Nearly half of adults in the United States have hypertension, or high blood pressure, which means they’re in danger of developing some very serious, and even life-threatening, cardiovascular conditions, such as heart attack and stroke.
While our goal isn’t to worry you unnecessarily, Dr. James Kim and our team of heart health experts have seen the results of unmanaged blood pressure numbers, and we want to do all we can to help you avoid them. The problem with hypertension is that the signs aren’t often obvious until the unthinkable happens.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the potential dangers of hypertension and, more importantly, the steps we can take to lower your blood pressure, and your risks.
Heart disease, heart attack, and stroke
When your blood pressure numbers are high, it means your cardiovascular system is working harder to deliver oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. More specifically, narrowing in your arteries raises the pressure of the blood passing through, which can damage the walls of these blood vessels.
As well, your heart can weaken when it needs to continually work harder than normal to keep pumping blood throughout your circulatory system.
As a result of ongoing hypertension, you’re at a much greater risk of developing heart disease, which can lead to heart attack and/or stroke.
While heart disease, heart attack, and stroke are the leading causes of death in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that 200,000 of these deaths per year are preventable, and one of the first steps is to keep your blood pressure numbers in check.
Kidney disease and/or failure
If you have hypertension, the arteries around your kidneys may be damaged, preventing your kidneys from filtering your blood properly. This can lead to kidney disease and, eventually, kidney failure.
One of the primary drivers of erectile dysfunction in men, especially as they age, is lack of good blood supply to the penis.
The blood vessels in your eyes are extremely sensitive, so when you have high blood pressure, the extra pressure can easily damage them, leading to vision loss.
Lowering your blood pressure
The first, and most important, step you can take is to have us check your blood pressure regularly. By tracking your blood pressure, we can help you take the steps necessary to bring your hypertension under control, including:
- Cutting salt, fat, and sugar from your diet
- Exercising more
- Quitting smoking
- Reducing alcohol consumption
While we’ve outlined the most effective lifestyle changes you can make, we can also prescribe medications if you’re in danger of serious cardiovascular-related issues. For example, you may benefit from blood thinners, which help your blood to flow more easily.
If you want to take charge of your health by lowering your blood pressure, contact one of our offices in Chula Vista or National City, California, today.