Hypertension, also known as the “silent killer”, becomes evident after living in your body for years. But if it gets detected and is adequately nursed in its early stage, the patient can get back to his everyday life with a little care and feeding.
Managing and pushing back the high blood pressure is not a challenging task. However, if you don’t get proper help and treatment, the results can be fatal.
Here are the few fatal impacts that high blood pressure can cause to you.
Damages to Blood Vessels
The blood vessels’ function is to distribute the oxygenated blood to the vital organs (arteries) and bring back the deoxygenated blood for purification (veins). While healthy, these vessels are elastic, flexible, and strong with a smooth inner lining that helps the blood flow with minimum effort.
But when you suffer from hypertension, the blood through the vessels starts flowing with more significant pressure causing:
When the blood flowing pressure elevates, it slowly starts making small tears in the artery walls’ inner lining. These damaged areas become the most prone deposition place for the bad cholesterol that enters your bloodstream through a low diet. Eventually, more cholesterol gets deposited to make the arteries narrow and less elastic, limiting the amount of blood flowing through it.
When blood flows through the damaged and weakened arteries for an extended time, an aneurysm condition develops.
An aneurysm is bulging out of the arteries when its inner walls weaken after repeated damage. This enlarged part can get ruptured, leading to internal bleeding with fatal health complications. The worst part is it gives no symptoms in the early stage and can develop in any artery. But it mostly occurs in the aorta, the largest artery in the human body.
Damage to Heart
With the damage of the arteries and veins, the heart gets most severely affected, leading to:
When the arteries get damaged and narrow, it fails to supply adequate oxygen-rich blood to the heart. This leads to angina, a type of pain in the heart.
When the oxygenated blood fails to flow freely through the partially blocked arteries and reaches the heart, it starts beating irregularly. This condition is called arrhythmias.
Enlargement of heart
With partially blocked blood vessels, the heart needs to pump harder to push the blood to different body parts. This extra work causes the left ventricle (responsible for pumping oxygen-rich blood to the body) of the heart to thicken and enlarge. This condition is called idiopathic cardiomegaly (ICM), leading to the risk of heart attack, heart failure, or even sudden cardiac death.
With high blood pressure, the heart gradually becomes weak and stiff over time, leading to its failure. The tissue damages make the condition more severe.
Heart failure is the condition when the heart stops to supply enough oxygen-rich blood to the body organs. It becomes a life-long management disease that needs constant attention to prevent worsening. If not managed properly, it can lead to a life-threatening condition.
It is a medical emergency, which occurs due to the cut off of the blood supply to the heart. Without immediate treatment of heart attack, the heart muscles begin to die, leading to death.
Damage to Bones
During high blood pressure, the body releases excess calcium through urine, causing its deficiency. The parathyroid gland releases a parathyroid hormone to balance this shortage, which releases calcium from the bone. Eventually, bones get deprived of enough calcium and become weaker and fragile, leading to osteoporosis.
Women with menopause are more prone to this health threat.
Damage to Brain
The brain needs adequate oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to work efficiently. It gets transported through a dense network of blood vessels. But hypertension makes the blood vessels to clog, cutting down the sufficient blood flow, leading to:
Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
Due to hardened and clogged arteries, the blood supply to the brain can get disrupted temporarily. This leads to TIA, a mini-stroke that can persist for a few minutes. It gives similar symptoms to stroke but doesn’t damage any brain cells permanently. However, it is an early warning of a full-blown stroke if not treated immediately.
High blood pressure damages the arteries carrying oxygenated blood to the brain. Sometimes, these damages in the blood vessels can lead to its blockage or rupture, thereby cutting the blood supply to the part of the brain almost wholly. This, in turn, kills the brain cell within five minutes, leaving permanent damage behind. Stroke can also cause paralysis or death.
High blood pressure narrows and blocks the arteries, limiting the blood flow. It sometimes leads to vascular dementia, a condition when the brain starts having memory loss, a judgemental problem, and other thinking process difficulty.
Mild cognitive impairment
It is a transition stage between expected cognitive deterioration due to normal aging and a more severe decline due to dementia. Studies say that hypertension can be a potential reason behind mild cognitive impairment.
Damage to Kidneys
The kidney function is to filter out waste products and excess fluids from the body through urine. To carry out this filtration process efficiently, they require healthy blood vessels. With high blood pressure, the blood vessels leading to the kidney gets narrowed and damage, leading to the following complications:
Glomeruli, a branch of minute blood vessels, is the kidney’s functional unit that filters waste products from the blood. Hypertension causes these tiny blood vessels inside the kidney to be scarred. This leads to their inability to filter efficiently, which may lead to kidney failure.
Damaged glomeruli and blood vessels lead to the inefficient working of the kidney. This leads to the accumulation of waste products and urea in the blood in dangerous amounts, leading to kidney failure. It means the body loses the ability to remove the waste on its own. Ultimately, the patient needs to depend on dialysis or need a kidney transplant.
All these conditions can get worsen if the patient also has diabetes.
Damage to Eyes
Human eyes have numerous tiny and delicate blood vessels, entering and leaving them through the back of the eye. High blood pressure can damage these blood-carrying vessels, leading to:
The abnormal blood flow due to hypertension can damage blood vessels in the retina.
This condition is called hypertensive retinopathy. It limits the retina’s function and pressurizes the optic nerve, ultimately leading to partial or complete vision loss.
In this medical condition, the fluid from the blood vessels leaks to get deposited under the retina called the choroid region. It leads to distorted or sometimes impaired vision.
When high blood pressure blocks the normal blood flow in the eye, the nerve cells get killed. Ultimately this leads to the damage of the optic nerve, responsible for carrying a vision to the brain. This, in turn, causes the loss of sight.
Damage to Sexual Organs
During arousal, the sex organs use extra blood flow for the formation of transudate that facilitates intercourse. But with hypertension, the blood vessels leading to the penis and vagina get clogged, causing sexual dysfunction.
In men, they face difficulty maintaining an erection because of the limited blood flow in the penis. It also causes a problem in ejaculation.
While in women, the decreased blood flow to the vagina. It also causes vaginal dryness and sometimes difficulty in orgasm.
Damage to Lungs
Lungs are made up of pulmonary arteries and pulmonary veins, forming the pulmonary circulation. Their job is to carry oxygen-rich blood to the heart from the lungs and transport the deoxygenated from the heart back to the lungs. While suffering from hypertension, the process gets disturbed, leading to:
When one of the pulmonary arteries in the lungs gets blocked due to a blood clot, it is termed a pulmonary embolism. In most cases, when the blood pressure rises, the deep veins flowing from the other parts of the body to the lungs get clotted. This condition requires immediate medical attention. It can also sometimes lead to an aneurysm enlargement of the artery due to the arterial wall’s fragility.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is when the blood vessels in the lungs get narrowed, blocked, or destroyed. Due to this, the blood flow declines, making the heart pump harder.
Severe cases can cause bleeding in the lungs and hemoptysis (blood with cough), leading to death.
Pulmonary emboli can lead to PAH. A study says that 3.8% of 314 consecutive patients suffering from pulmonary emboli have developed pulmonary hypertension within two years.
It is a potentially serious sleeping disorder that causes breathing interruption during rest time. People with sleep apnea tend to snore loudly and feel tired even after a full night’s sleep.
Research says that 30-50% of the people suffering from high blood pressure have sleep apnea. The patient with resistant hypertension (hypertension that does not respond well to any aggressive medical treatment) is more prone to have this problem.
How can you prevent these diseases?
Hypertension is one of the root causes of many life-threatening diseases like stroke, heart failure, eye damage, etc. Moreover, if the condition prevailed, it can affect almost every vital organ of our body. So, to prevent these fatal complications, we must stop the primary cause, i.e., hypertension.
Therefore, here are some measures you must follow to make sure you don’t reach the critical hypertensive stage.
Never leave untreated
Hypertension is such a disease, which should never be left untreated. The more you avoid it, the more it will grow in your body with rapid speed, slowly becoming dangerous. And ultimately, it will make your vital organs non-functional without giving you much time to prevent it. So, it is essential to consult a doctor as soon as you are diagnosed with high blood pressure to avoid future complications.
Follow pills-routine strictly
In the preliminary stage of the treatment, the doctor prescribes you a medication set for daily consumption. It is your job to make sure you follow the medication routine closely. Don’t miss out on any pill or consume two drugs at a time to make up for the missed dose.
Though miss of a single dose will not be a problem, make sure to never go out of tracks about regularly taking your pills. Or, your BP can fluctuate, which is not good.
A healthy lifestyle is the best natural remedy to keep your BP in check. That means eliminating all the junk or non-suitable food that can trigger your pressure. It also includes a regular physical activity to keep your body in shape, contributing significantly to keeping your pressure at bay.
It is another essential measure to make yourself confident about your health. By regularly checking your BP at home, you can keep a close eye on your blood pressure level. You can also get alerted immediately in case of a sudden rise in BP. So, it helps you to prevent any further ugly complications.
For that purpose, buy the best bp monitor because keeping a digital BP monitor at your home is helpful. You can measure your BP daily by sitting in the comfort of your home. Moreover, you don’t have to be a professional to use it.
Hypertension is just like any other disease and can be treated efficiently with little effort and proper medication. However, you can land yourself in a life-threatening circumstance in the case of two careless situations, firstly, if you leave the diseases without undergoing adequate treatment and medication. The second one is more common and fatal. It happens if you stop taking medication or starts leading an unhealthy life, thinking you have entirely beat hypertension.
It would be best to remember your hypertensive condition can go better and can depend less on medication. But hypertension cannot be cured completely. Proper medication and a healthy lifestyle are the only remedies to keep your BP at bay. And check your BP daily to know your numbers and be self-assured.