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Why is High Blood Pressure Dangerous?

Why is High Blood Pressure Dangerous?

Have you been told your blood pressure is higher than it should be? It's a common issue that many ignore but understanding the risks associated with high blood pressure can change the way you think.

The board-certified internal medicine providers serving the Houston area at Integrative Primary Care in Katy, Texas, understand that your blood pressure is more than a number on your medical chart; it’s a significant health indicator. 

Our team takes a personalized and holistic approach to managing high blood pressure, or hypertension. Our goal is to help you understand the risks and give you the tools needed to control your blood pressure effectively. 

Read on to learn why keeping your blood pressure in check isn’t just about the numbers on paper — it’s about protecting your long-term health and quality of life.   

1. Heart disease and stroke

High blood pressure is a major cause of heart disease and stroke, the two leading causes of death in the United States. 

Hypertension strains your heart, forcing it to work harder than it normally would to circulate blood throughout your body. Over time, this increased workload can thicken your heart's muscle, reducing its ability to pump blood efficiently.

If left unmanaged, the strain on your heart can lead to congestive heart failure, a condition where the heart can no longer pump blood effectively. 

Similarly, high blood pressure can cause your arteries to harden and narrow, called atherosclerosis, which increases your risk of stroke. When blood flow to the brain is blocked or reduced, it can lead to possibly fatal or disabling strokes.

2. Kidney damage 

Your kidneys filter waste from your blood and regulate fluid levels. High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in and around your kidneys, affecting their ability to function properly. 

Over time, this can lead to kidney disease or kidney failure, which can require dialysis or a kidney transplant. Managing your blood pressure is important for preserving your kidney function and preventing the onset of chronic kidney disease.   

3. Vision loss

High blood pressure can also affect your vision by damaging the blood vessels in the retina, the part of your eye that captures images. This condition, known as hypertensive retinopathy, can lead to blurred vision and eventual blindness if not adequately managed.

Regular monitoring of blood pressure and keeping it within a healthy range can protect your eyesight and prevent conditions associated with hypertension, like hypertensive retinopathy.

4. Dementia

High blood pressure affects your heart and kidneys, but also your brain. Chronic hypertension can lead to changes in brain function over time, increasing the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. 

Studies have shown that high blood pressure, especially in midlife, is linked to a higher risk of developing vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. By managing your blood pressure, you can reduce the risk of blood vessel damage in the brain, a significant contributor to cognitive impairment.  

How an internal medicine specialist can help

The most dangerous thing about high blood pressure is that you can’t tell if you have it unless you get regular blood pressure readings, which is why it’s called a “silent killer.”  

It’s important to have your blood pressure evaluated at least once a year by your medical provider. This way, your team can monitor your numbers and help you take action to manage your blood pressure if your readings rise.  

Managing high blood pressure requires a comprehensive approach. At Integrative Primary Care, our physicians are experts in designing personalized hypertension treatment plans that may involve:

Our team is dedicated to helping you manage your hypertension so you can lead a healthier, longer life.

If you're concerned about your blood pressure and its long-term effect on your health, don't wait to seek personalized help. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone with a specialist at Integrative Primary Care in Katy, Texas, today.

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