Perhaps one of the primary reasons concerning why is hypertension dangerous is the fact that you can have the condition for years without noticing any symptoms of high blood pressure. Some individuals may experience dizziness or headaches, but most may not know they have it.
The lack of symptoms may also affect treatment. It is logical to treat a condition when it is obvious that something is wrong. If a person doesn't feel affected, he may not seek treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 50 percent of hypertensive patients have their high blood pressure under control whether through medication or lifestyle changes.
Effects of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure increases the tension on blood vessels. Over time, this can lead to damage of the arteries and impairment of blood flow. It can also cause blood vessels to weaken and bulge out, resulting in an aneurysm.
An aneurysm is a potentially, life-threatening condition in which a blood vessel becomes weakened to the point where it can rupture. It may also cause the lining within blood vessels to separate, a condition known as dissection. Either of these scenarios can be fatal, requiring emergency treatment.
Organ Damage from Hypertension
When you have high blood pressure, other organs in your body are at risk. Like the blood vessels, the heart may also show signs of added tension. It can cause an enlargement of the heart or progress to heart failure. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States.
Other organs may also be affected, affecting why is hypertension dangerous. The brain is also at risk for the development of aneurysms which can result in a stroke, the third leading cause of death. If blood flow in the brain is compromised, it can lead to dementia and other signs of brain damage.
Effects on Kidneys
Kidney function is linked with cardiovascular health through water and salt control of the blood. When you retain water, for example, the result is an increase in blood volume. More blood means that your heart must work harder, adding to the strain.
If you have diabetes, your risk for kidney damage increases. The kidneys remove waste and regulate fluid volume in the body. High blood pressure can impair blood flow in the kidneys, impairing their ability to function properly.
Your risk for developing high blood pressure increases if you have a family history of hypertension. Other risk factors include age and weight. Fortunately, a healthy lifestyle which includes a good diet and regular exercise can help prevent or treat high blood pressure. By taking control of the factors you can control, you can help prevent some of the complications of this silent killer.
American Heart Association: Prevention & Treatment of High Blood Pressure heart.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: High Blood Pressure Facts cdc.gov
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Leading Causes of Death cdc.gov
Mayo Clinic: High Blood Pressure Dangers: Hypertension's Effects on Your Body mayoclinic.com
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