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Effects Of High Blood Pressure On Your Body That You Need To Be Aware Of

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Effects Of High Blood Pressure On Your Body That You Need To Be Aware Of

Did you just find out that you, someone in your family, or a close friend has high blood pressure? Or maybe you’ve known for a while but want to understand more about the diagnosis? First of all, don’t worry. While high blood pressure can certainly cause a number of risky health problems, it can be controlled.

The key is to learn as much as possible about the related health issues that can be caused by high blood pressure so you feel comfortable with the diagnosis. Awareness about the issue gives you control over the situation, which will help you prevent some of the more serious health problems that sometimes accompany high blood pressure.

Health Issues That Can Be Caused By High Blood Pressure

Several serious health issues brought by high blood pressure could happen if you don’t work to control the problem. Here are some of the common health problems linked to high blood pressure:

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Kidney Disease

The high pressure that your pumping blood creates against your artery walls and between heartbeats can damage blood vessels throughout your body, including in your kidneys. This damage can extend to the kidney’s filters, which means they can no longer properly rid your body of built up toxins. [1]

Heart Disease

Once again, the increased pressure of your blood flow can have severe effects on your heart. First of all, it can cause heart failure. This happens when your heart cannot pump enough blood through your body. The high blood pressure scars the artery walls which forces your heart to work harder. [2]  Another health issue that can be brought by high blood pressure on your heart is ischemic heart disease. This happens when your heart doesn’t get enough blood.

Atherosclerosis

This disease occurs when fat and plaque build up along the inside of the heart’s artery walls. Plaque is able to do this because the arteries have been weakened by the high blood pressure. [3] Too much plaque can lead to a more serious health problem, like:

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Stroke

If atherosclerosis advances too much, it can lead to complete blockage of the artery walls. Your brain does not receive the oxygen that it needs when blood cannot reach it. The lack of oxygen results in damaged or dead brain cells. This is a stroke. [4]

Eye Disease

Just as high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels around your kidney and the arteries around your heart, it can also damage the vessels in the retina of your eyes. The retina is what turns the light and images you see into nerve signals that the brain can understand. With eye disease, you can experience vision loss, double vision, or even headaches. [5]

3 Tips To Prevent These Health Issues

The related health issues of high blood pressure sound pretty scary, but try not to stress too much about it (which could make it worse!). You can work to prevent them from happening by following some of these tips:

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1. Lose Some Weight

Carrying around too many pounds can make it even harder for your blood to pump and circulate, leading to increased blood pressure. Additionally, being overweight keeps you from breathing correctly at night, which also increases your blood pressure. Try losing just 10 pounds or so to help reduce your blood pressure. [6]

2. Get Out and Exercise

Getting exercise helps strengthen your heart and you need a strong heart to pump more blood against the increased pressure of your arteries and blood vessels. If your heart doesn’t have to work so hard, it decreases the pressure in your arteries and lowers your blood pressure reading. Start off slowly by taking short walks near your house. Gradually work your way up to doing more. [7]

3. Eat Healthy Food

Saturated fat, cholesterol, and salt work to increase your blood pressure. Eating a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, and fresh fruits and vegetables can help counter the effects of high blood pressure. Following the DASH diet is a great way to get control of your daily diet and make sure your body gets the necessary vitamins and nutrients. [8]

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Myths About High Blood Pressure

Many people believe that high blood pressure causes difficulty sleeping, nose bleeds, redness in the face, dizziness, nervousness, and sweating. These symptoms do not, however, indicate high blood pressure. Not checking your blood pressure because you don’t have these symptoms is a bad idea. What makes high blood pressure such a dangerous health condition is that it does not have noticeable symptoms. Too many people go for far too long with undetected and untreated high blood pressure.

Make sure to share this information with other people who may have high blood pressure to help them prevent more serious health problems in the future. As always, check with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.

Featured photo credit: Freepik via vectoropenstock.com

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Reference

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Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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