Ways to Battle the Effects of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also called arterial hypertension, is characterized by pressure above 140/90 mmHg. It is a chronic disease, and if not properly treated, it may increase the risk of developing serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, or kidney impairment.
High blood pressure is a silent disease. Generally, it only causes symptoms such as dizziness, blurred vision, or shortness of breath, but when the pressure is too high (180/110 mmHg or above), during what we call a hypertensive crisis, it can lead to a medical emergency and follow symptoms like nosebleeds and palpitations. The causes of high blood pressure are related to genetic factors, being overweight, and having unhealthy lifestyle habits such as a high salt diet, smoking, having disturbed sleep, and not doing regular exercise are also its major causes.
Effects of High Blood Pressure
Hypertension can silently damage your body for years without being noticed. If you do not keep track of your blood pressure, you may end up with a low-quality life, a disability, or even a heart attack. Here we will highlight to you the main problems you can face through blood pressure if you do not shape your lifestyle to a healthy one:
1. Effects on Arteries
Your arteries are elastic in a way that they can transport oxygen and nutrients to your organs without damaging them. If your blood pressure remains high throughout the years, the muscular layers of your arteries will start losing their elasticity, becoming hardened. Then, as the blood in high pressure starts forcing the arteries, they start suffering injuries.
On the other hand, the body then sends platelets and micro collages to repair those injured arteries. However, this initiative forms microscopic irregularities, which become a deposit of fat and act as barriers to the normal passage of blood. This can cause complication in an artery, but it is more frequent in the ones of the heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes.
2. Effects on Heart
The high blood pressure effects are nefarious in the heart. The affected narrowed arteries cannot let the blood to flow through them, and it can cause pain in the chest, a heart attack or irregular heartbeat.
If the blood cannot get where it is supposed to, the heart has to work harder. As the arteries become less and less elastic, it becomes increasingly difficult for the heart to pump enough blood efficiently to the rest of the body. This condition further increases the risk of a heart attack, heart failure, and sudden cardiac death. It can also lead to an accumulation of fluid in the lungs, causing respiratory distress.
3. Effects on Brain
Just like the heart, the brain needs a blood supply to function properly. As you know now, hypertension narrows the arteries. If the blood cannot go through them and reach the brain, it can cause a temporary loss of function, also known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA).
Another condition that high blood pressure can cause to the brain is a stroke. It also happens when parts of your brain are deprived of oxygen and nutrients, weakening and narrowing the blood vessels, which rupture and leak. Hypertension can also form blood clots in the arteries that take blood to the brain, blocking the flow and becoming another cause of stroke.
4. Other Effects
The effects of hypertension are many and serious. It can also damage the vessels that transport blood to your retina, which can lead to hemorrhage in the eyes, causing blurred eyesight and complete loss of it. You can also have more difficulty in walking as the blood vessels of your legs can be affected, which means less blood is getting to the feet.
There are many other effects, like sexual dysfunction, bone loss, and trouble sleeping. Each of these alone can decrease your life quality significantly, so it is very important that you pay attention to the causes to have a healthy lifestyle.
How Can You Combat Hypertension
Happily, adopting a less sedentary lifestyle and having a balanced diet can reduce your high blood pressure.
1. Changing Your Lifestyle
First of all, it is very important that you check with your doctor to see which activity is suitable for you. Practicing physical activity at a frequency of 5 days a week for 30 to 60 minutes each session can significantly decrease your blood pressure.
Did you know that having a good sleep can prevent and reduce high blood pressure? The quality of your sleep can reflect directly in the levels of your blood pressure. This happens because every time you wake up in the middle of the night, your body releases a large quantity of adrenalin as a defense reaction. It contracts the blood vessels, hampering the blood flow, which consequently increases blood pressure.
To keep your blood pressure at acceptable levels, there are several medications recommended, such as diuretics. They work in the kidney by increasing the elimination of water and salt through urine.
Vasodilators relax the arteries and veins of your body. They are often used in patients that have difficulty in keeping up with a healthy lifestyle. Examples of vasodilators are Minoxidil and Hydralazine.
3. Calcium Channel Blockers
They lead to a lower influx of calcium into the heart cells and blood vessels making the heart to pump blood in a much effective way thereby lowering the blood pressure. These are the top choice in the drug treatment of high blood pressure due to high efficacy and by the fact that the patients tolerate better compared to other antihypertensive medications. They are great for elderly patients and do not cause sodium retention nor compromise renal function.
Do not delay checking your health! Unfortunately, the effects of high blood pressure can be devastating in your body and cause a negative impact in your life quality, but now that you have the knowledge to take action and do what it takes to prevent and combat it, you can strive and accomplish a healthy life. For more information, watch the below shred video.