The Risks Associated With High Blood Pressure
The symptoms of high blood pressure are so subtle, you may not notice them. A slight headache or perhaps a little redness to the cheeks. It’s easy to chalk it up to other things. Many don’t find out that they have a problem until there is a catastrophic medical incident.
1) Blood Clots: The accumulation of plaque in an artery can cause blood clots to be formed. These clots can cut off circulation or limit it greatly. They can also break free and wind up in several places that have life ending consequences.
2) Heart Attack: High blood pressure makes the heart work harder, which can lead to heart failure. Should plaque or a blood clot block blood flow to the heart, it can cause a heart attack. This can kill an area of the heart, and if not treated properly could kill you.
3) Loss of a Limb: As with the heart, blood flow can be stopped by a clot. This can happen both in arteries and in veins, and the outcome could mean that the limb dies. When that happens, it has to be amputated to prevent further spread of the condition, called gangrene.
4) Kidney Disease: The kidneys are a very sophisticated filtering organ. The blood flows through it and unwanted stuff is filtered out, sent to the bladder and eliminated. When the pressure is high, the filters begin to break down. To see how this works, try running a high pressure water nozzle through a coffee filter. It will tear right through it. Like high blood pressure, kidney disease is often silent until it reaches life threatening proportions.
5) Pulmonary Embolism: The heart pumps blood into the lungs for oxygenation, the returns it back to the heart to be recirculated in the arteries. If our clot lodges in the lungs, it can slow or even stop this process.
6) Strokes: Our clot could also land in the brain. How big it is, how big the blood vessel is and where in the brain it occurs could decide whether you live or die. Even small clots can have major impacts. There is another way that high blood pressure can cause a stroke. It could burst one of these vessels and cause bleeding on the brain.
It is very important to keep track of your blood pressure. Your doctor does this automatically when you come in for a check up or other reasons. There are many inexpensive and easy to use home devices as well. Even some supermarkets and pharmacies offer free checks, making it easy for you to watch this important health factor. The more you know, the healthier you will be.