How High Blood Pressure is Dangerous?

How High Blood Pressure is Dangerous?

September 20, 2021 0 By Marriam

High blood pressure does not cause problems over a day or weeks or months. High blood pressure causes problems over many years. And it can affect your entire body. Let's talk about some of the body structures that are most affected by high blood pressure. These include your blood vessels, heart, brain, kidneys and eyes. The small blood vessels in the vital organs are most affected over time. Continue till the end to find out how high blood pressure affects different organs.

Effects of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure affects your blood vessels. These vessels become scarred, hardened and less elastic. Which means that they are more likely to get blocked or rupture. This may happen as you get older whether or not your blood pressure is too high. But high blood pressure can speed up this process.

Hardening of Blood Vessels

High blood pressure also plays a role in the development of atherosclerosis. A person has atherosclerosis if their arteries thicken because of fat and cholesterol buildup on the artery walls. High blood pressure adds strain to the blood vessel walls which increases the risk of getting atherosclerosis.

Damage to Heart

If the inside of your blood vessels gets smaller and harder and the pressure inside them goes up. Then your heart has to pump harder to get blood through them. Your heart is a muscle and just like other muscles. Working this hard makes your heart get bigger this is not a good thing for your heart. It can get stretched out and some of the blood that is supposed to pump through your body stays back in the heart.

Eventually, your heart begins to weaken. Because it simply cannot continue to pump so hard against the pressure in your vessels. When the heart can no longer pump out all of the blood that enters its chambers this is a serious condition called congestive heart failure.

Damage to the Brain

High blood pressure can also damage the brain. Blood vessels in the brain can get blocked or rupture just like blood vessels anywhere else in the body. The difference is that if it happens in the brain there may be bleeding there. Or the brain tissues won't get nutrients and oxygen from the blood. Therefore, high blood pressure is a major cause of strokes and bleeding in the brain. It can also affect normal brain function as a person ages.

Damage to the Kidneys

The kidneys are also important organs that can be damaged by high blood pressure. And if the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys are damaged. Then the kidney tissues will not get the blood they need. And the kidneys themselves can gradually lose their ability to function.

Damage to the Eyes

High blood pressure can cause changes in the retinas of your eyes. The retina is where the eye receives visual images. The blood vessels in the eyes are also at risk of getting narrow, rupturing and bleeding. These changes can cause impaired vision. And over time may lead to blindness.

Now you know how blood vessels in the heart, brain, kidneys and eyes are most affected by high blood pressure. That's why a person that has had high blood pressure for many years is at serious risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. In fact, if you have high blood pressure and it is left untreated you are three times more likely to have heart disease. 6 times more likely to develop congestive heart failure and 7 times more likely to have a stroke. Fortunately, a person can make lifestyle changes that will help lessen the strain on their hearts and blood vessels. So, this helps to control the bad effects high blood pressure can have on the organs.

Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes

Hypertension or high blood pressure billions of people worldwide. Untreated hypertension can lead to heart and kidney disease, stroke and blindness. High blood pressure costs about forty-six billion dollars every year to treat. However, by managing this condition through diet, weight management and physical activity, we can cut these costs by millions. And this way of management of a disease is called therapy lifestyle changes or TLC. Let's talk about this one by one.

1. Dietary Modification

First up in TLC is diet. The US News and World Report's list of best diets for the seventh year in a row. The DASH diet can help people lose weight prevent and manage diabetes and improve heart health. The DASH diet stands for Dietary Approaches to stop hypertension. If you've been diagnosed with hypertension your doctor may recommend that you follow an - eating plan.

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension

The DASH diet is rich in fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains, low-fat dairy, poultry, fish, beans, nuts and seeds. It's also lower in sodium, sweets sugary beverages and red meat than the typical American diet.

Cutting Back on Sodium

Do not throw salt in your heart!

One of the first nutrients to focus on when starting a - diet is sodium. Sodium is a compound mostly present in salt. The current recommendations for sodium are to limit it to 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams per day. While we do get sodium in our diets from the salt shaker, more than 75% of the sodium in our diet comes from processed foods. And that means it's already present in the processed foods.

Develop a Habit of Reading Labels

Learning to read food labels is a great way to understand where sodium is coming from in our diet. When reading a food label the first place you want to start is by checking the portion size. If you eat more than one portion you'll need to adjust all of the numbers. Next jump down to the sodium line where it’s mentioned the milligrams of sodium in each serving of the product as well as the per cent daily value. As a general rule of thumb foods with greater than 20 per cent daily value are too high in sodium. Canned vegetables, frozen meals, boxed products and processed meats like bacon and sausage are usually high in sodium.

Fill up on Nutrients

On top of lowering salt intake, the dash diet encourages that you eat many nutrients like vitamins and minerals. And these nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, protein and fibre can help lower blood pressure.

A few ideas on how to get more of these nutrients include:

  • Add a serving of vegetables to lunch or dinner each day.
  • Eat fruit as a snack or in place of sweets for dessert.
  • Increase use of fat-free or low-fat milk products to three servings per day.
  • Limit meat to just three ounces at meals or about the size of a deck of cards.
  • Participate in more vegetarian style or meatless meals.
  • Look for little ways to increase your intake of whole grains.
  • Switch from white rice to brown rice and choosing 100% whole grain breads.

In addition to following a dash style eating plan, there are also a few things you can do to help lower your blood pressure.

2. Maintain a Healthy Weight

A healthy weight falls in the BMI range between 18.5 to 24.9. A BMI greater than 25 shows that you are overweight. And therefore a BMI below 18.5 shows that you are below the normal weight range. To calculate your BMI follow the link.

3. Physical Activity

The American Heart Association recommends individuals get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise. Such as brisk walking or riding a bike. This breaks down to just 30 minutes, 5 days a week.