Taking measures to prevent high blood pressure is always a good choice for maintaining a healthy mind and body. Losing extra belly fat, embracing a healthy diet, exercising regularly, reducing sodium intake, limiting alcohol and caffeine, quitting smoking and reducing overall stress levels are all natural ways to protect yourself. Here are some detailed examples of why you should embrace a healthy, low blood pressure lifestyle.
Strong, flexible and elastic arteries are necessary for nutrient rich blood to flow to reach vital organs and tissues throughout the body. The increased pressure associated with high blood pressure causes the cells in the lining of arteries to become thicker and stiffen, causing arteriosclerosis. Fat begins to collect in the damaged cells and blood is further prevented from effectively flowing throughout the body. As the arteries harden there is a greater risk of chest pain, heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, eye damage, aneurysms and blocked arteries in the limbs. Compromised artery walls can then bulge causing aneurysms throughout the body that rupture and cause internal bleeding and even death.
A healthy heart is needed to pump blood to all areas of the body. High blood pressure can damage arteries that directly supply blood to the heart muscle, leading to coronary artery disease. Restricted blood flowing to the heart causes chest pains, irregular heart rhythms and heart attacks. As the heart strains to work properly, it will begin to enlarge, causing the ventricles to harden in a condition known as left ventricular hypertrophy. This further restricts blood flow and can lead to heart failure, heart attack and sudden cardiac death, when the heart muscle becomes overwhelmed and stops working entirely.
There are a variety of serious conditions that can develop in the brain due to high blood pressure. Blood clots can cause mini-strokes known as transient ischemic attacks, where the brains blood supply is temporarily cut off. These can precede full-scale strokes, where the brain is entirely cut off from nutrients and oxygen, resulting in brain cell death. Damaged and weakened blood vessels in the brain can also cause strokes when they rupture and leak blood. Another serious brain condition that can arise for high blood pressure is dementia. This occurs when arteries stop supplying healthy blood to the brain, resulting in impaired thinking, reasoning, memory, speaking, vision and movement, as well as cognitive conditions associated with the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of kidney failure due to the damage it causes to arteries and blood vessels inside the kidneys, causing a variety of diseases known as nephropathy. The kidneys then stop filtering blood properly, and waste builds up throughout the body. Further waste buildup can also be caused by the scarring of filtering blood vessel clusters within the kidneys I a condition known as glomeruloscierosis. Kidney aneurysms can bulge within the kidney arteries due to weakened linings and walls, causing life threatening conditions.
The delicate blood vessels in the eyes can also be damaged by high blood pressure in a condition known as retinopathy, where bleeding, blurred and loss of vision occur. Bleeding in the eye can also cause choroidopathy, another condition where vision is blurred, and the eye can becomes permanently scarred by fluid buildup. High blood pressure can also damage the optic nerve and possibly lead to blindness.
High blood pressure increases the likelihood of sexual dysfunction, too, because sex organs in both males and females rely on healthy arteries and blood vessels to transport blood to erogenous areas of the body. Decreased sex drive results in lack of arousal, embarrassment and anxiety associated with sexual dysfunction and its symptoms.
All in all, high blood pressure isn’t something to be taken lightly. Make the right choices and subtle changes in your life to avoid the problems that may occur later in life. Losing weight, eating healthy and exercising regularly are just some small things that can make a huge difference.