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High Blood Pressure Effects
High blood pressure is sometimes known as a silent killer because it can be present within the body for a long period of time without there necessarily being any outward signs or symptoms. High blood pressure side effects can lead to serious consequences, the worst of which can be disability, heart disease or even death.
There are a number of conditions and disease that can result from high blood presuure. Here are a few of them:
Healthy arteries are strong, elastic and flexible. The inner lining of an artery should be smooth so that your blood flows through it freely on its way to supplying tissue and organs with oxygen and other nutrients. If there is high blood pressure in the arteries, it can cause many problems including:
1. Atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis. Excessive pressure in the arteries can cause the cells of the inner lining to alter. The effect will ultimately cause the artery walls to become thicker and stiffer. This condition is known as hardening of the arteries, or arteriosclerosis, and can be caused by high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Fats that pass through cells begin to accumulate and begins the development of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis can affect arteries throughout the body, and can obstruct blood flow to the heart, brain, kidneys, and extremities. The damage caused by atherosclerosis can cause chest pain (known as angina), kidney failure, heart attack, aneurysms and stroke.
2. Aneurysm. If blood pressure is high over a period of time, a weakened artery may become damaged. High blood pressure can cause a section of an arterial wall to enlarge, forming a bulge, or aneurysm. An aneurysm may rupture, causing internal bleeding which may be life threatening. Aneurysms may develop in any artery, although they are most often found in the aorta, which is the body’s biggest artery.
Damage to your heart
Put simply, the heart pumps blood containing oxygen and nutrients to your entire body. High blood pressure can cause damage to the heart in a number of ways, including:
1. CAD (Coronary artery disease). CAD encompasses a number of diseases involving the arteries responsible for the supply of blood to the heart muscle. High blood pressure can cause the cells lining these arteries to alter, and this may reduce the ability of those arteries to dilate. This in turn can cause angina (chest pain). CAD may also occur when blood flow becomes obstructed, often because of atherosclerosis. This can result in chest pain or irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
2. Enlarged left heart. High blood pressure can force the heart to overexert itself as it works harder to push blood around the body. This in turn can cause left ventricular hypertrophy i.e. the left ventricle enlarges through muscular development (just as your muscles get bigger from lifting weights). This enlargement can limit the left ventricle’s ability to expand properly meaning that it cannot completely fill with blood. This then leads to the heart pumping out less blood to the body. An enlarged left heart increases the risk of heart failure and heart attack.
3. Heart failure. Over an extended period, the additional exertion forced upon the heart by high blood pressure may cause the heart muscle to work less efficiently and weaken. The result is that the heart becomes overwhelmed, and it can wear out and fail. Damage caused by heart attacks can exacerbate this problem.
As well as arterial and heart conditions, high blood pressure can be responsible for a large variety of other conditions including stroke, dementia, kidney damage and problems with eye sight. High blood pressure is treatable, and high blood pressure remedies are available. Medication, diet and lifestyle changes can all help, so if you have any doubts about your health, or the effects that high blood pressure might be having upon you, consult your doctor.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|High Blood Pressure26 Jun 2009|