Increased bp is also called hypertension (high blood pressure). The blood pressure of an individual changes continually. A diagnosis of high bp or hypertension may be made if blood pressure readings are frequently higher than normal. As your blood pressure levels rise, your risk of acquiring further health problems, such as heart disease, a heart attack, and stroke, rises.
What problems does high blood pressure cause in your body?
Your health can be harmed by high blood pressure in several ways. The good news is that you can typically control your high bp symptoms to reduce your chance of developing significant health issues.
Hypertensive heart disease is a chronic condition that develops slowly over many years in people with high blood pressure. It’s a series of medical issues that can develop if your high blood pressure (hypertension) is not controlled, including heart failure and conduction arrhythmias.
Blood pressure that is consistently high (higher than 120/80 mmHg) is what causes hypertensive heart disease. People who have high blood pressure as they age are more likely to develop heart disease. People over 65 are most susceptible to heart failure. Prehypertension also causes much damage to the heart.
Your heart has to work harder to pump your blood as a result of chronic high blood pressure. Heart failure could result from your heart muscle becoming thick and feeble. Because of high blood pressure, your blood vessel walls can also thicken, which can be hazardous when cholesterol builds up inside the blood vessels.
Heart failure is three times more likely to occur in women than in men with high blood pressure. However, effectively managing your high blood pressure can significantly lower your risk of developing heart failure.
The two types of hypertensive heart disease include Coronary artery disease and Left ventricular hypertrophy (enlarged heart).
The blood vessels can become narrowed and constricted due to high blood pressure, which over time weakens and destroys them throughout the body, particularly in the kidneys. Blood flow is decreased by the narrowing.
Your kidneys may no longer function correctly if the blood vessels in them are harmed. The kidneys cannot completely rid your body of toxins and extra fluid when this happens. A deadly cycle can be created by too much fluid in the blood arteries, which can elevate your blood pressure even higher and further damage your kidneys.
The minuscule, delicate blood arteries that provide blood to the eyes can become damaged by high blood pressure, leading to:
Damage to the retina’s blood vessels (retinopathy)-Damage to the blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye, can cause eye hemorrhage, blurred vision, and even total blindness. High blood pressure and diabetes together raise the risk of retinopathy.
Fluid accumulation beneath the retina (choroidopathy)- Vision that is distorted or occasionally vision-impairing scarring can arise from choroidopathy.
Nerve injury (optic neuropathy)- A blocked blood vessel can harm the optic nerve, resulting in eye hemorrhage or vision loss.
You need a proper supply of blood for the brain to work properly. The brain is impacted by high bp in the following ways:
Transient ischemia attack (TIA)- A TIA is a transient, transitory interruption in the blood supply to the brain, often known as a ministroke. TIAs may be brought on by blood clots or hardened arteries brought on by excessive blood pressure. A TIA sets the stage for a stroke.
Stroke-When a portion of the brain does not receive enough oxygen and nutrients, brain cells begin to die. High blood pressure causes restriction, bursting, or leaking of lead blood vessels. In addition, having high blood pressure increases the risk of blood clots developing in the arteries supplying the brain, which could restrict blood flow and cause a stroke.
Dementia- One particular form of dementia (vascular dementia) can be brought on by narrowed or clogged arteries that reduce blood supply to the brain. Another factor that might cause vascular dementia is a stroke that stops the blood flow to the brain.
Mild cognitive impairment- This disorder serves as a transitional step between aging-related alterations in understanding and memory and the more severe issues brought on by dementia. According to studies, mild cognitive impairment can be brought on by high blood pressure.
Sexual dysfunction problems
As men reach the age of 50, erectile dysfunction, the inability to obtain and sustain an erection, becomes more prevalent. But erectile dysfunction is more common in men who have high blood pressure. That’s because low blood pressure can prevent blood from reaching the penis due to reduced blood flow.
High blood pressure can cause sexual dysfunction in women as well. Reduced blood flow to the vagina can cause vaginal dryness, decreased sexual desire or arousal, or trouble eliciting an orgasm.
As is evident, maintaining a normal bp helps in evading all these health problems and keeping the organs in the body safe and sound.