Your heart pumps blood into your blood vessels or arteries, which in turn transport blood throughout your entire body. Blood pressure is defined as the amount of pressure your blood produces against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats. When you have high blood pressure, your arteries are subjected to more than the normal amount of pressure.
Causes of High Blood Pressure and Related Health Issues
The exact cause of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, in majority of people is unclear. It becomes increasingly common as people get older and different states and conditions — bad eating habits, lack of exercise, obesity, and excess alcohol — may result in hypertension. It is also known to run in families.
While hypertension causes aren’t exactly clear, the health issues related to it are very much real and potentially fatal. These are:
- Heart diseases including ischemic heart disease, hypertensive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and heart failure
- Atherosclerosis is a condition where your arteries have significant fatty material or plaque buildup. High blood pressure contributes to plaque accumulation since it puts extra force and stress on your artery walls. This may result in a stroke or heart attack.
- High blood pressure may also lead to stroke since it weakens your artery walls until it bursts and contributes to the development of atherosclerosis leading to clots or blockages of the arteries.
- With kidney disease, hypertension causes damage to your arteries and kidney filters, making your kidneys incapable of excreting waste from your body.
- Hypertension can also damage your retina’s tiny blood vessels and cause eye disease.
Treatment of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure treatment typically involves crucial lifestyle changes, and if required, maintenance medication. Lifestyle changes normally include eating healthy, getting regular exercise, kicking your smoking habit, limiting alcohol intake, and losing weight. If you still have hypertension even after making necessary lifestyle changes, you’ll be prescribed medication to lower your blood pressure and examined to check for underlying conditions that may be causing your blood pressure to rise. It is crucial to continue your medication unless your doctor says otherwise.