- 1 Possible bad effects of hypertension
Possible bad effects of hypertension
What are the consequences of high blood pressure?
Prolonged hypertension sometimes has no impact on the body. However, hypertension is the main responsible factor of atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by the hardening of arteries. Consequently, blood doesn’t move fluidly through the blood vessels.
This lack of flexibility in the arteries causes circulatory problems that generate many injuries to important organs of the body.
What are the possible consequences of hypertension?
The main consequences of hypertension in the body may be the following:
Heart Disease: High blood pressure requires extra work to the heart muscle to distribute blood throughout the body. This can produce a continuous enlargement of the heart which can not pump blood properly causing heart failure. Apart from this disease, high blood pressure can cause a myocardial infarction by interrupting blood flow to the heart.
Cerebral infarction: The hypertensive patients are more likely to have poor circulation in the arteries of the brain. This can cause lack of irrigation in any part of this organ, or, by narrowing the arteries, we can experience bleeding, thrombosis or a stroke.
Angina pectoris: The Angina produces pain in the chest as a result of an insufficient blood supply to the heart. Hypertension is one of the factors that predispose to this disease that can cause fatal strokes. It is known that the hypertensive population is up to 3 times more likely to suffer strokes.
Damage to vision: High blood pressure when it affects the eye (hypertensive retinopathy) is often responsible for the rupture of small arteries of the eye, resulting in vision loss. In severe cases it can cause blindness.
Kidney damage : High blood pressure can affect the kidneys health. At the same time, some kidney diseases are sometimes responsible for hypertension.
Lungs damage: The hypertensive crisis can produce a pulmonary edema by breaking lung capillaries and, consequently, letting the fluids go into these organs.
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How to measure your blood pressure properly?
Given the potential damage that can cause this disease in the body, since, in most cases, this is a silent disease that produces no symptoms, it is necessary to perform regular checks to diagnose its presence.
There are mainly three types of blood pressure gauges:
Blood pressure holter: It is used in hospitals. It measures blood pressure and heart rate. The patient wears it continuously.
Sphygmomanometer or mercury tensiometer: It’s the most accurate but the least used.
Sphygmomanometer or air tensiometer: The most widely used and very accurate.
The last two systems need to be accompanied by a stethoscope.
How to measure your blood pressure at home?
Photo of electronic pressure gauge to measure your pressure at home
Electronic pressure gauge: It is used domestically. It is easier to use than the previous ones because it does not require the aid of a stethoscope since the device is able to detect the pulse by itself.
With this device you can make personal measurements without having to go to the doctor or chemist’s. It should be borne in mind that this measurement has only to be considered a personal guide, not a substitute for the more precise gauges.
However, it is very useful for people who have the “the white coat syndrome” Which occurs when someone’s blood pressure rises in the presence of a doctor.
Guide to measure your blood pressure yourself
When the pressure is measured personally we have to take into account the following guide:
To measure it always at the same time: it should be measured during the early morning hours when it presents the highest levels.
Half an hour before the measuring we should not undertake any sport, not to drink stimulant drinks such as coffee or tea. It is best to do it without smoking. It is also better to empty the bladder before this measurement.
After doing some walking, it is important to rest 5 minutes before performing the measurement.
People should remain sat when measuring, supporting the arm on a table. The sleeves should be rolled up in order not to exerts pressure on the arm. It is better to have one’s legs open. The muff should be placed a few cm above the elbow at the same level than the heart.
There should be another measure five minutes after the first. The values of the latter are usually more reliable than the first.
Do not talk or move while blood pressure measurement. Don’t move when using the electronic pressure gauge as the readings can vary greatly if you move your arm.
More information about high blood pressure.