What are the effects of high blood pressure on the body?
Because hypertension is often a silent condition, it can cause damage to your body for years before symptoms become obvious. If hypertension isn’t treated, you may face serious, even fatal, complications.
Complications of hypertension include:
• Damaged arteries
Healthy arteries are flexible and strong. Blood flows freely and unobstructed through healthy arteries and vessels. Hypertension makes arteries tougher, tighter, and less elastic.
Dietary fats may deposit in your arteries and restrict blood flow. This damage can lead to increased blood pressure, and eventually heart attack, aneurysm, and stroke.
• Damaged heart
Hypertension makes your heart work too hard. The increased pressure in your blood vessels forces your heart’s muscles to pump more frequently and with more force than a healthy heart should have to.
This may cause an enlarged heart. An enlarged heart increases your risk for the following:
• Damaged brain
Your brain relies on a healthy supply of oxygen-rich blood to work properly. High blood pressure can reduce your brain’s supply of blood. This can lead to severe and even fatal complications like a transient ischemic attack or stroke. Uncontrolled hypertension may also affect your memory and ability to learn, recall, speak, and reason.
Treating hypertension often doesn’t erase or reverse the effects of uncontrolled hypertension. It does, however, lower and possibly eliminates the risks for future problems.
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