6 serious consequences of high blood pressure
High blood pressure is a condition that often has no visible symptoms. Because of this it is sometimes referred to as “the silent killer”.
If your blood pressure is not brought under control it comes with some really serious consequences on your arteries, heart, brain, kidneys, eyes and sexuality.
The world health organisation (WHO) reports that over 1.13 billion people around the world are affected and it causes one stroke or myocardiac infarction every 2 seconds. That’s just one of the serious consequences. In this post we’ll work through 6 areas of complications with high blood pressure.
The blood in your blody flows in the arteries. When you have high blood pressure, the blood has a more difficult time travelling in the arteries. Over time, if left unchecked, the arteries stiffen and weaken and you run the risk a developing a bulge (aka aneurysm) which can rupture and cause massive internal bleeding. This usually happens in the main artery – called the aorta.
The heart is the muscle that pumps blood through your body. When your blood pressure is high it causes your heart to work harder than normal to keep the circulation going.
Over time the heart gets tired and worn out from having to work so hard and you could end up with myocardiac infarction, heart attack, heart failure or arrythmia (irregular heart rhythm).
Same as with other parts of the body your brain needs a steady supply of fresh oxygen to work properly. High blood pressure has been found to be a significant factor when it comes to causing strokes and dementia.
Around 20% of all the people who have high blood pressure also have problems with their kidneys. Your kidneys need a fresh supply of oxygen to function properly and clean your body from waste but if your blood pressure is high that supply gets constricted.
Unfortunately the two problems of high blood pressure and kidney problems go hand in hand. As your kidneys get less effective in cleaning your body from waste your blood pressure becomes higher which in turn causes more problems for your kidneys and so on. Ultimately you could end up with kidney failure
Your eyes are very sensitive and having high blood pressure for a longer period of time can squeeze off blood flow and damage the very small blood vessels in your eyes. Liquid can build up under your retina – that’s the part of your eye where images focus. Problems include blurry, distorted, and lost vision.
Having a reduced supply of blood available as arteries harden over time due to the blood pressure being high also affects the ability for men to get an erection. This problem is fairly common among men with uncontrolled blood pressure.
Women are similarly affected but it manifests as reduced sexual desire and vaginal dryness.
As you can see there are some pretty serious complications from having high blood pressure.
Luckily there are things you can do to get your blood pressure under control – know your numbers, take your medication as prescribed and make some changes to your diet and exercise.
In future posts we’ll explore the things you can do in more detail.