Amelia Grant

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Author: AmeliaGrant

8 Negative Effects of Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in every three American adults has high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Because high blood pressure is so widespread, it's tempting to think it's no big concern. However, if high blood pressure is not controlled, it can lead to potentially fatal consequences.

Here are eight ways in which uncontrolled high blood pressure can harm your health.

1. It raises your risk of heart attack and stroke
High blood pressure harms the walls of your arteries. This increases the likelihood that plaque deposits will harden, narrow, or clog your arteries. These deposits might also cause blood clots. Blood clots can travel through your system and obstruct blood supply to your heart or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke.

2. It makes you more likely to develop heart failure
When your arteries harden or narrow, your heart works harder to circulate the blood. This extra effort may cause your heart to expand and fail to provide blood to your organs.

3. You may experience chest pain
Chest pain, commonly known as angina, arises when the heart does not receive the required blood. When persons with high blood pressure walk uphill, climb stairs, or exercise, they may experience pressure, squeezing, pain, or a feeling of fullness in their chest.

4. It can cause kidney damage
Your kidneys assist your body in eliminating pollutants and controlling many of its complicated activities. High blood pressure might harm the arteries surrounding your kidneys. This can impair their capacity to execute their job and, at worst, result in kidney failure.

5. You are more likely to develop vision problems
High blood pressure can strain or damage your eyes' tiny blood vessels. It can also induce edema in the optic nerve. Lowering your blood pressure can sometimes help with eyesight difficulties. However, if untreated, high blood pressure can lead to irreversible eyesight loss or disability.

6. You could develop sexual dysfunction
The consequences of high blood pressure on male sexual function may be more visible than they are in women. Erectile dysfunction can occur when there is insufficient blood flow to the penis to allow for an erection. This could indicate that you should see a doctor about your high blood pressure and other issues.

Women with high blood pressure may have a diminished libido and a decreased interest in sex, particularly if the condition contributes to exhaustion. If a woman's blood supply to her vagina is limited, her body may respond differently before and during intercourse.

7. It raises your risk for peripheral artery disease (PAD)
PAD happens when the arteries in your legs, arms, stomach, or head constrict, resulting in pain, cramps, and exhaustion. PAD increases your risk of having a heart attack or a stroke.

8. You have a higher risk of hypertensive crisis
A hypertensive crisis is a medical emergency in which your blood pressure rises fast above 180/120. High blood pressure can damage your organs and lead to other possibly fatal problems. The symptoms of a hypertensive crisis are:
- Nosebleed
- Blurry vision or other vision problems
- Chest discomfort or pain
 - Dizziness
- A feeling of anxiety or that something is not right
- Severe headaches
Shortness of breath
- Lightheadedness

If you have any of these symptoms, please call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency department immediately.

Protecting Your Cardiovascular Health
The good news is that your doctor can detect high blood pressure with routine exams. If discovered, it can be effectively treated with a combination of medicine and heart-healthy lifestyle modifications—or, in some cases, lifestyle changes alone.

Simple lifestyle adjustments, such as eating a lower sodium diet, exercising regularly, keeping a healthy weight, limiting alcohol use, and quitting smoking, can reduce your blood pressure by 10-20 mmHg or more. And, if your doctor has recommended blood pressure medicine, you must take it exactly as directed.

Taking high blood pressure seriously and following your doctor's treatment guidelines can help you avoid major problems and improve your overall health.


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