High blood pressure also known as hypertension is a serious and near fatal lifestyle disease. It is regarded to be a slow and insidious killer manifesting itself in the form of symptoms years after a person has suffered from it. If left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can render a person disabled especially if he/she suffers from a heart attack or a stroke.
There are certain effects and complications which are greatly associated with high blood pressure. Let us study these complications in detail.
Effects of High Blood Pressure
Narrowing and Damage to the Arteries
The health of the arteries can take a serious toll especially if you suffer from high blood pressure. The cells of the arteries get acutely damaged with constant high blood pressure. When fats from the blood enter your arteries, the arteries become stiff, rigid and thick. This leads to a condition called as atherosclerosis or hardening of arteries.
Over time these arteries can acutely affect the way blood is supplied to various organs in the body. Various organ systems like the heart, kidney and brain get affected. This could lead to a stroke, heart attack, chest pain and in some cases death.
If your arteries have already been weakened, these can get further damaged by excess blood pressure. Over time a section of the weakened artery forms an aneurysm or bulge.
This aneurysm can cause a rupture in the arterial wall thus causing fatal and life threatening internal bleeding. These sorts of aneurysms are commonly seen in the aorta which is the largest artery of the body.
CHD or Coronary Heart Disease
In most cases obesity and high blood pressure are closely linked. The excess flow of blood to the heart along with fatty foods which develop into cholesterol narrow the arteries completely. This blocks the smooth flow of blood to and from the heart. It can lead to a massive heart attack, chest pain or irregular heartbeat.
Enlarged Left Heart
High blood pressure along with weakened arteries causes the heart to work harder and pump blood faster to the other organs in the body. This puts a lot of pressure on the left side of the heart causing it to become enlarged, rigid and stiff. This is another reason for heart attack and cardiac arrest.
A stroke is a similar condition of narrowed and weakened blood vessels but in the brain. Due to high blood pressure, the vessels may become ruptured or damaged.
A sudden blockage in any of the major brain arteries may cause your brain to suffer from a massive stroke which thus deprives the brain of oxygen and nutrients causing the brain cells to die. Blood clots may also form in the arteries thus enhancing your risk for stroke.
Over the years considerable research has been done in the field of dementia forming a close link between high blood pressure and cognitive impairment. People who suffer from chronic high blood pressure seem to perform poorly on cognitive tasks. This can progress to dementia or full blown Alzheimer’s especially if remedial measures are not taken.
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