Life Renu - Short & Long-term Risks of Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure
By: Life Renu
As mentioned, arterial damage from elevated blood pressure can lead to aneurysms, of which brain aneurysms are particularly dangerous.
Other risks to the health of your brain are caused by hypertension such as the gradual onset of dementia. Dementia is a neurodegenerative condition caused by gradual shut down of functional pathways in the brain. Pathways associated with memory, reasoning and motor skills are gradually disabled by dementia.
This can be due to the natural aging process or genetic traits. With regard to blood pressure, vascular dementia occurs when the arteries that nourish the brain are damaged due to high blood pressure, leading to a decline in essential brain activity.
The heart itself, the organ that determines blood pressure to begin with, is also at risk. The first major blow to your heart's health is coronary artery disease. This is caused when the arteries that nourish your myocardium (heart muscle) are compromised by arterial damage. Coronary heart disease can lead to death of heart muscle tissue, resulting in a heart attack.
Left ventricular hypertrophy or enlargement of the left ventricle muscle is also a major problem. When under the strain of excess pressure, the left ventricle of your heart, which is responsible for pumping blood out, works harder than usual.
When it comes to the health of your kidneys, your heart health is tantamount. High blood pressure can damage the vascular network on which your kidneys operate, leading to an inability to effectively filter waste and water.
This can lead to a condition known as edema, characterized by excess fluid retention in the soft tissue. The accumulation of toxins that would have otherwise been expelled in your urine also leads to serious danger. This type of damage may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
The tiny blood vessels that supply your retina are susceptible to damage under a hypertensive state. This can lead to impaired vision or even blindness in severe cases as the retina fails to cope with the lack of oxygen and nutrients.
Along with this, damaged blood vessels can lead to a fluid build up under the retina, further contributing to potential visual impairments. These conditions that result in a compromised retina are classed as hypertensive retinopathy.
Because having chronic high blood pressure is typically an indication of a greater underlying condition, the best way to combat it is to pinpoint the cause and treat that. Diseases such as diabetes and obesity are common risk factors.
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Page Updated Last on: Sep 05, 2019