. However, other life-threatening issues can also develop.
Learn about the more common health conditions that can occur if hypertension goes untreated for too long.
High Blood Pressure Causes Heart Problems
Heart problems are among the most common results of hypertension. When blood flow to the heart is restricted, it can cause many problems. That includes heart disease, heart attacks, and heart failure.
Heart disease causes about one in every four deaths in the United States, making it the leading cause of death. The most common type is coronary artery disease, but the term also encompasses many conditions that weaken the heart and make it difficult to pump blood throughout the body efficiently.
Heart attacks can be mild or life-threatening. They're usually the result of fatty deposits and plaques building up in your arteries. Both are associated with hypertension.
If you experience a tight, painful feeling in your chest, go to the nearest emergency department right away. The sooner you get to a medical professional, the better chance you have of a good outcome after a heart attack.
Heart failure means your heart is unable to efficiently pump the blood for your whole body on its own. Hypertension makes your heart work harder. Harder work makes the heart chambers thicken and become more stiff. Over time your heart's pump grows weaker.
Once this happens, the condition can no longer be cured. However, it can be improved with lifestyle changes. There are also certain procedures which can help the heart pump better.
Other Body Organs and Areas Affected by High Blood Pressure
Your heart isn't the only area affected by hypertension. In fact, your whole body requires blood flow containing oxygen and nutrients. This becomes restricted due to prolonged hypertension. Areas that are often hit the hardest are your kidneys, abdomen, and brain.
High blood pressure causes kidney disease in many people. Elevated blood pressure on a constant basis can damage the vessels in the kidney and make them less efficient.
Extreme kidney damage may lead to kidney failure in which the kidneys can't function on their own. This will require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
A stroke can occur if your brain doesn't get enough blood due to complications of high blood pressure. Without proper blood flow, brain cells die because they don't receive enough oxygen and glucose.
Strokes can be deadly. Many people who survive a stroke later find that their cognitive abilities, vision, or movement abilities are impaired. Those losses can be permanent. You must manage your blood pressure if you want to Say NO To Stroke!
Vascular dementia is often caused by a stroke, but it can occur any time the brain doesn't get adequate blood flow. It results in difficulty reasoning and focusing in the early stages and trouble remembering past events in the later stages.
Dementia of any kind can be incredibly disruptive and disorienting. Some limited memory function can be restored with the right medication and treatment regimen, but the condition isn't reversible. That's why it's so important to do all you can to reduce your risk of developing dementia in the first place.
While hypertension can lead to certain complications, early treatment of blood pressure can prevent them.
This may mean starting medication to lower your blood pressure but it could be as simple as using natural methods like dieting and working out to bring your blood pressure back into a healthier range.