High blood pressure is generally agreed upon to be a bad thing. But why is that? Why are doctors so keen to help patients lower their blood pressure? What effects does high blood pressure have? Typically, we might associate high blood pressure with eventual heart problems, however, the truth is that it can affect our body negatively in a variety of ways.
Your blood pressure determines your blood flow through your arteries. Increased pressure in that blood flow can cause significant damage to your artery walls. The pressure leads to tears in the walls, which leads to scar tissue that makes the walls harder and narrower. This damage means it’s more difficult for the right amount of blood to flow to all your organs.
High blood pressure mainly affects your heart in two ways: by not getting enough blood to your heart in the first place, and by making your heart work too hard to pump blood everywhere else.
When blood can’t flow properly from your arteries to your heart, you may experience chest pain or even a heart attack. Additionally, high blood pressure forces your heart to work harder than it should, which may result in an enlarged left ventricle. This change makes it even harder for the ventricle to pump blood. Eventually, the overexertion can lead to heart failure.
Your brain needs regular, healthy doses of blood to function. High blood pressure may lead to burst blood vessels in the brain, which means that part of your brain does not get the oxygen and blood it needs to perform all of its many tasks. The result is usually a stroke.
High blood pressure may also be a contributing factor in dementia and cognitive impairment, by not supplying the brain with the blood it needs.
The arteries leading to your kidneys can easily be damaged by high blood pressure. If they are damaged, it become difficult for your kidneys to do their job and filter toxins from your blood. Those unfiltered toxins gradually accumulate and lead to kidney failure. High blood pressure can also cause damage to the blood vessels within your kidneys, which leads to the same result.
The good news is that blood pressure can be reduced by proper medication, diet, and lifestyle changes. Feel free to visit us to get your blood pressure tested —and to learn how to manage it if it’s too high.