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5 ways High Blood Pressure affect the body

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Hypertension puts stress on your heart and arteries, raising your chances of a heart attack or stroke. But that is not all. It can also affect the body in the following ways:

Artery Damage

Your arteries should be sturdy, springy, and smooth to move blood easily from your lungs and heart, where it gets oxygen, to your organs and other tissues. High blood pressure, or HBP, pushes too hard on your artery walls. This damages the inside and causes fat, or “plaque,” to collect. That plaque makes your arteries more stiff and narrow, so they can’t do their job as well.

 

Aneurysm

It’s when pressure pushes out a section of an artery wall and weakens it. If it breaks, it can bleed into your body, and that could be serious. It’s possible in any artery, but an aneurysm is most common in your aorta, which runs down the middle of your body. If you have a damaged artery, you could get an aneurysm even if you don’t have high blood pressure.

 

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

CAD happens when plaque builds up in arteries close to your heart. This slows blood flow, which can bring chest pain or a strange heart rhythm (called an arrhythmia). A total blockage can cause a heart attack.

 

Heart Attack

When enough plaque builds up, or a clump of it comes loose, to completely block an artery to your heart, it can cause a heart attack. The blockage starves the heart muscle of oxygen and nutrients. That can hurt or destroy it.

You usually feel pressure or pain in your chest, but sometimes in your arm, neck, or jaw too. It might be hard to breathe, and you could be dizzy or nauseated.

Call 911 if you have any of these warning signs.

 

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

PAD is like CAD, but it affects blood vessels farther from your heart, like those in your arms, legs, head, or stomach. You might have pain or cramps in your legs, often when you walk or climb stairs. It can also make you tired. The pain may go away when you rest and come back when you move. Left untreated, PAD could bring more serious problems like stroke, ulcers, and loss of circulation in your legs, which can cause amputation.

Heart Failure

High blood pressure can cause your arteries to narrow. Over time, that can make your heart work harder and get weaker. Eventually, it gets so weak that it can’t supply enough blood to the rest of the body. This is heart failure.

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